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Extreme weather events are changing Floridians' attitudes about climate change, poll finds

Researchers are anticipating an increase in action as mindsets shift.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More and more Floridians say they're aware of how severe weather is impacting their lives.

A new poll called The Impact of Extreme Weather on Views About Climate Policy in the United States from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows 68 percent of Floridians say they've been personally affected by hurricanes or severe weather in the last five years. It found more people are becoming convinced the extreme weather is connected to climate change.

“How many seawalls can you build? Will there be a downtown St. Pete or a Downtown Miami? At some point it's urging and pressing,” RWJF Chief Science Officer Dr. Alonzo Plough said.

Dr. Plough says he expects to see a rapid increase in awareness and even action.

Seventy-one percent of those polled nationwide who experienced major property damage or serious financial problems from extreme weather were uninsured or underinsured at the time. Most homeowners say insurance has not adequately protected them from major losses.

A total of 196 Floridians were part of the national survey conducted with the help of NPR and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health between March 31 and May 5, 2022.

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