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Americans in record numbers are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint despite the stonewalling of major politicians and much of the corporate elite, according to the latest ABC News/Planet Green/Stanford University Poll.

Of those quizzed, the majority believe that Global Warming is real, that it is caused by the actions of individuals and businesses, and unless significant lifestyle changes are enacted will greatly impact the lives of future generations. To aid in the fight against Global Warming, most Americans polled support a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Not surprisingly, an overwhelming 64% of Americans polled now rate “finding new energy sources” as more important than improving conservation. Additionally, most Americans admit to supporting higher taxes on oil company profits, stricter fuel efficiency rules for cars, and legislative controls to prevent oil speculators from driving up gas prices.

For some reason, however, most of those polled – - a stunning 41% – - reject describing themselves as environmentalists. Among those distancing themselves from the trendy label are 70% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats.

Finally, on a disappointing note, 44% of those polled favor building more nuclear power plants, the most people to express support of nuclear power in 28 years.


Ways respondents are reducing their individual carbon footprint:

71% of those polled are reducing their use of energy or goods whose production creates greenhouse gases.

59% are using less gasoline — driving less, or using smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, while others are carpooling or taking mass transit.

60% are cutting their consumption of power and water, and

33% are recycling.

Ways America can reduce it’s global carbon footprint:

78% of respondents support the institution of stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars.

61% would like the federal government to outlaw oil speculation by investors when the speculation results in higher prices at the pump.

55% would support a windfall profit tax on oil company profits, and

74% favor the institution of a “cap and trade” system with the government issuing permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can emit.

Of those supporting a “cap and trade” system, 57% would maintin this position even if it raised their electric bill by $10 a month, while a slightly smaller 47% would continue their support if the increase was $25 a month.

This system enjoys bi-partisan suport with 66 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of Republicans, and 60 percent of Independents expressing their support for the “cap-and-trade” system.

Why respondents conserve:

34% say it’s mainly to improve the environment.

25% acknowledge it’s to save money, and

41% attribute their actions to both reasons equally.

Why 30% of respondents are not conserving:

20% admit not knowing how to proceed.

50% consider it either unnecessary, too expensive, too inconvenient, won’t do any good, or they just aren’t interested.


80% of those polled acknowledge that global warming is occurring, with 25% of respondents listing global warming as the single biggest environmental problem in the world.

It’s effect on the planet:

74% of respondents blame Global Warming for causing the melting of polar ice.

Closer to home, nearly 60% of those polled credit global warming with increasing the frequency of extreme weather events like droughts and storms, while 43% blame unstable weather patterns in the area where they live on the phenomena.

Global Warming and the future:

81% of those polled believe that if significant action isn’t taken to address global warming, it poses a threat to future generations.

37% worry it will affect them in their own lifetime, and

73% worry that it’ll pose a serious threat in their children’s lifetimes.

Responsibility for Global Warming:

58% of those polled blame Global Warming on the actions of people. This number rises to 63% when commercial and industrial activities are added to the mix.

64% of women polled believe global warming is caused by human activity, as opposed to 52% of men.

Reducing Global Warming:

75% of those polled believe global warming will only be reduced if individuals make major lifestyle changes.

67% of respondents feel that the federal government should do more about global warming even if other countries do less.

Men vs. Women on Global Warming:

72% of women polled reported that global warming is “personally important to them, while

59% of men agreed.

Religion and Gobal Warming:

26% of those polled, who identified themselves as evangelical white Protestants, see global warming as very serious issue compared to 40% of non-evangelical white Protestants.

35% of those polled, who identified themselves as evangelical white Protestants, claim that global warming is “personally important to them” as opposed to 48% of of non-evangelical white Protestants, while

46% of those polled, who identified themselves as evangelical white Protestants, acknowledged that they would like to see the federal government doing more about global warming, compared with 64% of non-evangelical white Protestants.

Politics and Global Warming:

20% of those polled who identified themselves as Republican admitted that they consider Global Warming as very serious,

compared to 53% of Democrats for whom the issue is very serious.

Nuclear Power:

44% of those polled favor building more nuclear power plants.

Support for Nuclear by political party:

60% of respondents who support building more nuclear power plants listed their party affiliation as Republican; while

33% of Democrats stated their support for a greater use of nukes.

An Environmentalist for President:

42% of those polled say they’d be more likely to support a candidate who’s a strong environmentalist.

Buying Green:

75% of those polled believe buying environmentally friendly products is better for the environment.

67% try to buy them at least occasionally, while

46% try to buy them “whenever possible.”

Green’s meaning to America:

33% percent of those polled believe taking unilateral action actually would help the U.S. economy creating new businesses and jobs, while

22% believe such efforts will damage the U.S. economy.

On a less positive note, 44% of those polled worry that addressing Global Warming will cause them financial hardship.

Offshore Drilling and drilling in Nature Preserves:

63 percent of those polled favor oil drilling in coastal waters where it’s currently prohibited, and

55 percent favor drilling in wilderness areas.

My Notes! These last two numbers, while higher than normal in polls like this, are most certainly a reaction to $4.00 a gallon gasoline, and to the massive profits that the oil companies are enjoying as a result of the higher prices.

Sadly, the poll did not quiz respondents on how much oil they believed was in these currently protected areas? Had they done so, all parties involved would have been disappointed to learn that if all of the currently protected areas were drained dry of oil, there may – - and this is a very questionable may – - be enough remaining to supply the world for 5 or 6 months, tops.

So why then all of the interest from George Bush, John McCain and others of their ilk in drilling in and potentially damaging these areas?

What do the oil companies stand to gain from the tens, and perhaps, hundreds of millions of dollars that they are spending, and will continue to spend, on lobbyists and in the purchase of politicians to achieve this goal?

My best guess is that it is all about control. Most expert’s believe that short of a miracle occurring between now and Election Day, the Democrats will sweep all three branches of government come election day. And with the Democrats will come saner energy policy, and a government less willing to roll over and play dead at Big Oil’s beckoning.

So for those in the fossil fuel business, it’s now or potentially never. Let’s hope the latter comes to pass.

Till Soon!

- – Denis

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    [...] Financial Aid News » News News POLL NUMBERS AT A GLANCE: MORE AMERICANS TRYING TO REDUCE THEIR …2008-08-11 16:18:14The Green/Stanford University Poll. … and much of the corporate elite, [...]

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