According to a survey of more than 4,000 young adults, a large proportion of Generation X isn’t all that concerned about climate change.
Writing in the quarterly Generation X Report — which details findings of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, a yearly survey of Americans who entered 7th or 10th grade in 50 U.S. public school systems in the fall of 1987 — University of Michigan research scientist Jon D. Miller said that the “surprising” results indicated that “many young adults do not see [climate change] as an immediate problem they need to address … and that many young adults prefer to focus on more immediate issues.”
The survey identified awareness about climate change among interviewees, most of whom are now 36 or 39 years old. In 2008, the research reported, 28% of participants in the Longitudinal Study of American Youth said that they were “very interested” in climate change issues; 55% said they were “moderately interested” and 17% said they were not interested at all. That same year, 57% of respondents said they were “very interested” in the economy and in local school issues.
When asked about their levels of concern about climate change in 2009 and 2011, between a fifth and a quarter of study participants indicated a “high level” of concern, and nearly 60% considered themselves well- or moderately informed on the issue. But Gen Xers reported high levels of uncertainty and ambivalence about a series of statements about climate change included in the 2011 survey, Miller wrote.