Poll: Majority believe climate change is real, should be taught in school

Most people also told pollsters they favor banning plastic bags, strows

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Six of 10 Americans and residents of Florida think climate change is accepted theory and should be taught in public schools, according to a survey released by Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

A majority of those people said it is important that their community has a department or program to work on climate change issues.

“Concern about global climate change remains high, so it is logical that a majority of Americans want global climate change to be taught in primary and secondary schools,’’ said Dr. Leo Ondrovic, a member of Saint Leo University's science faculty. “A strong majority of our respondents support this idea.’’

More than half of Americans and an even higher percentage of Floridians agree that plastic bags and straws should be banned. These plastic single-use plastic products are created from fossil fuel and do not decompose easily once discarded. Straws are also big contributors to litter and, when discarded in coastal and lakefront areas, are hazardous to wildlife that can ingest them.

The survey of 1,000 people nationwide was conducted online Feb. 16-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points. The same questions were asked of 500 respondents in Florida, which is home to both Saint Leo University, which gives those results a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The questions on public education and local civic responses to climate change were added this year to a battery of questions that the Saint Leo University Polling Institute has been posing each year since 2015.

Every year since 2015, more than 70 percent of respondents in the national poll have indicated they are very concerned or somewhat concerned about global climate change. In Florida, responses of those very concerned and somewhat concerned have been at least 67 percent since 2015.

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Digital election producer in 2022. He created WJXT.com in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website through 2021.