72% of Americans Are 'Very Worried' About Climate Change

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There's a tiny silver lining to all the ridiculous weather we've been having lately.

Guess what percentage of American say global warming is "personally important" to them. Just guess.

barn owl staring

© Anan Kaewkhammul/ShutterstockAccording to a new study put out by Yale University and George Mason University, it's 72 percent, up from 63 percent in March of 2018. Eight percent more Americans than before are "very worried" about climate change (40 percent are "somewhat worried"). And 56 percent are concerned global warming will harm their families.

It's more proof that Americans are far more educated and concerned about the issue than many media outlets pretend. We've written about how 70 percent of Americans think protecting the environment is more important than growing the economy.

"Americans have, unfortunately, had far more experience with what climate change looks like," Anthony Leiserowitz, a researcher who worked on the study, told NPR.

Recent wildfires and other weather events were a big part of this spike. While I wasn't in California, I did experience yet another very weird Chicago winter that felt more like fall. I heard plenty of friends and family comment on how weird it was that December seemed like October.

"It really does indicate that Americans are increasingly seeing this not as a distant problem, but as something that's here and now," Leiserowitz added.

And the idea that the climate is just changing on its own is falling away. Only 23 percent of Americans think climate change is "mostly caused by natural changes in the environment," the lowest number since the survey began.

So people are catching on. The question is, will we do anything about it?