Energy

Poll: Most Americans Aren’t Willing To Pay For Obama’s Global Warming Plans

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Most Americans won’t spend more more than $1 a month in higher electricity bills to fight global warming, according to a new Associated Press-University of Chicago poll.

Only 57 percent of Americans would be willing to spend the extra cash to fight global warming, according to the poll, and 39 percent said they’d spend up to $10 a month to stave off warming.

The polling means that less than 40 percent of Americans are willing to pay for Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The plan, which is intended to slow global warming, is expected to cost a staggering $41 billion annually, which equates to about $10.74 a month for each American.

Of the 1,096 adults polled, 77 percent said that global warming was occurring, 13 percent weren’t sure, and only 10 percent said it wasn’t happening. The research was paid for by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

The Clean Power Plan likely won’t have a large impact on global warming. The Clean Power Plan will only advert 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected, according to analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute using models created by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Other polls found that global warming is a more polarizing issue than gay marriage or abortion.

Researchers from Yale University found only 17 percent of Americans are “extremely concerned” about global warming and want immediate action, while another 28 percent are “concerned,” but don’t think it’s an immediate problem. The poll estimates about 10 percent of Americans reject global warming’s scientific validity, and 11 percent think the science behind global warming is dubious.

Roughly 27 percent of the population doesn’t know what to believe on global warming, and the remaining 7 percent don’t care. Researchers found Americans who were “extremely concerned” about global warming listed it and “protecting the environment” as their top political issues. Every other category of concern about global warming regarded it as less important than “the economy,” “healthcare,” or “terrorism.”

“It’s more politically polarizing than abortion,” Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, wrote in a press statement. “It’s more politically polarizing than gay marriage.”

Despite the heavy media and political pressure, Americans aren’t very concerned about global warming compared to citizens of other countries, according to a Pew Research Center study published in December. Thirty-six of the forty industrialized nations surveyed were more concerned about global warming than America.

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