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Well, despite the perception of unconcern noted by luminaries such as Naomi Klein and our very own Meteor Blades, it seems Americans really do want to take on climate change. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 65 percent of Americans support "imposing mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions/other greenhouse gases." That includes 82 percent of Democrats and - amazingly - 50 percent of Republicans. Apparently they haven't all been completely brainwashed.

The polling took place March 8-11, 2012, toward the start of an astonishing warm spell that saw 7000 local records broken in the US. Perhaps the weather had something to do with it. One wonders what these numbers would look like had the poll been done two weeks later.

The CO2 question was one of a set of environment/energy questions. Unfortunately there is no timeline on climate opinion.

Joe Romm's take on the latest polling:

I know you’ve heard the established wisdom: The climate bill failed in large part because it lacked public support.

That was never true, as over a dozen polls we reported on in the last 3 years make clear (see them here and below). But that myth became popular because it suited the narrative of both the deniers and do-little centrist crowd and their enablers in the media.

What’s amazing is that even though essentially none of the major national “influencers” in the public arena — the President, Congress, media and so on — has been using their bully pulpit to talk about mandatory controls on carbon dioxide pollution for almost two years now, the public still supports it overwhelmingly.

The current polling says it's OK for politicians to be "brave" about climate.

Come on, guys.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow, I Just Heard it Reported Yesterday on NPR (4+ / 0-)

    that about 2/3 of voters doubt humans are driving climate change, and it wasn't by a winger.

    That's encouraging news for whatever the preference of voters matters.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:43:40 PM PDT

  •  at some point even Fox Viewers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, MKSinSA, joe shikspack

    will join the cause as their air conditioners fail to keep them cool and rolling brown outs keep them from being brainwashed by their fair and balanced news on tv.

  •  The polling question is too abstract (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Milly Watt, James Wells

    While 65% said yes to mandatory CO2 restrictions in this poll, the question does not also include the changes people would see that result from the restrictions.  So in effect this type of question asks "would you like a benefit for free?"  In effect the Gallop question really asks "Is restricting CO2 emissions a benefit?"

    Consider the difference in the questions, "Would you like to have a Rolls Royce?", Vs "Would you spend $400,000 for a Rolls Royce?"  The first of these two questions get far more Yeses, than the second.

    A better question on CO2 emissions would have been, "Would you support paying X% more for electricity, cars, air travel, and housing in order to restrict CO2 emissions?"

    The challenge in getting public support for restricting CO2 emissions, is getting agreement that the "costs" of reducing CO2 emissions are worth paying.  Without this deeper public support, people will say YES to to restricting CO2 emissions, but no to the changes necessary to actually reduce CO2 emissions.

    I have installed solar power in my house and extensive lower power electrical devices, I understand lower CO2 emissions means I must pay more, and I accept the higher cost.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 02:11:57 PM PDT

    •  Fully loaded costs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      The total loaded cost of non-combustion energy is, right now, less than the total loaded cost of coal.

      Combustion energy is only cheaper for people who don't care who dies from the pollution.

      I think that this is something that people in general can understand and act upon.

      So the fully informing question is:

      Would you prefer (1) or (2)?

      1) Paying more for energy but reducing your health care costs and also your chance of dying due to pollution

      OR

      2) Paying less for energy but increasing your health care costs and also your chance of dying due to pollution

      And BTW, choice 1 also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduces climate impacts.

      -- I think that a fully informing question along these lines would yield clear majority support for controls on pollution (included CO2) from combustion energy.

  •  For some reason the Overton window get defined (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    without much consideration for what people actually care about.

    Something is wrong with that picture.

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