Americans Want Action on Global Warming

Teresa Madaleno

The subject of global warming can’t be ignored. It is everywhere, in our schools, in our governments, in our workplaces, in our homes – everyone is talking about how to be more energy efficient and how to lower their carbon footprint. Countries around the globe are ramping up efforts to curb climate change and U.S President Donald Trump is cutting funds that support greenhouse gas-fighting efforts. If you have wondered about how Americans feel about this contradiction in priorities across the world, wonder no more. ABC News, Stanford’s Political Psychology Research Group, and the non-partisan think tank, Resources for the Future, did a survey recently on public awareness and feelings about global warming and this is what they discovered.

As reported by ABC News, eight out of 10 Americans say the federal government should be doing something to achieve the “same deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions” that was established in the international agreement rejected by President Trump. Just 10 percent say that the government is actually doing something significant to help the environment.

It is hard to guess how much of an issue global warming will play in the November elections, especially when we consider that although 57 percent of people report that they disapprove of Trump’s handling of global warming, many also say they are worried about how much fighting climate change will cost the average person. Still, over 60 percent of U.S citizens have voiced their distaste over Trump withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Here are a few more interesting findings from the comprehensive survey:

• Just over 70 percent of Americans feel they are knowledgeable about global warming. In fact self- awareness has grown tremendously over the last 20 years.
• About 80 percent think global temperatures are rising due to human activities or natural causes.
• Close to 60 percent say they are confident government action would reduce global warming.
• 79 percent of Americans surveyed are critical of the oil industry
• Few people believe climate scientists have exaggerated the problem (just 30 percent overall)
• Decreasing energy use through taxes is not popular among Americans. Just over 70 percent are concerned about having to pay the price for fighting climate issues. Business focused actions earn more support than consumer focused efforts.
• Close to 80 percent of Americans want companies to limit the amount of greenhouse gases they emit.

This is just a small sample of the survey findings, but it demonstrates an interest and concern in our climate. Climate knows no boundaries. In other words, emissions problems in one country have an impact of surrounding countries. ABC reports that younger people seem to be taking a stronger stand on the issue of global warming, which means we will likely see more public protests on the subject in the coming months and years.