Public Support Growing Again to Address Climate Change, Support for Renewables Remains Very Strong

Two polls show that public support for addressing climate change is rising again after several years of waning, and that even after the media frenzy regarding Solyndra, public support for renewable energy remains near unanimous. 

A Pew Research Center survey shows 63% of Americans believe there’s solid evidence of global warming, up from 59% in 2010 and 57% in 2009.

That’s still well below the 77% levels in 2006-2007 and 71% in 2008. And only 38% believe human activities are responsible for global warming, but that’s rising too – it was at 34% last year, but well below the 47% in 2006-2008.

The rift between the parties continues with 77% of Democrats seeing solid evidence of climate change in constrast with 43% of Republicans. Those levels were 91% and 59%, respectively, in 2006.

Pew points to the widening divide among Republicans. A majority of liberal and moderate Republicans (63%), which make up about a third of the party, see solid evidence of global warming, compared with 41% two years ago.

But just 31% of conservative Republicans see solid evidence, changing little over the years.

Yale Poll

The second poll was conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

90% of Americans say development of clean energy sources should be a priority for the president and Congress.

There’s wide agreement on this from Democrats (97%), Independents (91%) and Republicans (82%).

70% say global warming should be a very high (12%), high (25%), or medium (33%) priority for the president and Congress. 66% say the U.S. should undertake large or medium-scale efforts to reduce the effects of global warming.

This is true for Democrats (85%), Independents (72%) and Republicans (44%).

52% say a candidate’s views on global warming is "one of several important issues" in determining their vote for President next year (Democrats 65%; Independents (55%) and Republicans (39%).

A majority (65%) of Americans support a revenue neutral carbon tax that would "help create jobs and decrease pollution": Democrats (77%); Independents (69%) and Republicans (51%) and 

85% say protecting the environment improves economic growth and/or provides new jobs.

69% oppose federal subsidies for fossil fuel industries and 54% oppose corn ethanol subsidies. 

Here’s Yale’s poll, "Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies":

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