A brand new survey by Yale and George Mason Universities looks at the attitudes of Republicans and "Republican-leaning Independent" voters towards energy and climate change. The results are highly encouraging for those of us who support a rapid transition towards clean energy and away from carbon-based fuels. Here are a few highlights.
- Only 22% of respondents believe that the United States should use more fossil fuel in the future, while 51% believe we should use "less" fossil fuel.
- Support for increased renewable energy is overwhelming, with 77% of respondents saying the U.S. should use "more" renewables in the future, versus just 9% who say "less."
- "A majority of respondents believe that taking steps to reduce our use of fossil fuels will benefit the nation in a number of ways – for example, by helping free us from dependence on foreign oil (66%), saving resources for our children and grandchildren to use (57%), and providing a better life for our children and grandchildren (56%) – while none of the potential costs associated with taking action were seen as likely by a majority of respondents."
- "Respondents selected more benefits of reducing fossil fuels than costs (51% of benefits were selected vs. 33% of costs were selected, on average)."
- "When presented with one of two conservative arguments saying America should respond to climate change, a solid majority (62%) say America absolutely should (23%) or probably should (39%) take steps to address climate change."
Those are strong numbers for both clean energy and action on climate change, although they're muddied somewhat by other numbers which show both support for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would worsen global warming, and also an upward trend in global warming. Still, the Yale numbers are encouraging, and are consistent with numerous other surveys showing that Americans of all political persuasions prefer a clean future.