However, while the majority of Americans understand that the change in climate is caused by humans, only 20 percent understand that almost all climate scientists have concluded human-caused global warming is happening. With a topic as politically divisive as climate change, imprecise language and factually incorrect statements not only provide easy targets for the other side but also hinder conversations focused on building a consensus around real solutions.
Americans' concerns about climate change have surged to record levels, new polling shows, following a year marked by devastating storms, wildfires, and increasingly dire warnings from scientists.
The proportion of Americans who said global warming is "personally important" to them jumped from 63 percent to 72 percent from March to December of previous year. That's ten percent higher than what it was in 2015.
"Many global insurers have already implemented significant climate change response programs", ICA GM Risk Karl Sullivan says in a LinkedIn post.
"The thing that is most encouraging in these polls is that they show the public has now become aware that climate change is here and now", Bob Inglis, executive director of RepublicEN, an organization encouraging conservatives to respond to climate change, told NBC News. It's no wonder that in the same year span the number of people "worried" by climate change rose from 61 percent to 69 percent. Roughly half think they'll personally be hurt by global warming, but even more think that others will bear the brunt of the damage - especially future generations and the poor. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they would back the tax if the money went to pay for research and development of renewable energy. However, if the monthly charge increased to $10 a month, just 28 percent would be supportive, while 68 percent would be opposed.
The political conversation around climate change is often framed by two extreme narratives: climate change is either a farce that doesn't exist, or it's poised to kill us all quite soon.
The advancing ranks of climate change believers still don't include many Republicans. Having once called climate change a "hoax", Trump continues to tweet doubts about the seriousness of the problem, prompting fact-checking media coverage.
While the increased awareness of climate change and the need to address it immediately is welcome, that in itself doesn't get the job done.
James Rainey is a reporter for NBC News, based in Los Angeles.