Its not just the BP oil spill that is causing people to re-think their ways. Overall, concern about climate change is on the rise. A recent poll by Yale and George Mason Universities shows that more Americans than ever are worried about environmental impacts of CO2 emissions. Yet, this week, the U.S. Senate considered a resolution to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
You heard me right. Its as if our elected officials believe they can put their heads in the sand when it comes to our rapidly changing environment.
According to Anthony Leiserowitz, the director the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications:
The stabilization and slight rebound in public opinion is occurring amid signs the economy is starting to recover, along with consumer confidence, and as memories of unusual snowstorms and scientific scandals recede. The BP oil disaster is also reminding the public of the dark side of dependence on fossil fuels, whih may be increasing support for clean energy policies.
Well before the BP Oil Spill, the public expressed a belief that global warming is indeed occurring and is a result of human activities. In fact, 50% of the people polled agreed. And the concern about climate change is on the rise.
So, what is the take-away here? Most of the people polled agreed that lawmakers need to prioritize clean energy solutions to reduce global warming. Specifically, the universities found the following data:
- 77 percent support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant
- 87 percent support funding more research into renewable energy sources
- 83 percent support tax rebates for people who buy fuel-efficient vehicles and solar panels
- 65 percent support signing an international treaty that requires the United States to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide 90 percent by the year 2050
- 61 percent support requiring electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, even if it cost the average household an extra $100 per year
- Support for expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast fell to 62 percent
In short 7 of 10 Americans express significant concern about climate change on the rise. Added together with the outrage over the BP Oil Spill, we hope that some real strides will start being taken with regard to clean, renewable energy.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is the fact that 64% of Republicans agree with the call to action to list CO2 as a pollutant! Now is truly the time for us to put aside red and blue and work together for the common good.