March 23, 2009

Most Americans want global warming cuts

Researchers say more than 90 percent of U.S. citizens support governmental action to reduce global warming despite the current economic crisis.

The results of a national survey prepared by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities included 34 percent who said the United States should make such a major effort, even if it has large economic costs. And two-thirds of survey participants said the United States should reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases regardless of what other countries do.

When you make a mess, you're supposed to clean up after yourself, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale University's Project on Climate Change. We think many Americans view climate change in a similar way. The United States should act to reduce its own emissions regardless of what other countries do.

Peoples' primary concerns about reducing global warming were that it would lead to more government regulation (44 percent), cause energy prices to rise (31 percent) or cost jobs and harm the economy (17 percent), the researchers said. However, among those who believed both positive and negative outcomes will occur, 92 percent said that despite their concerns, the nation should act to reduce global warming.

The results come from a nationally representative survey of 2,164 American adults, age 18 and older. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2 percent.

The report is available in PDF format at