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June 26 2014

Politics & Global Warming, Spring 2014

Politics & Global Warming, Spring 2014

A special report on the politics of global warming. Based on a nationally representative survey conducted in spring 2014, we analyze how Democrats, Republicans and Independents think about global warming, what policies they support or oppose, and the different types of political activism they are willing to engage in.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Policy Support Politics / Elections Risk Perceptions
May 29 2014

Americans support limits on CO2

Americans support limits on CO2

Americans support limits on CO2 from existing coal-fired power plants and regulating CO2 as a pollutant

Each year in the United States about 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions – the primary cause of global warming – comes from electric power plants, especially those powered by the burning of coal.

On Monday, June 2, the EPA will release new proposed limits on CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. These regulations are likely to face fierce resistance from the coal industry and their allies.

What do Americans think about these proposed limits?

A national opinion survey we conducted in April of this year finds that – by nearly a two to one margin – Americans support setting strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired plants, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies increases.

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Topics: Policy Support Politics / Elections
May 27 2014

What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change

What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change

A nationally representative survey finds that the terms “global warming” and “climate change” often mean different things to Americans—and activate different sets of beliefs, feelings, and behaviors, as well as different degrees of urgency about the need to respond.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Emotion / Affect / Imagery Knowledge / Climate Literacy Policy Support Risk Perceptions
May 10 2014

Anthony Leiserowitz on NPR’s Science Friday

On Friday May 9, 2014, YPCCC Director Anthony Leiserowitz was a guest on NPR's Science Friday, in the week of the release of the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, to discuss Americans' responses to climate change.  Other guests were Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Sheril Kirshenbaum, Director of the Energy Poll at the University of Texas.  Listen to the segment here.

 
Glacier Bay in Alaska. Photo by Meredith P./flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
 
 

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Knowledge / Climate Literacy Media Outreach Projects Policy Support Risk Perceptions Values & Religion
April 23 2014

Americans support CO2 limits on coal-fired power plants

Americans support CO2 limits on coal-fired power plants

Each year in the United States about 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions – the primary cause of global warming – comes from electric power plants, especially those powered by the burning of coal.

This June, the EPA is expected to propose new limits on CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. These regulations are likely to face fierce resistance from the coal industry.

What do Americans think about these regulations?

Our new survey this month finds that – by nearly a two to one margin – Americans support setting strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired plants, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies increases.

Most Democrats support setting such limits, over half of Republicans oppose it, while Independents are evenly divided.

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Topics: Policy Support
February 19 2014

Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming November 2013

Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming November 2013

Highlights:

* Three in ten (29%) have joined or would join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to reduce global warming.

* Nearly four in ten (36%) have joined or would join a campaign to convince elected officials to pass laws increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy as a way to reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels.

* About half of Americans (53%) say they would sign a petition about global warming if asked by a person they "like and respect."

* About four in ten say that, if asked, they would sign a pledge to vote only for political candidates that share their views on global warming (39%).

* One in four Americans would support an organization engaging in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse (24%) and one in six (17%) say they would personally engage in such actiivities.

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Topics: Citizen Behavior Energy Use / Conservation Policy Support
February 12 2014

Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies in November 2013

Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies in November 2013

Highlights:

Large majorities of Americans support national action on global warming:

• Most Americans (83%) say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.

• Majorities of Americans say that corporations and industry (65%), citizens themselves (61%), and the U.S. Congress (52%) should be doing more to address global warming.

• A majority of Americans (71%) say global warming should be a priority for the president and Congress.
 

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Topics: Policy Support
October 16 2013

Climate Change in the Columbus, Ohioan Mind

Climate Change in the Columbus, Ohioan Mind

Highlights:

  • Most people in Columbus, Ohio, (70%) believe global warming is happening, while only 18% believe it is not.
  • About half (49%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by human activities.
  • Of those who believe global warming is happening, two in three believe it is currently having a large or moderate influence on the severity of heat waves (66%) in Columbus, and half believe it is influencing droughts (51%) and flooding of rivers or lakes (50%).
  • Further, of those in Columbus who believe climate change is happening, large majorities expect to see a myriad of negative effects from it over the next 50 years. About nine in ten anticipate more heat waves (91%), worse storms (88%), or increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems (88%). At least eight in ten believe the area will experience declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (84%), increased droughts and water shortages (84%), or more power outages (81%).
  • More than half of people in Columbus say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from Congress (61%) and President Obama (57%), to state legislators (57%) and Governor Kasich (56%), to local government officials (57%). However, even larger numbers in Columbus believe that corporations and industry (68%) or citizens themselves (66%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • However, most people in Columbus see global warming as a relatively distant threat. While 70% believe global warming will harm future generations of people and plant and animal species, only 31% believe it will harm them personally.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions
October 09 2013

Climate Change in the San Franciscan Mind

Climate Change in the San Franciscan Mind

Highlights:

  • The overwhelming majority of San Franciscans (87%) believes global warming is happening, while only 5% believe it is not happening.
  • Two in three (67%) believe that if global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human activities. Moreover, seven in ten (69%) understand there is widespread agreement among scientists that climate change is happening.
  • Of those San Franciscans who believe global warming is happening, most expect a myriad of negative effects over the next 50 years. Nine in ten anticipate more droughts and water shortages (91%), heat waves (89%), or declining numbers of fish and native wildlife (89%). Two in three (66%) expect that parts of the city will have to be abandoned in the next 50 years due to sea level rise.
  • Majorities also say that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government—from Congress (69%) and President Obama (63%), to California state legislators (66%) and Governor Brown (62%), to local government officials (63%). However, even larger numbers of San Franciscans believe that citizens themselves (77%) and corporations and industry (75%) should be doing more to address climate change.
  • Many San Franciscans say that a transition to cleaner energy would be good for the local economy, with six in ten (58%) saying that switching from fossil fuels to clean energy sources would increase local economic growth and the number of jobs.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions
October 02 2013

Climate Change in the American Mind: Focus on California, Colorado, Ohio and Texas

Climate Change in the American Mind: Focus on California, Colorado, Ohio and Texas

Highlights:

Our recent statewide surveys of Californians, Coloradans, Ohioans, and Texans find that majorities in each state say global warming is happening. This belief is most widespread in California (79%), but seven in ten in Colorado, Ohio, and Texas agree as well (70% in each).

There are also important differences between the states, however. For example:

  • Over half of Californians say that, if global warming is happening, it is caused mostly by human activities (58%). By contrast, only 44% of Texans say global warming is caused mostly by human activities, and 31% say it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment.
  • Half or more of Californians (55%) and Texans (52%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming. Fewer in Colorado (48%) and Ohio (45%) say that they have.
  • A majority of Californians (55%) understands that most scientists think global warming is happening. In the other three states surveyed, however, people are more likely to say that scientists disagree about whether or not global warming is happening.

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Topics: Attitudes & Beliefs Citizen Behavior Consumer Behavior Policy Support Risk Perceptions Vulnerability & Resilience
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