Moms Grandmothers Concerned About Climate Air Pollution Harming Children

Moms Grandmothers

Politics Not a Dividing Line: Clear Majority of Conservative Moms Grandmothers Women Agree Not Enough is Being Done to Curb Dangers; Particularly High Levels of Concern Seen Among Latinas and African Americans

As “Energy Week” and talk of “energy dominance” winds down in Washington, a unique new scientific survey of U.S. moms and grandmothers shows that women are concerned that not enough is being done about air pollution and climate change in terms of “the world your children or grandchildren will inherit.”

Available online at, the unprecedented poll of 804 U.S. moms and grandmothers conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Moms Clean Air Force includes the following key findings:

  • Three of five moms/grandmothers (59%) are “very concerned” and another 19% are somewhat concerned about “air pollution and climate change” in terms of “Moms Grandmothers the world your children or grandchildren will inherit”.  (This reflects 78% overall concern.) Well over half (59%) of conservative moms and grandmothers are concerned, as are 96% of liberals and 84% of independents.  While concerns among white respondents was at 75%, it jumped to 84% of Hispanics/Latinas and 85% for African Americans.
  • About three out of four moms grandmothers (74%) agree with the statement “we are not doing enough as a nation to protect clean air and clean water for your children and grandchildren in the coming years and decades”. This was true of 58% of conservatives, 93% of liberals and 79% of independents. Agreement among white respondents was at 71% and rose to 87% of Hispanics/Latinas and 84% for African Americans.
  • A bit more than a third of respondents (34%) said they have children or grandchildren with a respiratory illness such as asthma.

Dominique Browning, co-founder and senior director, Moms Clean Air Force, said: “As we near the end of what has been dubbed ‘Energy Week’ in Washington, D.C., it is clearer than ever that this Administration is making it easier to get sick and harder to get well. More air pollution will mean increasing healthcare costs for asthma inhalers and ER visits.  No one voted to Make America Dirty Again. The survey that we commissioned underscores that point. It shows that our agenda is the agenda of moms grandmothers across the United States regardless of the color of their skin or their political affiliation.”

Laura Burns, conservative mother of two from Mansfield, OH, said: “This survey confirms that what we need is more conservative moms in positions of leadership, more running for office and more talking to each other. Climate change has an impact on our health, our wellbeing and our economy. Conservatives can use this as a unifying point and continue the work throughout the state of Ohio to combat climate change, protect the health of future Buckeyes and provide for their families through a healthy economy.”

Karina Castillo, Latina outreach organizer based in Miami, FL, said: “Latina mothers and grandmothers play an outsized role in setting priorities for their families – and are often the first to act to protect their families. They are also too often on the front lines of environmental injustice. It’s therefore not surprising that they express more concern about climate change and air pollution than other moms. This survey strongly reinforces evidence that vulnerable groups, including women of color, feel more threatened by pollution and a changing climate. The survey also suggests that direct experience informs the views of Latina moms, and their sense of urgency about these issues.”

Molly Rauch, MPH, public health policy director, Moms Clean Air Force, said: “We already knew before this survey was conducted that moms have passion and power – an unbeatable combination.  Now, we are more resolved than ever to harness the strength of Moms Grandmothers love to fight back against polluters. Children’s health transcends partisan lines. Against a background of efforts to gut the EPA budget and attacks on the Clean Air Act and, there’s never been a more important time to raise our voices as moms against the air pollution that harms our kids.”

Jim Williams, polling expert, Public Policy Polling, said: “Not only does this snapshot of the thinking about American moms grandmothers about climate and air pollution show deep concern, it shows that party lines are not a dividing line when it comes to these issues.  That’s something we don’t always see the current polarized environment. The poll also is significant in that it shows women of color – Latinas and African Americans — are even more convinced than white women about the existence of a problem and the need for action.”

Other key findings include the following:

  • Nearly two thirds of moms/grandmothers (64%) strongly agree and another 15% agree somewhat that “it’s time to stop playing politics and get the job done when it comes to climate change, clean air and clean water. The future of our children and grandchildren depends on the actions we take today.” Conservatives were at 61% in their agreement, liberals at 98% and independents at 84%. Agreement among white respondents was at 75%, and was 91% for Hispanics/Latinas and 85% for African Americans.
  • Nearly three out of five moms/grandmothers (58%) say politicians do very poorly or somewhat poorly “when it comes to reflecting your concerns about the air pollution that can harm the health of your children”. Conversely, more than half of conservatives (55%) say politicians do well, compared to only 22% of liberals and 34% of independents who share that view. White respondents said politicians do very or somewhat poorly at 56%, compared to 54% of Hispanics/Latinas and 62% of African Americans.
  • The political spectrum of respondents was as follows: liberal (27%); conservative (38%); and independent (35%).
  • Among respondents, 75% were white, 13% African-American, 7% Latina/Hispanic, and 5% other.

The survey was conducted June 21-22, 2017, by Public Policy Polling among a sample of 804 U.S. moms and grandmothers.  The findings are representative of that subpopulation of U.S. adults.  The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.5%.


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