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04/10/2012 04:28 PM     print story email story  

Large Majority of Americans Want Action on Climate Change News

"Belief" in climate change is rising again, after reaching a low point over the past couple of years.

Could it be the 15,000 record-breaking temperatures this March? Or the "never before seen" tornadoes? Or devastating droughts in Texas and the Southwest? We've even got forest fires on Long Island this week - there's been no rain for months and there was no snow this winter.

62% of Americans now believe that man-made climate change is occurring, according to the biannual National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change, commissioned by  the Brookings Institute. 

That's up from the low of 50% in spring 2010, but it's still far down from the 75% who believed it in 2008.

A majority of Americans (65%) also want mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions, but there's still a partison divide. 82% of Democrats favor it, but only 50% of Republicans do, according to the latest Gallup poll.

The conclusion: The GOP is not representing the public in its outright denial of climate change and related action. GOP lawmakers oppose carbon emissions controls much more than their constituents.

Last year, the GOP-dominated House passed legislation that would strip EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases. There's no chance at passing the Clean Energy Standard that's been introduced, and certainly not cap-and-trade, which originated as a Republican proposal.

84% of Democrats support spending more federal money to develop wind and solar, compared to 51% of Republicans. And 65% support opening more federal land for oil exploration (84% of Republicans, 49% of Democrats).

And 64% want stronger enforcement of environmental regulations - 80% percent of Democrats and 47% of Republicans.

The results are similar for tougher emissions standards for automobiles and biofuels.

Reader Comments (3)


Date Posted:
04/10/12 12:10 AM

There is an outside chance that two events could turn around the thinking of the dogmatic GOP on climate change. One is that green energy will eventually be cheaper and a better investment than fossil fuel. The other is that catastrophic flood, drought or wind conditions will hit them in their homes and in their pocket books. A republican president now would lead to disaster in more ways than one.

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Date Posted:
04/11/12 05:08 PM

Is this an op-ed piece? First of all, it is extremely difficult to respect a published piece with misspellings (the word is "temperatures"). Or without references (where did the quote, "never before seen tornadoes" come from?). Or that flatly misstates the data being discussed (the Brookings report found that 62% of people now believed in global warming - not MAN MADE global warming). This "dogmatic GOP" member believes global warming may be occurring, but I have serious doubts that man is causing it - or could, if we wanted to. Oh yeah, where did the statistics in the last two paragraphs come from? Was that the Gallup Poll, as well? Just curious. Usually, getting ALL the information is kinda important.

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Date Posted:
04/16/12 03:39 PM

another misleading poll. The majority of Americans only favor action IF it won't triple their energy bills (which we canNOT afford). Since this is the only way to FORCE us to use less power, we do NOT support these actions.

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