Foreign Policy Blogs

The Ayes Have It , Part Deux

In my post from March 19 on some international polling results, one of the salient findings was that Americans' consciousness and concern regarding climate change has risen dramatically in the past few years.  Two new polls confirm that.

The first, released March 12 from the Yale Center of Environmental Law and Policy's Environmental Attitudes and Behavior Project, says "83 percent of Americans now say global warming is a "serious' problem, up from 70 percent in 2004."  Sea Change in Public Attitudes Toward Global Warming Emerges reads the headline for the press release.  Further:  "Most dramatically, the survey of 1,000 adults nationwide shows that 63 percent of Americans agree that the United States "is in as much danger from environmental hazards, such as air pollution and global warming, as it is from terrorists.'"

The second poll, out this past Monday from Gallup, is subtitled "Public's concern with attention to environment greater than five years ago."  Most significantly, to me anyway, is that "the environment has reclaimed the top position on Gallup's ranking of what Americans perceive will be the "most important problem' facing the country 25 years from now."  As Mr. Spock would say:  "Fascinating."

We should also note the results from last year's Great Decisions "National Opinion Ballot Report" under the category The Energy Policy Conundrum:  "Of those participating in our nationwide poll, almost 45% considered the development of alternative energy technologies to be the No. 1 priority for U.S. policymakers struggling with the problem of meeting consumption demands, followed next by the need to control U.S. energy consumption.  Over two thirds of FPA's ballot participants are for raising oil and gas prices and increasing fuel taxes for all. More than 80% of the voters feel that corporations should be given tax breaks for developing energy-efficient technologies."

Not incidentally, online ballots will be up in the not-too-distant future for all eight of the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions categories for 2007, including climate change.  I will flag that here when they're up.  Stay tuned. 



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change