New Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority of Americans Want Lawmakers to Take Action on Climate
'The American people seem far more unified than our political leadership on the need to address climate change'
Ahead of the 2016 elections, the verdict is in: Most people in the United States—including a large number of Republicans—think global warming poses a serious threat to the world and want the government to take action to stave off climate crisis.
A new nation-wide poll conducted by Resources for the Future found that two-thirds of people in the U.S.—including almost half of Republicans—say they are more likely to back politicians who vow in their campaigns to fight global warming.
Likewise, the majority of respondents said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who denies the reality of human-caused global warming.
Jon A. Krosnick, Stanford University professor and an author of the poll, told The New York Times that the numbers on Republicans constitute "the most powerful finding" in the survey.
While most Republic candidates steer clear of addressing climate change, and many openly deny its scientific foundations, the study suggests that their base of support is moving in a different direction.
However, the gap between the public and their political representatives appears to extend across the political arena.
"The American people seem far more unified than our political leadership on the need to address climate change," said Resources for the Future president Phil Sharp. "As often happens, politicians would do well to catch up with the electorate."
According to the survey, 83 percent of people in the U.S. think inaction in the face of rising emissions would pose a very or somewhat serious problem in the future. At least 61 percent of Republicans fell within this grouping.
The poll also reveals that the most people in the United States believe they will personally suffer from climate change to some degree.
The bipartisan nature of this concern was demonstrated by Aliza Strauss, described by The New York Times as "a Republican homemaker in Teaneck, N.J."
"A tree fell on my house during Hurricane Sandy and in the future it might be worse," Strauss told researchers. "The stronger storms and the flooding will erode the coastline, and that is a big concern for me."