Anya Galli Robertson
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Climate change is an ever-impending crisis and the politics surrounding the issue are as contentious as ever, especially in the United States where the political culture is extremely polarized. The polarization of the political parties in the United States makes any environmental policy extremely difficult to pass. Meanwhile, the new generation of young people entering the workforce, voting scene, and public eye are bringing new demands to current climate debates. Youth make up a large share of environmental activism participants and opinion polls show climate change is on the minds of many young people. However, there is a lack of research on youth’s opinions on climate change as relating to their political affiliation. The purpose of this study is to measure young peoples’ views on climate change, while identifying how or if their political identification plays a role. A survey with questions modeled off the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication survey of Climate Change in the American Mind was distributed to 27 undergraduate classes at the University of Dayton. Questions explored political identification and personal belief relating to climate change science, risk, and policy. Using quantitative methods, the results explore how students view these topics and the relationship between their opinions on the environment and their political affiliations and participation. This research is important because young people will have an impact on both the policies and actions the country takes on climate change as well as trends of Republican and Democrat parties in the United States.
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Hull, Aileen, "College Students’ Opinions on Climate Change: Do Political Views Matter?" (2022). Honors Theses. 358.