Gone are the days of pretending that climate change isn’t real: according to a recent poll taken by Stanford University, an overwhelming amount of Americans think global warming is a real and serious threat to our world. The concentration of those concerned by global warming were marginally higher in coastal areas — with growing sea levels — and areas plagued by drought.
Stanford’s poll reported that 75% of American adults believe that global warming has been continually occurring, while 84% or more of those living in drought-stricken states (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) or states susceptible to rising tides (Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island) also believe in global warming.
Though many in Congress postulate that global warming and climate change haven’t been happening, US adults don’t agree. A majority do agree, however, that environmental warming is mainly due to human activities (ranging from 65% in Utah to 92% in Rhode Island) and that the government is right to place limits on power plants’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (ranging from 62% in Utah to 90% in New Hampshire). Surprisingly, polls from the major coal-producing states of Kentucky and West Virginia were high as well: 78% for Kentucky and 85% for West Virginia.
A national Pew poll from October found that there is a rift in the Republican party: only 25% of Tea Party Republicans believe there’s evidential support of global warming, while 61% of other Republicans agree. The Pew poll also reported that 67% of Americans believe in the effects of global warming.
People who do not believe in manmade global warming are obviously living in an “Echo Chamber” — i.e. they are moved only by ideological belief (similar to the pre-Copernicus thinking that the “sun goes around earth”), and not persuaded by scientific data-driven facts.
Among the most popular questions on Stanford’s poll were whether more efforts should be made to increase energy efficiency for cars, appliances and buildings; and if there should be tax incentives to generate renewable energy, and curb air pollution from coal.
Last week, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power introduced legislation that could obstruct Obama’s sweeping climate policy reforms to restrict new power plants’ carbon emissions. If all goes well for Obama, then next year his policy will be enacted by the EPA, which will also introduce new restrictions for existing power plants.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
November 14, 2013
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