Eco-Living Magazine

Polling Data: Americans’ Opinions on Climate Change and Energy

Posted on the 31 January 2013 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Renewable energy and climate change were emphasized in President Obama’s inauguration speech, but the White House and policy makers will only pass meaningful legislation with voters’ support. Below are a few of the highlights of polling data collected by the Pew Research Center and Pike Research regarding public opinion on climate change and green energy.

The October 2012 Pew Research Poll focuses on how various demographics view global warming and its causes. Up to the age of 65, roughly two-thirds of all respondents indicated that global warming is a “very or somewhat” serious problem, while just 52 percent of respondents 65 and over held the same belief. Younger demographics were also more inclined than other Americans to say that there is solid evidence of global warming (75 percent) and that it is caused by human activity (50 percent), but the immigrant demographic held a much stronger belief that human activity was the cause (67 percent). The two groups least likely to believe there is solid evidence of the same concepts were people working in economies fueled by services (57 and 30 percent, respectively) and Evangelical Epicenters (55 and 33 percent).The 2012 Pike survey centers on positive impressions of energy and other environmental concepts, categorizing them as “favorable” or “very favorable.” Largely consistent with the 2011 poll, respondents favored solar energy (28 percent favorable, 41 percent very favorable) and wind energy (30 and 36 percent) the most, despite the fact that both industries experienced less than ideal public relations over the past year. On the other end of the spectrum, LEED Certification came in second-to-last, with only 11 percent favorable and 9 percent very favorable responses, despite the fact that many Fortune 500 companies own and publicize their LEED-certified buildings. A surprise to few, Cap and Trade came in last with only 8 percent favorable and 7 percent very favorable responses.

What does this tell us? When viewed in the context of historical data, the Pew Research poll continues an upward trend in the number of people who believe that humans cause global warming—a recovery from the 20-point dip recorded by many polls towards the end of 2008. The Pike survey, at the very least, shows us that attitudes regarding energy and the environment are extremely resistant to change, which has helped some industries while hurting others. The rebounding economy should also help shift focus on climate change and the environment, though it will still be several years before meaningful action will be taken.

Image by M A Felton

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog