February 14 News: 65 Percent Support ‘Significant Steps’ By President To Tackle Climate Change

A new poll from the League of Conservation Voters found 61 percent of Americans say “the effects of climate change are already affecting them personally or will in their lifetime.” [LCV]

Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) support “the President taking significant steps to address climate change now” including:

  • 89% of Democrats, 62% of Independents and 38% of Republicans
  • 60% of whites, 76% of Hispanics and 86% of African-Americans
  • 70% of voters under 40 and 62% of voters over 40

Bolstering this desire for action is the intensely held value that Americans have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted or damaged. Nearly everyone (93%) agrees with this, and 67% strongly agree.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will roll out legislation to impose fees on greenhouse gas emissions today. The bill faces grim prospects of becoming law, but is part of a wider push to open political space on the issue. [The Hill]

Shortly after noon yesterday, police began arresting participants in civil disobedience action outside the White House, protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. [WaPo]

Fuels America released a new tongue-in-cheek campaign yesterday, featuring polar bears, birds, and assorted Americans expressing their affection for the oil industry. [Fuels America]

The Environment and Public Works Committee held a briefing on Wednesday, featuring four of the nation’s leading climate scientists, to address the latest findings in climate science research. [Climate Central]

President Obama’s proposed “Energy Security Trust” would alternative energy projects with revenue from oil and gas royalties that the federal government collects from companies that drill on federal land. [NYTimes]

Thirty firms and organizations have written to European policy-makers urging them to vote in favor next week of a plan to support the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, which has sunk to record lows. [Reuters]

Global wheat prices are close to bottoming out, and may rise in coming months due to the lingering drought in the United States, plus smaller crops in exporting countries such as Australia and Russia and Argentina. [WSJ]

According to the European Space Agency’s MetOp weather satellite, the ozone hole over the Antarctic is the smallest it’s been in the last decade. [HuffPo]

Air pollution is the fifth leading cause of death in India after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking and poor nutrition, according to the Centre for Science and Environment’s analysis of government data and the Global Burden of Disease report on India. [Times of India]


18 Responses to February 14 News: 65 Percent Support ‘Significant Steps’ By President To Tackle Climate Change

  1. Jim says:

    Should read 89% of Democrats, not 9%.

  2. idunno says:

    Typo: “9% of Democrats”

  3. Joan Savage says:

    The LCW poll actually says 89% of Democrats, not 9% as you report.

  4. Ken Barrows says:

    One other correction: “significant steps” that don’t raise the price of a gallon of gasoline more than 10 cents.

  5. Joan Savage says:

    NOVA’s “Earth from Space” shows several global dynamics in graphic form that makes them more easily understood.

    Some might complain that it didn’t mention climate change, but I found the program to be packed with information that people need to understand BEFORE the conversation on climate change gets sensible, such that I still endorse watching it.

    Example: Global thermohaline circulation is dependent on the formation of sea ice in the Antarctic – which releases a super-saline underwater river.

  6. Mike Roddy says:

    These polls are deceptive, because support for global warming action is broad but thin, and there appears to be bias in the way the questions are phrased.

    The best public opinion information comes from our politicians, who are paid indirectly by the oil companies. They have determined that voting for the oil companies every time will not cost them much politically. The composition of our Congress bears this out.

    We still have a long way to go to awaken the public. The announcement that we have already done so is not correct.

  7. Joan Savage says:

    Biogeochemical carbon coupling influences global precipitation in geoengineering experiments J.C. Fyfe et al. Geophysical Research Letters

    On line publication February 14, 2013.

    Key sentence from abstract: “We show that carbon coupling is responsible for a large fraction of the global precipitation reduction in such geoengineering experiments and that the primary effect comes from reduced transpiration through the leaves of plants and trees in the terrestrial component of the carbon cycle due to elevated CO2.”

    So, another note to the would-be geoengineers: do not accidentally geoengineer crop failure or drought just to lower temperature.

