The majority of Americans believe their government must do more to protect clean water, air quality, and biodiversity and reduce the effects of climate change, and voters in early primary states are largely supportive of phasing out oil production, according to two recent polls published in the second half of this month.
The more recent of the two, released Monday by the Pew Research Center, “broke down along party lines, with 90% of those who identified as Democrats saying they believe the federal government is doing ‘too little’ to address climate change and just 39% of self-identifying Republicans saying the same,” The Hill reports.
“However, Republicans within the millennial and younger generations showed more concern than their older counterparts, with about 52% of those between the age of 18 and 38 saying they think the federal government isn’t doing enough to fight climate change, compared to 41% of Generation X respondents and 31% of the Baby Boomer and older group.”
The survey points to “a growing national trend of Americans concerned about the effects of climate change and how opinions on how best to act have split the political parties and various generations,” the Washington Beltway publication adds. “A number of polls this year have shown that climate change has grown as a top issue among Democratic voters, making climate action a top speaking point within the Democratic primaries.”
The Pew Center also found that about three-quarters of Americans, 90% of Democrats, 66% of Republican women, and 58% of Republican men see development of wind, solar, hydrogen, and other alternative energy sources as a priority over fossil fuels.
Citing the same Pew poll, Ars Technica notes that 80% of Americans now believe human activities contribute to a changing climate, and 50% believe it contributes a great deal.
A week earlier, Greenpeace USA reported that two-thirds of voters in the first four states to hold presidential primaries next year—Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina—would put an end to fossil fuel extraction.
“Of those in favor of ending the era of coal, oil, and gas, fully half support starting right away,” writes Jack Shapiro, project lead for the organization’s climate leadership project. The poll by Civis Analytics also found that 55% of early-primary voters support guaranteed jobs for fossil workers making the transition to a renewable energy economy.
“The oil industry should be terrified,” Greenpeace writes, in the subhead to Shapiro’s post.