Friday, December 7, 2012 article on U-M climate change survey

The majority of Americans surveyed think that government should take responsibility for addressing climate change.
Credit: University of Michigan
U-M study: Majority of Americans favor government addressing climate change
Large majorities of Americans now favor all levels of government taking responsibility for addressing climate change, a University of Michigan study released Wednesday revealed.  The Fall 2012 climate change survey, one of the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE), showed that 73% of respondents thought the federal government should take at least some responsibility for reducing greenhouse gases, 72% felt that state governments should also do so, and 68% wanted local governments to shoulder some or a great deal of the responsibility as well.

"This represents a significant increase in public support from the past two years for all levels of government to address climate change," said U-M Professor Barry Rabe, director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at U-M's Ford School of Public Policy in a press release. "This also coincides with findings of considerable support for some specific policy options to reduce greenhouse gases."

The study found two policy options intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions had overwhelming support, renewable electricity standards and mandatory increases in vehicle fuel efficiency.  Support for both options declined significantly when the cost of purchasing electricity or vehicles increased 10% as a result of the policy.  Despite the decreased enthusiasm because of higher cost, both proposals still maintained majority support.

A third policy option, increasing taxes on the burning of fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gases, also called a carbon tax, had only a narrow plurality of support when cost was not mentioned, but was opposed by a majority if it increased the cost of energy 10%.  However, should such a tax be imposed, only 21% would favor repealing the tax, while the rest thought the money should be used to fund renewable energy research or lower the deficit.
Details at the link in the headline.  Also, here is the video embedded with the article.

Barry Rabe on climate change survey

University of Michigan professor Barry Rabe says that a majority of Americans think that government should address climate change and favor renewable energy standards and increased gas mileage.
Credit: The University of Michigan
This is good news, although not enough to make up for the bad news coming out of Lansing this week.  That crowd would likely ignore surveys like this in their last minute rush to get their deepest policy desires signed into law now that voters can no longer punish them for their votes.

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