Written By: Jim Greenberg
The majority of Americans are in agreement that human-induced climate change is real, with at least two-thirds feeling proactive in wanting the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reveals new research.
According to research by social psychologist Jon Krosnick at Stanford University, 75% of Americans in 46 states acknowledge the existence of climate change. Two thirds of them believe that U.S.-emitted greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced.
Combining results from several national surveys on climate change, Krosnick found that even residents of Republican-dominated states recognize the existence of climate change. Eighty-four percent of survey respondents in Texas and 87% of respondents in Oklahoma acknowledge climate change.
“To me, the most striking finding … was that we could not find a single state in the country [in which] climate scepticism was in the majority”, Krosnick, director of Stanford’s Political Psychology Research Group, told The Guardian.
Despite efforts from climate-change deniers, results show broad public agreement that climate change has been influenced by human activities. Ninety-two percent of respondents from Rhode Island and 65% of respondents from Utah believe that humans are contributing to climate change.
Furthermore, the research found widespread support for Obama’s decision to curb greenhouse gas emissions released from power plants, with 90% of New Hampshire’s population and 62% of Utah’s favoring action against carbon emissions.
“This new report is crystal clear; it shows that the vast majority of Americans—whether from red states or [from] blue—understand that climate change is a growing danger”, said Henry Waxman, co-chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change.
He added, “Americans recognize that we have a moral obligation to protect the environment and an economic opportunity to develop the clean energy technologies of the future. [The general population is] way ahead of Congress in listening to the scientists.”
Krosnick suggests that the results are likely related to personal experience, as the states highest in acceptance of climate change are those recently hit by drought, such as Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Other states polling high on climate change are in areas vulnerable to rising sea levels, including New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
The research, which shows bipartisan agreement on climate change, brings hope for greater climate action by the U.S. government.