Navigation Links
Large majority of Americans still believe in global warming, Stanford poll finds
Date:6/9/2010

Three out of four Americans believe that the Earth has been gradually warming as the result of human activity and want the government to institute regulations to stop it, according to a new survey by researchers at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

The survey was conducted by Woods Institute Senior Fellow Jon Krosnick, a professor of communication and of political science at Stanford, with funding from the National Science Foundation. The results are based on telephone interviews conducted from June 1-7 with 1,000 randomly selected American adults.

"Several national surveys released during the last eight months have been interpreted as showing that fewer and fewer Americans believe that climate change is real, human-caused and threatening to people," Krosnick said. "But our new survey shows just the opposite."

For example, when respondents in the June 2010 survey were asked if the Earth's temperature probably had been heating up over the last 100 years, 74 percent said yes. And 75 percent said that human behavior was substantially responsible for any warming that has occurred. Krosnick has asked similar questions in previous Woods Institute polls since 2006.

"Our surveys reveal a small decline in the proportion of people who believe global warming has been happening, from 84 percent in 2007 to 74 percent today," Krosnick said. "Statistical analysis of our data revealed that this decline is attributable to perceptions of recent weather changes by the minority of Americans who have been skeptical about climate scientists."

In terms of average Earth temperature, 2008 was the coldest year since 2000, Krosnick said. "Scientists say that such year-to-year fluctuations are uninformative, and people who trust scientists therefore ignore this information when forming opinions about global warming's existence," he added. "But people who do not trust climate scientists base their conclusions on their personal observations of nature. These 'low-trust' individuals were especially aware of the recent decline in average world temperatures; they were the ones in our survey whose doubts about global warming have increased since 2007."

According to Krosnick, this explanation is especially significant, because it suggests that the recent decline in the proportion of people who believe in global warming is likely to be temporary. "If the Earth's temperature begins to rise again, these individuals may reverse course and rejoin the large majority who still think warming is real," he said.

'Climategate'

Several questions in the June survey addressed the so-called "climategate" controversy, which made headlines in late 2009 and early 2010.

"Growing public skepticism has, in recent months, been attributed to news reports about e-mail messages hacked from the computer system at the University of East Anglia in Britain characterized as showing climate scientists colluding to silence unconvinced colleagues and by the discoveries of alleged flaws in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC)," Krosnick said. "Our survey discredited this claim in multiple ways. "

For example, only 9 percent of respondents said they knew about the East Anglia e-mail messages and believed they indicate that climate scientists should not be trusted, and only 13 percent said the same about the controversial IPPC reports.

"Overall, we found no decline in Americans' trust in environmental scientists," Krosnick said. "Fully 71 percent of respondents said they trust scientists a moderate amount, a lot or completely."

Government solutions

In the June 2010 survey, 86 percent of respondents said they wanted the federal government to limit the amount of air pollution that businesses emit, and 76 percent favored government limitations on greenhouse gas emissions generated by businesses. Only 14 percent said that the United States should not take action to combat global warming unless other major industrial countries like China and India do so as well.

Among other survey results:

  • 78 percent opposed taxes on electricity to reduce consumption, and 72 percent opposed taxes on gasoline;
  • 84 percent favored the federal government offering tax breaks to encourage utilities to make more electricity from water, wind and solar power;
  • Four out of 5 respondents favored government requiring or offering tax breaks to encourage the production of cars that use less gas (81 percent), appliances that use less electricity (80 percent) and homes and office buildings that require less energy to heat and cool (80 percent);
  • Only 18 percent said that policies to reduce global warming would increase unemployment.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Chinese-German collaboration yields new species of Large Blue butterfly
2. Powerful genome barcoding system reveals large-scale variation in human DNA
3. New Tree of Life established for one of the largest groups of bacteria
4. Actress Glenn Close to address stigma of mental illness at worlds largest brain science meeting
5. Large amounts of nitrogen stored beneath selected agricultural areas
6. When the dinner bell rings for seafloor scavengers, larger animals get first dibs
7. Nations largest organization of ecologists offers expert database
8. The largest Last Supper
9. Experts gather to solve mystery of largest recorded die-off of great whales
10. Large mammals need protected areas, forest cover in India
11. WCC Webinar on De-Duplication in Large-Scale Identity Systems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: