CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version



Nebraska Rural Poll Research Report 15-3, September 2015.


Copyright 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In coming decades, climate change threatens significant changes to the way Nebraskans live, work and play. Effects range from increased heavy precipitation events, increased periods of drought, warmer summers and a greater frequency of days over 100o F., and overall temperature increases. These changes have significant implications for agricultural production, water resource management, the increased occurrence of floods and droughts, human health, wildfires and other sectors. Are rural Nebraskans concerned about climate change? Do they think we have a role in adapting to our changing climate? Do they believe climate change will affect their family’s health in coming years? Energy is another area in which broad changes are occurring. Natural gas, wind and solar resources are being brought online rapidly while coal is increasingly being phased out. How do rural Nebraskans feel about developing more renewable energy sources? How are they conserving energy? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions. This report details 1,991 responses to the 2015 Nebraska Rural Poll, the twentieth annual effort to understand rural Nebraskans’ perceptions. Respondents were asked a series of questions about their climate change and energy sources. Comparisons are made among different respondent subgroups, that is, comparisons by age, occupation, region, etc. Based on these analyses, some key findings emerged.