Americans in large bipartisan numbers say the heating of the earth’s atmosphere is having serious effects on the environment now or will soon and think that it is necessary to take immediate steps to reduce its effects, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.
Beyond that is a whole series of juicy tidbits. I hardly know where to dip in. Some quotes:
- Ninety percent of Democrats, 80 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans said immediate action was required to curb the warming of the atmosphere and deal with its effects on the global climate.
- … 84 percent of Americans see human activity as at least contributing to warming.
- … they would support higher gasoline prices to reduce dependence on foreign oil but would oppose higher prices to combat global warming.
- Respondents expressed little confidence in President Bush’s handling of environmental or energy issues, and a majority of those polled, including many Republicans, said Democrats were more likely than Republicans to protect the environment and foster energy independence. One-third approved Mr. Bush’s handling of the environment and 27 percent approved his approach to energy questions.
- Asked whether discussions of energy and the environment by political leaders were helpful or confusing, nearly three-quarters said the details were confusing.
- Asked how they would respond to a presidential candidate who said all Americans would have to pay more for fuel or use less of it to protect the environment, one-third said they would be more likely to vote for that person and 15 percent said they would be less likely. Almost half said it would make no difference.
- Americans broadly support using renewable energy sources like solar and wind power and say fueling vehicles with ethanol, which is now made largely from corn, is a good idea, the survey found.
- They also are nearly evenly split on building nuclear power plants to reduce reliance on imported energy sources.
- … respondents in this poll said by 57 percent to 11 percent that the condition of the environment would be worse for the next generation. Fifty-two percent said that generally speaking they would support protecting the environment over stimulating the economy.
- … respondents also said, 62 percent to 21 percent, that developing new energy sources was more important than protecting the environment. Yet they also expressed the belief that the government should encourage conservation over increasing development of additional energy sources. By a substantial margin, Americans continue to oppose drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, as they have for the last six years.
- … they almost unanimously (92 percent to 6 percent) supported requiring automobile manufacturers to make more fuel-efficient cars.
- Fifty-four percent of Democrats consider using coal to generate electricity to be a bad idea, compared with 39 percent of Republicans.
- Americans almost universally support developing alternative energy sources like wind or solar power and biofuels, with 87 percent expressing approval.
- Of those who said the weather had turned weird, 43 percent attributed it to global warming and 15 percent to pollution or other environmental damage. Four percent cited the coming end of the world or biblical prophecy, and 2 percent blamed space junk.
Any of these jump out at or surprise you?