(George Mason University) Despite a sharp drop in public concern over global warming, Americans -- regardless of political affiliation -- support the passage of federal climate and energy policies, according to the results of a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities.
The survey found support for:
- Funding more research on renewable energy, such as solar and wind power (85 percent)
- Tax rebates for people buying fuel-efficient vehicles or solar panels (82 percent)
- Establishing programs to teach Americans how to save energy (72 percent)
- Regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (71 percent)
- School curricula to teach children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming (70 percent)
- Signing an international treaty that requires the United States to cut emissions of carbon dioxide 90 percent by the year 2050 (61 percent)
- Establishing programs to teach Americans about global warming (60 percent).
"Surprisingly, majorities of both Republicans and Democrats support many of these policies, including renewable energy research, tax rebates, regulating carbon dioxide, and expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas," said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change. "Further, majorities in both parties support returning revenues from a cap-and-trade system to American households to offset higher energy costs, perhaps opening a pathway for Congressional action." …
Sixty-two percent said the United States should make a "medium-" to "large-scale" effort to reduce global warming, even if doing so has "moderate" or "large" economic costs. This represents, however, a 12-point decline since the fall of 2008. Sixty-nine percent said global warming should be a "medium" priority to "very high" priority of President Obama and Congress, while approximately half want local, state, and federal officials to do more to address the issue. Both of those results represent 10- to 15-percentage-point declines since the fall of 2008.
"Most Americans continue to want their elected leaders at all levels of government to get on with the job of developing solutions to global warming," said Edward Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. "Two out of three also want to see ordinary citizens like themselves doing more about global warming." …