Rasmussen Survey Results Illustrate Public Awareness Trends, Challenges

A July Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Americans shows 56 percent not wanting to pay more to combat global warming, with only one-in-five surveyed saying they are willing to pay $100 more per year.

Slightly more than half of the adults surveyed said keeping energy costs low is more important than developing clean energy supplies. Sixty-three (63) percent said that in a conflict between the two they favor more jobs rather than combatting climate change, the option preferred by 22 percent of the respondents.

As have other surveys, the Rasmussen survey shows strong partisan differences on climate change, with those identifying themselves as Democrats far more supportive than Republicans for combating climate change.

“As is often the case,” the survey firm said in a statement, “there’s a telling division between the views of populist or mainstream America and the political class. Sixty-seven (67) percent of mainstream Americans say they are not willing to pay higher taxes and utility costs to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming, compared to only 17 percent of the political class.

“For 57 percent of the political class taking steps to stop global warming is more important than job creation, while 71 percent of mainstream America believe job creation is more important.”

“Forty (40) percent of U.S. voters say global warming is a very serious problem,” Rasmussen said in a statement, but voters are narrowly divided over whether it is caused by human activity or long-term planetary trends. In its own recent surveys, Rasmussen said, “voters have been moving away from the idea that humans are to blame,” although that trend appears to have been reversed somewhat in its most recent polls. The group said that 42 percent of survey respondents say they think the House-passed Waxman-Markey legislation will hurt the U.S. economy, but the group’s own May polling had indicated that fewer than one-in-four could identify “cap and trade” as having something to do with the environment.

For a two-minute Rasmussen video outlining American’s attitudes on how much and whether lifestyles will have to change in order to effectively combat climate change, click here. Those looking for public support for addressing climate change may find more ammunition for their arguments from this video than from the findings reported above, which in some ways run counter to findings from some other recent surveys.

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