76% of Americans say government not doing enough to address global warming
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
March 15, 2006
A new survey released today by the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute found that 76 percent — including two out of three conservatives — think the federal government is not doing "enough to address global warming and develop alternative energy sources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."
Results from the poll suggest that environmental policy is a top concern of Americans going into an election year. 77 percent of those surveyed think that "developing alternative or renewable energy sources and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil should be President Bush's top priority for the balance of his term in office" and 83 percent would like to see more attention paid to global warming during the 2006 Congressional elections and the 2008 Presidential elections.
While the United States may be known as the land of pickups and SUVs, the survey suggests that a growing number of Americans believe "it is patriotic to drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle since it requires less fuel to run, and therefore, can help to reduce U.S. dependency on Middle Eastern oil."
The survey results come a day after NASA announced that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide now stand at 381 per million (ppm), about 36 percent above pre-industrial levels. Carbon dioxide is a principal "greenhouse gas" thought to be driving global warming. Humans boost carbon dioxide levels primarily by the combustion of fossils fuels and deforestation. Presently, the United States is the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions.
Scientists expect higher temperatures to increase the severity of tropical storms and hurricanes in coming years. The damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina has bolstered awareness of climate change among many Americans.