With Wildfires Raging and Temperatures Soaring, New Poll Shows Americans Want Climate Action
(Washington, D.C. – July 8, 2021) Today, EDF Action, the advocacy partner of the Environmental Defense Fund, released a national poll by Morning Consult that shows a large majority of Americans are concerned about extreme heat and wildfires. The poll shows strong public support for action to address heatwaves, wildfires and the underlying climate-related factors that cause drought. The poll comes at a time when dozens of wildfires are raging and heat waves have been crushing parts of the country
Key National Findings:
- 78% of respondents are concerned about extreme heat while 70% are concerned with wildfires. And respondents reconcile the wide-ranging and harmful impacts fires and heat have on the environment (fires 78% and heat 74%), health (fire 78% and heat 73%) and air quality (fire 81% and heat 70%).
- Bipartisan majorities support a wide array of measures to prevent fires, including:
- Increasing funding for the U.S. Forest Service that would specifically be designated for preventing wildfires (82%)
- Removing vegetation at risk of starting wildfires, such as dead trees, and selling or recycling it in order to generate revenue for restoration efforts (81%),
- Expanding energy efficiency programs to reduce the strain on electricity, gas and water systems and our citizen’s wallets (78%)
- Adopting stronger pollution limits for vehicles and power plants in order to increase air quality (72%)
- Implementing policy and technical solutions that even the burden among citizens during power outage crisis (71%).
- Around four in five respondents say it’s important for the federal government (79%), state government (83%), local government (81%) and private landowners (80%) to invest in better forest management to build resilience to wildfires.
- A majority of respondents want candidates running for the U.S. Senate to support aggressive action to address wildfires (56%) and extreme heat (54%).
- Around three quarters of respondents believe it’s important for lawmakers at the federal (76%), state (79%) and local (76%) levels to pass legislation to address the underlying climate-related factors causing drought.
“It’s only a few weeks into the official start of summer and the West is already suffering through extreme heat and out-of-control wildfires,” said EDF Action Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Elizabeth Gore. “The public is concerned about this extreme weather and wants leaders to take action on climate change, fire prevention, improving air quality and tackling the drought. We have no time to waste, we must act now to protect our environment, safeguard lives and the health of our communities.”