For Earth Day, Here’s How Americans See Climate Change and the Environment in 7 Charts

It’s been 50 years since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The event—a “teach-in on the environment” launched by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin—called attention to the aftermath of a massive oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast the prior year. The protest helped set the political stage for a decade of new regulations, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

While the event focuses on a range of environmental concerns, climate change has loomed especially large over the past decade, sometimes sparking major protests urging more action to reduce it and its effects.

This year’s Earth Day comes at a unique moment. People in many countries remain under stay-at-home orders to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and the resulting shifts in transportation, industrial activity and consumer habits are leading to a decline in carbon emissions. Whether such declines will be temporary or lasting remains unclear.

For Earth Day 2020, Pew Research Center takes stock of U.S. public opinion about global climate change and the environment, based on their surveys. Click here to read the full story from Pew Research.

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