Thursday, June 12, 2014

Americans would pay more to curb climate change; Democrats much more willing than Republicans

Americans as a whole are willing to shell out more money in energy costs if it helps combat climate change by reducing air pollution from carbon dioxide emissions. But a wide gap exists between Democrats and Republicans who would agree to higher taxes, who think proposed rules to lower carbon dioxide will make a difference in health and who support a candidate who favors taking action on climate change, according to the Bloomberg National Poll, Lisa Lerer reports for Bloomberg Businessweek.

The poll of 1,005 adults found that 62 percent of Americans would pay more for energy to combat climate change, compared to 33 percent who said they wouldn't pay the costs, Lerer writes. Numbers vary widely among political parties, with 82 percent of Democrats saying they would be willing to pay higher bills, while 60 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans would agree to higher costs. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. (Bloomberg graphic: Answers to respondent's willingness to pay more for energy costs to curb climate change)

A clear majority of Democrats—70 percent—said they would support a candidate who calls for taking action on climate change, while 51 percent of independents said they would support such a candidate, and only 28 percent of Republicans, Lerer writes. But 53 percent of respondents "doubt the president’s assertion that a reduction of soot and smog will lead to substantial health benefits." A high number of Republicans—73 percent—said the new standards, which call for a 30 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2030 from existing power plants based on emission levels from 2005, "won’t reduce the number of cases of asthma and other respiratory diseases." A majority of independents, 60 percent, agreed, while only 30 percent of Democrats said yes.

Also, 46 percent of respondents said climate change is a major threat, while 27 percent called it a minor threat, Lerer writes. When it comes to trusting scientists about climate change, 48 percent said "they 'trust' warnings from scientists about the problem, while 43 percent say scientists 'manipulate their findings for political reasons.'” (Read more)

No comments: