Three in four Americans think climate change will eventually result in the extinction of humanity, according to new research.
A new survey of 2,000 Americans aiming to reveal just how much “climate anxiety” people carry found that nearly half of Americans think climate change will result in the end of the world within the next 200 years.
Not only that, but one in five millennials think climate change will trigger the end of the world in their lifetime.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of The Recycling Partnership, found that climate health is a major concern for Americans, with 96 percent of survey-takers saying they’re worried about climate change in some form.
Over half of Americans think they’ll see significant changes in the world due to climate change in their lifetime, whether it be the sea level rising or their regional climate raising by a few degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, over one in three Americans (34 percent) feel like they’ll eventually have to change where they live directly due to climate change.
And no matter how skeptical people may seem, six in 10 Americans say they would not consider buying property somewhere climate change experts predict will eventually be underwater due to climate change.
One in four Americans actually say climate change is their biggest fear, with millennials being more than twice as likely to say that.
Younger Americans are definitely more anxious than older generations about the effects of climate change, according to the results.
One in five millennials even "strongly agree" that they are not planning on having kids partly because they fear the effect climate change will have on future generations.
“Though debate continues about the science of climate change, consumers continue to carry anxiety and stress about how it will impact their future,” said Jeff Meyers, Chief Operating Officer for The Recycling Partnership. “More than ever, we need the next generation to lead the charge in reducing the potential impacts of climate change."
So how important is it to millennials that climate change be addressed? Nearly half (42 percent) would take a $10K annual pay cut if it meant they could live in a world without fossil fuels — only 20 percent of Americans over the age of 39 could say the same.
And when it comes to who should help fund the effort to fight climate change, 85 percent of millennials think corporations should pony up and spend at least 1 percent of profits to address climate change.
Individuals can also take meaningful action to fight climate change. Over 82 percent of millennials say services — like recycling — that reduce climate change are valuable, and nearly 90 percent say they recycle at least some of the items they buy that are recyclable.
This commitment is not without challenges, as 35 percent say it is difficult to recycle and 50 percent say they would recycle more if they had better access to recycling.
What motivates millennials? Over 85 percent said they want to find ways to create less waste and are inspired by seeing what products can be made from recyclable items.
“Millennials want to live in a world of less waste,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “Whether that means wearing clothing made of recycled fiber, biking to work or purchasing products made of recyclable materials, they are more conscious of the impacts their individual actions and the actions of companies have on creating a sustainable future. More than ever, we need highly-valued public services, like recycling, to continue to drive waste reduction and lower our carbon footprint. So, what are we wasting for? Our future depends on it.”
TOP 6 THINGS AMERICANS WOULD DO TO LIVE IN A WASTE-FREE WORLD
- I would use recyclable bags at the supermarket 60 percent
- I would switch to re-usable containers 60 percent
- I would be willing to always get my favorite coffee in a reusable cup 47 percent
- I would take my packaging back to stores 43 percent
- I would give up take-out forever 28 percent
- I wouldn't watch season eight of Game of Thrones 27 percent