Most Americans Understand Climate Is Warming And Making Droughts Worse, 77% Say We Should Limit Carbon Pollution

Yet another poll finds Americans do understand the planet is warming and driving more extreme weather. The Washington Post/Stanford University poll conducted in mid-June — before the recent monster heat wave — found 6 in 10 Americans understand that the climate is warming and weather patterns are becoming more unstable. Poll details are here.

A full 77% agree government should “limit the amount of greenhouse gasses that U.S.businesses put out.” This is consistent with other 2012 polls (see “Poll: 75 Percent of Americans Support Regulating CO2 As A Pollutant, 60 Percent Support Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax”). Some 57% “think global warming is causing there to be more droughts,” — an accurate understanding of climate science and real-world observations.

Only 22% believe the warming we have seen is due to “natural causes” while 30% understand it come from “things people do” and 47% say it is both of the reasons “equally.” It’d be interesting to ask people directly what percentage of recent warming is due to human activity. For the record, It’s “Extremely Likely That at Least 74% of Observed Warming Since 1950″ Was Manmade; It’s Highly Likely All of It Was.

When asked, “If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for the United States,” 40% said “very serious” and another 38% said “somewhat serious.”


Significantly, only 12% of respondents said taking steps to address global warming would decrease the quality of their own lives, while 43% said it would make their lives better. No doubt that’s why so many support strong action.

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