Climate change is real and it’s caused by humans, most Floridians say

climate change (Large)
More than 86% of Floridians agree that climate change is happening.

A new survey from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) shows more than 86% of Floridians agree that climate change is happening, with a majority saying it is largely caused by human activity.

That’s according to the Jan. 2020 results of the Florida Climate Resilience Survey. That survey was conducted by the FAU Center for Environmental Studies (CES) and FAU’s Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI).

This is the second version of the poll, which is set to run quarterly.

The survey found 91% of Democrats agree climate change is happening. Among independents, that number was 87%. And 81% of Republicans agreed with the statement as well.

A majority of Democrats and independents believe humans are largely to blame. Among Democrats, 69% say human activity causes climate change, with 51% of independents saying the same. Just 44% of Republicans agreed. Another 37% of Republicans say climate change is mainly due to natural causes in the environment.

Colin Polsky, the director of the FAU Center for Environmental Studies and lead author of the study, highlighted another portion of the survey that showed 70% of Floridians are concerned about the effects of climate change on future generations.

That number is slightly up from the previous version of the poll — taken in October — which showed 68% of Floridians saying the same.

“With a strong majority of Floridians saying climate change has them concerned about the well-being of future generations in the state, it makes sense that Floridians support policies to tackle the issue,” Polsky said.

The survey also detailed 61% of respondents saying they are “extremely” or “moderately” concerned about the health of the environment. Another 26% are “slightly” concerned, with just 13% saying they are “not at all” concerned.

“Floridians believe that our natural resources shape our quality of life,” Polsky said. “So, it is not surprising that they support protecting our natural and built landscapes from the negative effects of climate change.”

Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72%) support or strongly support schools teaching students about climate change. That includes 67% of Republicans. Just 57% of Republicans said the same in October.

Floridians are split as to whether state and local officials are doing enough on the issue.

Only 33% agree or strongly agree that state, county and municipal governments are doing enough to address climate change. Another 31% disagree or strongly disagree, while the remaining 35% are neutral.

But 45% of Republicans say they have faith in the government’s effort.

“These trends in climate change approval ratings suggest that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ support of environmental issues since taking office in Jan. 2019, which many view as a break from the national GOP, may be paying political dividends already,” Polsky said.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 7 to Jan. 21 among 1,044 Floridians in both English and Spanish. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • JM McMillan

    February 28, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Instinctively I was going to comment on how stupid Florida voters are.
    But upon thinking it through can ANYONE explain why poll after poll on issue after issue i.e. climate change, gun safety, prison reform, cannabis, minimum wage, roads to nowhere, etc, ETC! Florida’s voters come down on the side of sanity?
    But continue to elect those from the same party that opposes each and every poll?
    To Wit : Just latest example…
    Florida head of domestic violence charity has embezzled huge sums of money.
    Mostly while former disgraced healthcare CEO who embezzled, defrauded, bamboozled Medicare served as Florida’s 45th governor.
    FloriDuh voters this stoopid? Asking for many friends.

    • Matthew Lusk

      February 29, 2020 at 4:05 am

      That depends on what the definition of is is. Do stupid thoughts make a stupid person or do stupid persons make a stupid thought?

    • Ocean Joe

      February 29, 2020 at 8:40 am

      You aren’t taking the power of gerrymandering, voter suppression tactics, opposition to allowing felons to vote, voter roll purging into consideration. This allows one party control of the legislature for 25 years and counting, constantly blocking publicly supported initiatives in favor of special interests, especially developers. This site is all about lobbyists and which candidate collects the most money, because that’s who controls Tallahassee, not us. They tout 1000 new residents a day as a good thing, with little concern about what a future Florida will look like. Grab the money and run!

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