SURVEY: Californians concerned about global warming
By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News Service
July 28, 2006
Most Californians have a dismal outlook on the state of the
environment, with the majority of survey respondents convinced
that global warming already presents a serious threat to the economy
and quality of life in the state and most Californians favoring
political intervention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according
to a recent survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of
The survey of 2,501 adult Californian residents has an error
margin of 2 percent and was conducted by telephone between July
5 and July 18, according to the PPIC.
Global warming emerged as a matter of concern to a large number
of respondents, with some 63 percent saying global warming has
already begun and another 23 percent agreeing that global warming
would begin soon, in their lifetime or would affect future generations.
Only 8 percent of respondents said global warming would never
Steps to counter global warming should be taken immediately,
according to 79 percent of respondents. Some 49 percent of the
total surveyed saw global warming as a "very serious'' threat
to California's economy and quality of life, with another 30 percent
considering it a "somewhat serious'' threat.
An overwhelming majority of respondents also favored tougher
air pollution standards for cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles
as well as ships, trains and freight-transporting trucks, according
to survey results.
Some 24 percent of respondents said air pollution and vehicle
emissions were on the top of their list of environmental concerns
A total of 66 percent favored tougher air pollution standards
for vehicles even if it made them more costly, according to survey
Environmental issues will also at least partly determine how
85 percent of likely voters cast their votes in the November gubernatorial
election, according to the PPIC.
The survey was conducted with funding from The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation. Interviews were held in English, Spanish,
Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean. The sampling error for subgroups
is more than 2 percent.
A total of 42 percent of respondents identified as registered
Democrats and 33 percent as registered Republicans, with 20 percent
registered as independents and 5 percent belonging to another
party. The majority of respondents, 45 percent, think of themselves
as "closer to'' the Democratic Party, while 22 percent identify
more closely with the Republican Party and 28 percent with neither
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