A new poll finds six in 10 Americans believe climate change is real, think the climate has been increasingly warming and unstable, and 55% “say a ‘great deal’ or ‘good amount’ can be done to reduce future global warming,” a report in today’s Washington Post reveals.
Americans polled by The Post and Stanford do see climate change as occurring: Six in 10 say weather patterns around the world have been more unstable in the past three years than previously, a perception that’s changed little since 2006. Nearly as many also say average temperatures were higher during the past three years than before that.
About two-thirds want the United States to be a world leader addressing the problem, even if other major industrial countries do not pitch in. But being a world leader doesn’t translate into direct help for poor countries that may suffer from global warming: Just 24 percent think the U.S. government should provide a great deal or a lot of help to such countries.
Americans make a clear distinction between the two main presidential candidates this year on the issue. Nearly half perceive that President Obama wants a “great deal” or “quite a bit” of government action on global warming. Far fewer — 11 percent — say the same of Republican Mitt Romney.
People don’t see a lot of downside for taking action to stop global warming. Only 12 percent say that the things people would do to help stop it would make their own lives worse.
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