New Survey from Nat Geo WILD and Kelton Timed to Earth Day Shows a Staggering 94 Percent of Americans Believe Global Warming is Real

Results Show That More Americans Think Global Warming is Real and
That Human Activity is Responsible Than Previously Reported

Other Key Findings Include:

More Democrats Than Republicans Say Environmental Issues Play an
Important Role When Deciding Which Presidential Candidate to Support;

Sanders and Clinton Lead as Best Advocates for Environmental Issues;

Almost All Americans Are Worried About Extinction of Endangered

Nearly a Quarter of Americans Think “The Hunger Games” Best Captures
What Earth Will Look Like in 100 Years

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ClimateChange–According to a new survey released today by Nat Geo WILD and Kelton
Global, an overwhelming 94 percent of Americans believe that global
warming is real — and 87 percent think that human activity at least
contributes to climate change, if not is primarily responsible for it.
These national survey results show the highest percentages to date1,
and suggest that climate change is affecting most Americans’ daily
habits, lifestyle choices and even political decisions.

The survey shows that more Democrats (89 percent) than Republicans (69
percent) say environmental issues are important when helping them decide
which presidential candidate to support, and that Bernie Sanders
and Hillary Clinton lead as the presidential candidates Americans
think would be the best environmental advocates. This bodes well for
those candidates, as 80 percent of Americans say that this issue plays
an important role when deciding their next president. Donald Trump
came in third in the poll, followed by Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

“While its no surprise that global warming is on the minds of many
Americans these days, even our team at Nat Geo WILD was surprised at the
near unanimous belief that this is an issue that affects us all,” said
Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo
WILD. “This survey shows that climate change is an issue that not only
presidential candidates should address, but something that anyone
running for public office should give substantial consideration to … not
just for our species, but for the animal kingdom as well.”

In addition to politics, wildlife is on the minds of Americans, as most
(91 percent) are concerned about the extinction of endangered animals.
Millions take action to protect them and learn more about conservation.
Perhaps their empathy comes from guilt — many (45 percent) believe
human-driven habitat destruction has the biggest impact on animal
populations. What’s more, many (82 percent) think zoos should exist and
most (83 percent) agree with SeaWorld’s efforts to cease captive
breeding of orcas.

Nat Geo WILD will celebrate Earth Day by shining a light on the wildlife
advocates who inspire us to take care of our world and the animals who
live in it. Beginning with premieres on Friday, April 22, at 6:30/5:30c,
of the best short films from this year’s Wild to Inspire
competition and continuing with an investigation into the new threats
facing wild orangutans in Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge
at 9/8c, we will celebrate by honoring the people who get their hands
dirty making the world a better place. For more information, visit
or our press site,
or follow us on Twitter using @NGC_PR.

In addition to Nat Geo WILD’s lineup, National Geographic’s Earth Day
celebrations will continue across its portfolio. National Geographic
believes that our planet is a precious place and it’s our responsibility
to preserve it, not just on Earth Day, but every single day. Using the
power of its social media and online presence, National Geographic will
celebrate April 22 with a social takeover on Instagram and Snapchat
Discover, a #NatGeoEarthDay Instagram call-out, dedicated digital
content across
and additional initiatives that inspire and empower people around the
world to make changes in their daily lives in support of a more
sustainable planet.

Other highlights from the survey:

Environmentally Conscious Americans

With most of the nation agreeing that global warming is real, Americans’
daily habits are influenced by the state of the planet. Over nine in 10
Americans (94 percent) have made an effort to reduce their carbon
footprint. Common steps these environmentally conscious Americans have
taken include purchasing eco-friendly light bulbs (68 percent), using
reusable shopping bags (66 percent) or purchasing recycled products (57

Endangered Species

A large majority (91 percent) of Americans are concerned about the
extinction of endangered animals. But this worry comes with a sense of
optimism. Nine in 10 (90 percent) are hopeful that the animal species on
the endangered list will not become extinct. However, nearly half (45
percent) of Americans think human-driven habitat destruction has the
biggest impact on animal populations, and close to a third (32 percent)
believe animal poaching has the biggest effect.

Conservation Efforts

Interest and concern about endangered animals are likely why nearly 200
million Americans (81 percent) have participated in wildlife
conservation efforts, and these actions are most commonly recycling (75
percent), purchasing environmentally conscious products (50 percent) or
donating money (40 percent). More than one in four (27 percent) of those
who participated in wildlife conservation efforts have supported a
wildlife conservation cause online or on social media. And for those who
have not participated in wildlife conservation efforts, lack of
knowledge is likely a factor. The most common (27 percent) reason for
not participating is not knowing how.

Animal Protection Efforts

Over eight in 10 (82 percent) Americans agree that zoos should exist.
This is likely because zoos are seen as educational (91 percent) and fun
(85 percent). While close to three in five (58 percent) Americans
believe holding or displaying animals at zoos or theme parks should be
legal, over four in five (83 percent) agree with SeaWorld’s decision to
end captive breeding of killer whales.

Celebrity Activists

Those in the limelight have a bit of an influence on eco-friendly
actions. About 76 million Americans (31 percent) say that the
environmental activities of celebrities or endorsements motivate them to
change their behavior regarding our planet. Ellen DeGeneres and Betty
White top the list of celebrity animal activists that Americans believe
do the most to help their cause, with 27 percent and 23 percent,

Presidential Election

Eight in 10 Americans (80 percent) say environmental issues play an
important role when deciding which presidential candidate to support.
Bernie Sanders (34 percent) and Hillary Clinton (29 percent) lead as the
presidential candidates Americans think would be the best advocate for
environmental issues. Nearly half (49 percent) of millennials believe
this to be true about Sanders, versus 28 percent of older Americans.
Older Americans are more likely to say this about Clinton (32 percent
vs. 23 percent of millennials). More Americans living in the West than
those living throughout the rest of the country (43 percent vs. 32
percent, respectively) believe Sanders is the candidate who would best
advocate for environmental issues.

The Future of Planet Earth

Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of Americans think “The Hunger Games” best
captures what Earth will look like in 100 years. Nearly one in five say
this about “Star Trek” (18 percent), “Wall-E” (17 percent) and “Mad Max:
Fury Road” (17 percent). However, millennials are more than twice as
likely as older Americans (30 percent vs. 12 percent, respectively) to
think “Wall-E” best resembles what our planet will look like in 2116,
while more Americans ages 35 and over than millennials (20 percent vs.
12 percent, respectively) say this about “Star Trek.”

This survey was conducted by Kelton Global March 28-April 3, 2016, among
1,053 nationally representative Americans 18+, using an email invitation
and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure a reliable representation
of the U.S. population 18 and over.


The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and
production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between
21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader
in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels
include National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People
and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house
television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels
contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to
exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative
programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that
help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more
than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo
WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic
Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250
million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55
million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more
information, visit


Kelton is a research, strategy and design consultancy that works with
many of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands to help them
better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly
customized qualitative, quantitative, innovation and design research for
a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors. For more
information about Kelton Global, please call 1-888-8KELTON or visit

1 Compared to the University
of Texas at Austin Energy Poll
and The
National Surveys on Energy and Environment
; please note:
questions/methodology may not have been exactly the same.


Nat Geo WILD
Molly Mulrain, 202-912-6745
Hawken, 571-451-6330