A large majority of Americans now say global warming should be a priority for the president and Congress.
A large majority of Americans now say global warming should be a priority for the president and Congress, according to a new report by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The report is based on a national survey conducted in early September – well before hurricane Sandy provided even more persuasive evidence that climate is changing and sea levels are rising.
General public concerns about climate change have been growing over the past few years and generally corresponds to a rise in attention the matter is getting in the media, said Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale project. That, in turn, has a lot to do with what kind of weather is making the news, he said.
"In 2011 there were 14 weather events that cost more than $1 billion," said Leiserowitz. "They were staggering. Many Americans were beginning to connect the dots themselves."
According to the Yale report, 88 percent of Americans say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs. Of that majority, 44 percent percent favor a medium-scale effort, even if it has moderate economic costs and 24 percent (one in four) support a large-scale effort even if there are large economic costs. About one in five (19 percent) support a small-scale effort, even if it has small economic costs.