Anthony Leiserowitz presents Climate Change and the American Mind at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening and human caused, at least in part. However, fewer than half of Americans believe in human-caused global warming and only 15% understand the degree of consensus in the scientific community.
In our September 2012 Climate Change in the American Mind survey, we asked respondents to answer a series of questions about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as the process is commonly known. This issue has proven to be very controversial in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Proponents and opponents debate potential impacts on the economy, energy supply, public health, the environment, and communities.
This report includes an extensive analysis of the findings from those survey questions. In “Fracking” in the American Mind: Americans’ Views on Hydraulic Fracturing in September, 2012, we find that, surprisingly, Americans have limited familiarity with this issue, and fewer than half of American adults have developed an opinion in support or in opposition to it. The minority who has formed an opinion are more or less evenly split between supporters and opponents.
A new national study in India finds six distinct groups within the Indian public that respond to the issue of climate change in very different ways. These "Six Indias" include:
• A large majority of Americans (87%, down 5 percentage points since Fall 2012) say the president and the Congress should make developing sources of clean energy a “very high” (26%), “high” (32%), or medium priority (28%). Few say it should be a low priority (12%).
• Most Americans (70%, down 7 points since Fall 2012) say global warming should be a “very high” (16%), “high” (26%), or “medium priority” (29%) for the president and Congress. Three in ten (28%) say it should be a low priority.
• Majorities of Americans support:
• Providing tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (71%);
• Funding more research into renewable energy sources (70%);
• Regulating CO2 as a pollutant (68%);
• Requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to pay down the national debt (61%);
• Eliminating all subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry (59%);
• Expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast (58%);
• Requiring electric utilities to produce at least 20% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, even if it costs the average household an extra $100 a year (55%).