The Majority of Americans Are Finally Concerned About Global Warming
The majority of registered voters polled mid-August want the government to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Conducted by the Beneson Strategy Group for the National Resources Defense Counsel (NRDC), 60 percent of those polled support the government regulating GHG emissions from sources like power plants and refineries. Only 30 percent oppose it.
When asked about the bill that would suspend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate GHG emissions for two years, 53 percent oppose it, and 37 percent support it. Surprisingly among Republicans support is divided with 45 percent supporting the bill, and 43 percent opposing it. The majority of Independents, 54 percent, oppose the bill with only 35 percent supporting it.
The poll showed that the EPA is not a nasty acronym to most Americans. Among those polled, 51 percent said they are favorable to the EPA, while 40 percent said they are unfavorable to the EPA. The majority of respondents, 54 percent, said they are confident in the EPA’s ability to regulate GHG emissions. Only 42 percent said they are not confident.
When it comes to the government holding corporations accountable, 68 percent responded that they want the government to do more, and 23 percent said they want government to continue doing what it is currently doing. Only nine percent want the government to do less. Among Democrats, 86 percent want more accountability, and so do 61 percent of Independents. The majority of Republicans, 57 percent, want the government to do more to hold corporations accountable.
Other polls support Beneson results
Other polls conducted this summer found similar results to the Beneson poll, including a June Washington Post-ABC News survey in which 71 percent said they support the federal government regulating GHG emissions, with 26 percent opposed.
A poll of residents in Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts found that the majority of believe global warming is real and caused by humans, according to a recent poll from Jon Krosnick, senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. The poll found that the residents of the three states believe that:
- The earth has gradually warmed over the last 100 years: Florida residents 81 percent, Maine residents 78 percent, and Massachusetts residents 84 percent
- The warming is mostly or partly caused by human activity: 72 percent, 76 percent, and 80 percent
- The U.S. government should regulate the GHG emissions of businesses: 74 percent, 77 percent, and 77 percent). At least 74 percent in all states think the government should take action to limit emissions right away
- A cap-and-trade system should be implemented to reduce the GHG emissions of businesses: 68 percent, 72 percent, and 77 percent
The poll found also found that over half of the respondents would vote for a law mandating emissions reductions of 85 percent by 2050, even if it cost their household $150 a year.
A recent Yale survey conducted with George Mason University found that 61 percent of those surveyed are concerned about global warming, up four points from a January survey. Half of respondents, 50 percent, believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities, up three points from January, and 77 percent support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.