Earlier this month, we noted another new poll indicating that Americans overwhelmingly want action to combat global warming and are willing to pay to do so. Now, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication reinforces that message with the release of its Politics & Global Warming Spring 2014 report. Key findings from this report include:
- "[R]egistered voters are 2.5 times more likely to vote for a congressional or presidential candidate who supports action to reduce global warming. Further, registered voters are 3 times more likely to vote against a candidate who opposes action to reduce global warming."
- "Two in three Americans (66%) support the Congress and president passing laws to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy as a way to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels."
- "A majority of Americans (62%) say the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do."
- "One in three Americans (34%) are either currently part of or would definitely or probably be willing to join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to substantially reduce the nation’s use of fossil fuels by increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy."
- "Half or more Americans think that if the United States takes steps to reduce global warming, it will provide a better life for our children and grandchildren (60%), help free us from dependence on foreign oil (55%), improve people’s health (54%), save many plant and animal species from extinction (52%), and create green jobs and a stronger economy (50%). "
- There are striking partisan divisions among American voters, including: "82% of Democrats and 65% of liberal/moderate Republicans support strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, compared to only 31% of conservative Republicans."
- Another example of partisan divisions is that "liberal Democrats are the only group who believe that a majority (76%) of climate scientists agree, although this is still well below the actual degree of scientific consensus" (which is somewhere in the 97%-99% range).
In sum, there are many encouraging signs in this report that U.S. voters strongly favor taking action against fossil-fueled global warming and a transition to energy efficiency, wind, solar and other forms of clean energy. But there's still a need to translate those voter preferences into action in Congress and in state legislatures around the country, so that we can move in that direction as expeditiously as possible.