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Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Survey Question Wording

Model estimates in the maps were derived from public responses to the following survey questions. The response categories for many questions were collapsed into a single variable for mapping. For example, for the question measuring how much respondents support a carbon tax, “strongly support” and “somewhat support” were combined into a single measure of “Support.” Likewise “Somewhat oppose” and “Strongly oppose” were combined into a single measure of “Oppose.” We differentiate between individuals who believe that the Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity, and the larger set of people who believe the Earth is getting warmer mostly or partly because of human activity.

Individuals who responded “Don’t know” or who did not answer the question were not modeled separately and appear as gray segments within the bar charts.

Earth is getting warmer
“From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades?”

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know [volunteered]


Earth is getting warmer partly or mostly because of human activity
[If yes, solid evidence] “Is the earth getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels or mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment?”

  • Human activity
  • A combination [volunteered]
  • Natural patterns
  • Not sure [volunteered]
  • [Answered No to “Earth getting warmer?” question]


Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity
[If yes, solid evidence] “Is the earth getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels or mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment?”

  • Human activity
  • A combination [volunteered]
  • Natural patterns
  • Not sure [volunteered]
  • [Answered No to “Earth getting warmer?” question]


Support cap and trade system
“There is a proposed system called cap and trade where the government issues permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. If a company exceeds their limit, they will have to buy more permits. If they don’t use all of their permits, they will be able to sell or trade them to others who exceed their cap. The idea is that companies will find ways to put out less greenhouse gases because that would be cheaper than buying permits.”
 
“Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose this type of system for your province?”

  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose
  • Not sure / Refused [volunteered]

Support increasing taxes on carbon based fuels
“Another way to lower greenhouse gas emissions is to increase taxes on carbon based fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline and natural gas. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose this type of system?”

  • Strongly support
  • Somewhat support
  • Somewhat oppose
  • Strongly oppose
  • Not sure / Refused [volunteered]