Americans Support Strong Climate & Energy Policy: Yale Poll

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photo: joanna8555 via flickr.

A recent poll by Yale University showed that American's attitudes about global warming are turning more skeptical and less urgent. But another Yale poll, released today and conducted in conjunction with George Mason University, shows that doesn't mean there isn't support for stronger climate and energy policy:The poll, "Climate Change in the American Mind: Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies in January 2010", shows that a majority of Democrats and Republicans support greater renewable energy research, regulating CO2, as well as expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. What's more, a bi-partisan majority also supported returning revenues from cap-and-trade to households themselves, report author Anthony Leiserowitz said.

Some more specific numbers:
85% supported funding more research on renewable energy.

82% favored tax rebates for people buying fuel-efficient cars or solar panels.

72% wanted to establish programs teaching Americans how to save energy.

71% supported regulating CO2 as a pollutant.

70% wanted schools to teach kids about the causes, consequences and potential solutions to global warming. 60% thought there ought to be courses established to teach all Americans about global warming.

61% supported the US signing an international treaty requiring the nation to cut CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050.

Nearly Two-Thirds Haven't Even Heard of Cap-and-Trade
When it came to cap-and-trade, some 60% of people had heard "nothing at all" about legislation currently proposed in Congress. 12% had heard "a lot". When the concept was explained to them, 58% supported the policy--though when household energy cost increases crossed the $15/month barrier, support dropped to 40%. That said, if each house was given a dividend of $180/year from the program to offset higher energy costs, two-thirds of people supported the program.

Read the full report: Climate Change in the American Mind: Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies in January 2010 [PDF]

US Energy & Climate Policy
Americans' Attitudes Cool Towards Global Warming - Less Than Half Now Think Humans Responsible
Bill McKibben on Why Cap-and-Dividend is the Best Approach to Setting a Price on Carbon
Breaking: US Government to Reduce Emissions 28% by 2020

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