Study Reveals That Concern Over Climate Change Is Especially High Among Latinos and New Yorkers


Thermometer on a beach shows high temperaturesIn a study conducted by Yale and Utah State University, researchers discovered which areas of the country were the most concerned by climate change. On average, 63% of Americans reported being concerned with climate change.

Areas with the highest belief in climate change were Washington, D.C., where 81% of respondents reported concern for issue. Hawaii, New York and California were also big believers, with 75%, 72% and 70% of respondents believing in climate change.

The lowest numbers were found in the Midwest and parts of the Southeast.

Yet one of the study’s most interesting findings was that Latinos ranked highest among those concerned with climate change, especially among those in Southwestern Texas. Earlier research in the U.S. had also named Latinos as the racial or ethnic group most concerned with climate change.

The study attributed this to their Catholic faith and connection to the land. Many Hispanic-Americans also come from Central and South America, where global warming has had dramatic effects on the environment.

About 60% of respondents from New York State also agreed with the statement that global warming will harm the U.S.

For the most part, larger cities cared the most about the effects of climate change, according to the study. New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles had the strongest belief in climate change, whereas rural counties had “significantly lower” belief.

The study comes at a time when New York state lawmakers are pressuring Gov. Andrew Cuomo to rethink his policy on hydraulic fracturing.

This process, which is used to drill for gasoline, is often opposed by those who believe in climate change and want to find ways to curb it. Because fracking can cause contamination of groundwater, which is a drinking water source for half the country, the problem often has to be remedied by extensive groundwater remediation technologies.

Yet Rep. Tom Reed, from Corning, said that New York’s opposition to the issue was a bad move for the state, especially as even the Obama administration has expressed its favor of fracking.

But the state announced in late 2014 that it would not allow high-volume hydrofracking, which Reed said many farmers and landowners had hoped would bring them additional income.