Ever wondered how your views about climate change compare to your neighbors but been too shy to ask? Well, here’s your chance to find out.
MassINC Polling Group has released a new survey of Massachusetts’ residents views and beliefs when it comes to climate change and state-wide efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The poll, The 80 Percent Challenge: A Survey of Climate Change Opinion and Action in Massachusetts, was sponsored by The Barr Foundation and based on telephone interviews of 1,311 adults conducted between February 8 and 14, 2011. For you statistical types, the overall margin of error for the survey is ±3.8%.
The take-home: Most Massachusetts residents believe that man-made climate change is happening, poses a serious threat within their lifetime, and deserves more attention than it’s getting from individuals, businesses, and all levels of government.
Here are some key numbers:
77% think that global warming is a reality. Only 17% say it’s not happening.
61% believe it’s mostly due to human activities, and 13% believe a combination of natural and human causes are responsible.
54% say the effects of global warming have already begun to be felt, while a further 14% believe it will happen within their lifetime
74% believe global warming will be a somewhat or very serious problem if nothing is done to reduce it. African-American and Latino residents are more alarmed about the threats posed by climate change.
In terms of dealing with the problem:
56% think that the federal government should be doing “a lot” to address climate change, but only 7% think it is. Support for action at the state, local, and individual level is slightly lower but the descrepancy between what should be done and what is being done is similar.
72% disagree with the statement “It’s too late to reduce global warming, we should focus instead on adapting to climate change.”
76% believe action to reduce global warming would have a neutral or positive impact on Massachusetts’ economy.
60% or more would be willing to pay marginally more each month for electricity from renewable sources, and just shy of half would support raising the gas tax.
Perhaps the most interesting finding in the whole poll is the fact that people’s personal actions to conserve energy/fuel are completely unrelated to their views about climate change. In fact, those most dismissive of climate change are just as likely – if not more – to say they almost always take common steps to reduce energy usage.
Are you convinced man-made climate change is happening? What would you be willing to do to reduce global warming?