As reported in earlier issues of The Highlands Voice, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy has published a survey (March, 2020) on climate change and published the results of the survey (May, 2020).
At about the same time as West Virginia Highlands Conservancy was conducting its survey, Trout Unlimited was conducting a survey of its own. Because Trout Unlimited is a national organization, its sample size was dramatically larger than was the Conservancy’s. Trout Unlimited had already done two surveys in the past. This gave it the ability to compare current attitudes with past attitudes and look for trends.
Here are a few high points from the survey:
- More than 85 percent of TU member respondents think climate change is either caused by humans or is the result of a natural cycle intensified by human activity. This is up from 64 percent in 2014 and 77 percent in 2017.
- Nearly nine in 10 Trout Unlimited members acknowledge that climate change is happening, and three in four are worried about global warming.
- About 80 percent of members expect that climate change will lead to extreme heat, droughts, wildfires, severe storms and degraded coldwater habitat.
- Over 40 percent have recently noticed a decline in their fishing experience.
- Members support a wide range of steps our country can do to mitigate climate change, but only 77 percent of respondents were familiar with TU’s position and national activities around climate change, suggesting that we have some work to do in building support for legislation to address the problem.
- Members trust national TU staff (88 percent) and TU scientists (89 percent) above other sources when seeking climate change information.