  8. Julian Boche says:

    I am sorry Mike, but your wrong. The majority of educated Americans are in support of protecting the environment.

  9. Brooks Bridges says:

    “We still have a long way to go to awaken the public.”

    Some of “We” are doing their best:

    Some of “We” are going to do our part this weekend at the ForwardOnClimate rally (ForwardOnClimate dot Org for all sorts of information)

    Even if you can’t attend you can send donations to help fund it.

    It’s time for everybody to look in the mirror when they say “We” need to do more.

    It’s time for everybody to point into the mirror when saying “They” aren’t doing enough (Obama, climate scientists, etc.)

  10. Brooks Bridges says:

    I agree totally with: “The best public opinion information comes from our politicians, who are paid indirectly by the oil companies. They have determined that voting for the oil companies every time will not cost them much politically.”

    And that is why we have to shake them up with every tool possible to us – and why I keep pushing this Sunday’s rally. The more people that show up the more the politicians will start to realize they have more to fear from us more than losing their oily campaign contributions.

  11. Brooks Bridges says:

    I did not mean to pick on you personally Mike. It sounds like you’ve been very much the activist. It was generic. If this blog generated only comments about science, etc., it would be ok but too many just complain about what others aren’t doing (to change things). I wish once a week there would be a “What I did this week to get the word out” session. And Joe’s book on persuasion is wonderful but in what situations can I use these tools? I need a way to talk to neighbors, friends and relatives w/o turning them off. I need nagging to do more.

  12. Mike Roddy says:

    Julian, Gallup doesn’t even list the environment in the top ten of issues considered important to voters in the last election. Yes, most Americans say they want to protect the environment, but almost everything else (jobs, the economy, immigration etc) seems to trump it.

  13. M Tucker says:

    Yep, that was a great show! Not only did I learn a lot about our planet but it clearly demonstrates the vial necessity for our satellite program. It was a very entertaining fascinating and informative two hours.

  14. Paul Magnus says:

    Interesting…. on front page no less…

    Climate change fears rise, fall with temperature

    Concern about global warming varies by about 10 per cent for every change of one-degree Celsius

  15. Paul Magnus says:

    The Most Influential Climate Science Paper Today Remains Unknown to Most People

    “Oil, gas and coal are going to be used for the foreseeable future. It’s inevitable. Instead of talking about an improbable fossil fuel scenario, we need to have a rational discussion about energy policy … focusing on things like improving efficiency.”

  16. Brooks Bridges says:

    “we need to have a rational discussion about energy policy … focusing on things like improving efficiency.”

    I totally agree on the efficiency item. Not glamorous like wind and solar but so much more bang for the buck.

    But yet again the “we need”, sigh.

    Now that I’ve probably p*ssed of a bunch of people, tell me where to go – no, not there – a site where people are coming up with ideas and encouragement for making “we need” happen. 350 is great but “I need” more – ideas for todos that fit my personality.

  17. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The behaviour of rats in a Skinner Box could hardly be more predictable.

  18. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    White House conduct being heavily criticized by GAO (as reported an article in the Guardian) for failing to take action on climate that is within its powers, despite being warned to do so two years ago.

    “The US government is exposed to high risk from climate change, and Barack Obama has not moved fast enough to manage those new dangers, the government auditor said on Thursday.

    The report from the Government Accountability Office said the government had “significant” financial exposure to climate change.

    The GAO review, conducted every two years at the start of a new Congress, lists government operations deemed at high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement.

    This year was the first time climate change made the list. The GAO also for the first time raised concerns about the federal government’s national weather satellite system, warning there were gaps in forecasting of extreme weather events.

    “Climate change … presents a significant financial risk to the federal government,” the report said. “However, the federal government is not well positioned to address this financial exposure.”

    The report had harsh words for the Obama administration’s planning for future risks. It singled out the White House for failing to respond to the GAO warning two years ago to develop a set of strategic climate change priorities.”