A new telephone poll of 1,005 Americans by Zogby International found that 71 percent of likely voters support the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Some 67 percent believe Congress is either doing the right amount (22 percent) or should be doing more (45 percent) to address global warming. According to Zogby, 28 percent believe that Congress is doing too much on climate change.
Zogby writes that support for the bill crosses partisan divisions and age groups to some extent: “Favorable views for the bill were high among all age and income groups and even among Republicans, with 45 percent having a favorable view of the bill. Seventy-three percent of Independents and 89 percent of Democrats also took a favorable view of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.”
About two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) believe a new U.S. clean energy policy will create jobs. According to Zogby, “more than half (51 percent) believe this would lead to new job creation, while another 17 percent believe these efforts will not affect American jobs. Twenty-nine percent feel efforts to promote clean energy will cost American jobs. Those who believe these environmental efforts will create new American jobs outnumbered those who disagreed in all age and income groups. Among self-described political independents, 53 percent agreed that new jobs will be created, and only 24 percent thought jobs would be lost.”
When asked about whether the U.S. Senate needs to take action, a majority agreed: “When presented with arguments for and against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, including concerns about the impact of the legislation on energy prices, a majority (54%) believe the Senate should now take action, with two-fifths (41 percent) preferring that the Senate wait.”
Another poll commisioned by the Pew Environment Group in July, 2009 found that “a supermajority of voters (78 percent) wants the U.S. to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide that cause global warming. What’s more, support for action intense, as 60 percent not only favor U.S. action but do so “strongly” (18 percent not so strongly). Just 15 percent are opposed (5 percent undecided, 2 percent don’t know).”
A few surveys of U.S. public opinion conducted earlier this year found Americans more ambivalent about climate change. A March, 2009 Gallup poll found that “two-in-five Americans believe the media are exaggerating the issue.” Another poll by Pew released in July, 2009 found that only half of the public thinks people are causing climate change, while about 10 percent don’t believe global warming exists.
A global poll conducted in July, 2009 by World Public Opinion found that the U.S. trails most of the rest of the world in prioritizing climate change. According to Solve Climate, “a new World Public Opinion poll asked that question to 18,578 people in 19 countries and found a wide difference of opinion. Mexicans gave government climate action a priority of 9 out of a possible 10. Residents of China gave it an 8.86. And the United States? U.S. residents gave it 4.71. That’s below even the Palestinian Territories and Iraq, populations with serious basic human safety concerns right now.”