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New Poll: Majority of Americans are Experiencing Climate Change in Their Lives

April 30, 2024
Taking action to protect water and nature has strong support across partisan lines

Washington, D.C., April 30, 2024 – The Walton Family Foundation today released new polling conducted by Morning Consult showing most Americans (60%) believe they are experiencing the impacts of climate change in their lives right now.

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Mark Shields
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“Climate change makes itself known through water. We see it in floods, droughts, wildfires and rising and warming seas. The experience of climate change is crystal clear in people's lives through the lens of water,” said Moira Mcdonald, director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Program.

“What’s eyebrow-raising here is we are seeing a real shift. The majority of Americans are experiencing climate change right now. That means climate has moved from a future problem to being present right now. This is a call to action today.”

The poll also showed unity among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents for action now to protect water and nature:

Climate resilience has strong support and Americans think the federal government should do more.

  • After learning about the concept, 71% support further actions to increase climate resilience. That includes 40% who strongly support more climate resilience actions. 
  • Only 12% oppose further action.
  • A solid bipartisan majority backs further action to increase climate resilience.  That includes 84% of Democrats, 66% of Independents and 65% of Republicans.

Three-quarters (76%) of Americans agree that "when we invest in clean air, water and healthy rivers and forests, people and communities thrive."

  • Democrats (84% agree), 
  • Independents (73% agree), and 
  • Republicans (71% agree) all understand the importance of people and nature working in concert. 

Fully 78% agree that "we need to prioritize protecting soil and water while growing food so that we can feed people now and for generations to come." (85% of Democrats, 74% of Independents and 73% of Republicans).

Most Americans have personally experienced some form of climate change. 

  • Eighty percent say they have experienced extreme heat and 75% have experienced extreme or excessive rain. 
  • One-quarter (23%) say that they have experienced extreme heat frequently. 
  • A majority of American adults have also experienced flooding (61%) and poor air quality from wildfires (59%). 

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit