Much Of Mountain West Region Doesn't Believe In Climate Change

A structure is seen engulfed in flames during the Camp Fire in Paradise California

More respondents than at any time since 2008 (57 percent) recognize that a majority of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening, although only 20 percent recognized how strong that consensus is-90 percent of climate scientists say that human activity is causing climate change.

The first poll, from the University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute [PDF], shows that more frequent extreme weather events are causing Americans to shift their views on climate change, and that 60 percent, across all political stripes, believe it is caused primarily by human activity.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments.

A record number of Americans now grasp that climate change is happening and that it poses a present danger. By the end of the year, 72 percent of individuals surveyed said climate change was important to them, a nine percent increase from March.

The data was gathered from 1,114 American adults in a web-based survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

"Americans have, unfortunately, had far more experience with what climate change looks like", researcher Anthony Leiserowitz told NPR.

The public is more convinced that climate change could hurt them, their families, and their communities than ever before, the Yale survey shows. The number of people that are "extremely" or "very" sure that global warming is real increased to 51 percent since that year, a rise of 14 percentage points. "They understand it's not decades away and it's not in some other place".

The survey also showed conditional support for taxing carbon emissions and attaching the levies to coal, oil and natural gas. A landmark United Nations report from a year ago warned that the world has little more than a decade to limit catastrophic climate change, which will involve millions of people displaced by sea level rise or subjected to deadly heatwaves, as well as the loss of nearly all of the planet's coral reefs. Fewer would support such a tax if the money were returned to taxpayers as a rebate or went to pay down federal debt. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in December found that 71 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents believe that climate change is a serious problem and that "immediate action is necessary".

In one, an global panel warned of dire consequences if temperatures increase more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Having once called climate change a "hoax", Trump continues to tweet doubts about the seriousness of the problem, prompting fact-checking media coverage.

There's other good news for climate awareness in the Yale survey, as well.

"It has been shown he is the most divisive president in modern history", Lewiserowitz said, "so when he speaks up in that way, it pushes many Americans in exactly the opposite direction".

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