Americans Support Action on Global Warming Despite Economic Crisis

Washington, DC (March 17, 2009)- The results of a survey conducted by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities revealed that over 90 percent of Americans “said that the United States should act to reduce global warming,” and that 34 percent believe a “large scale effort” was needed regardless of economic costs.

The survey included responses from 2,164 American adults in September and October of 2008 and found that while concerns over the economy dwarfed all other issues, global warming remained a “high” or “very high” national priority for majority of Americans.
Sixty-seven (67) percent of those surveyed support unilateral action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, regardless of what other countries do, while seven percent said the United States should act only if both developed and developing countries reduce their emissions.
Forty-eight (48) percent of those surveyed said companies’ climate change-related activities would be taken into account when making purchases in 2009. The primary concerns for taking action to reduce emissions were that it would lead to increased government regulation (44 percent), raise energy prices (31 percent), and hurt the economy (17 percent).
When asked about how to address the problem, 53 percent of those surveyed supported the creation of a national cap-and trade system. “If the president and members of Congress want to pass cap-and-trade legislation this year, they would be wise to quickly take steps to educate the American people,” said contributing author Edward Maibach of George Mason University.
Related Resources:
Science Daily- Americans Support Action on Global Warming Despite Economic Crisis
Climate Change in the American Mind- American’s climate change beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and actions