New Poll: Wide Majority of Californians Support Action on Climate
In an annual survey on environmental concerns, Californians answered with record-setting numbers that governments need to act now on climate concerns. According to the just-released Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll:
65 percent of Californians say the government should act right away to cut emissions—up 9 points since 2012. Less than a third (30%) say the state should wait for the economy to improve. Among likely voters, 59 percent say the state should act now, up 13 points since last year.
Residents express a sense of urgency in responses to another question: Most say it is very important (48%) or somewhat important (31%) that the state government pass regulations and spend money now on efforts to reduce global warming. Most also say it is very (53%) or somewhat (29%) important for the state to pass regulations and spend money now to prepare for global warming’s future effects.
The strong majority is broad-based, according to the poll:
A large majority of Californians view global warming as a very serious threat (50%) or somewhat serious threat (27%) to California’s future economy and quality of life. Far fewer say the threat is not too serious (11%) or not at all serious (9%). Among racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (67%) and blacks (63%) are far more likely than whites (40%) or Asians (38%) to say global warming is a very serious threat. Among age groups, residents age 55 and older are less likely than younger Californians to hold this view.
Republicans continue to struggle with climate denial, however. Only 38 percent of California Republicans agree that global warming effects are occurring now, while 30 percent say the effects will occur in the future and 27 percent say they will never happen.
In their press release, PPIC notes that the survey began shortly after President Barack Obama announced his climate action plan. The poll looked at several policy ideas and finds strong majority support for all of them:
- Requiring oil companies to produce transportation fuels with lower emissions (81% adults, 77% likely voters favor)
- Requiring industrial plants, oil refineries, and commercial facilities to reduce their emissions (80% adults,78% likely voters favor)
- Requiring all automakers to further reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from new cars (80% adults, 76% likely voters favor)
- Requiring an increase in energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings and appliances (76% adults, 74% likely voters favor)
- Encouraging local governments to change land use and transportation planning so that people could drive less (76% adults, 72% likely voters favor)
- Setting stricter emissions limits on power plants (76% adults, 73% likely voters favor)
California, of course, is the country’s most populous state, with one in eight Americans residing there.