Poll: Extreme weather events changing Americans’ climate change views

Poll: Extreme weather events changing Americans’ climate change views

Extreme weather events like droughts and floods are pushing Americans to believe more in the science of climate change, a new poll found.

In the Associated Press-NORC poll released Tuesday, 48 percent of respondents said they found the science of human-induced climate change more convincing when the poll was taken in November 2018 than they did five years ago.

Of those respondents, three-quarters said weather events like hurricanes, droughts and floods influenced their views, the most of any of the options polltakers presented to respondents.

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Eighty-three percent of those polled who believe in climate change want the federal government to take action to mitigate it, and 80 percent want their state governments to act, the survey found.

“It is striking that 67 percent of respondents support a carbon tax when the funds would be used to restore the environment, compared to 49 percent when the funds are rebated to households,” Michael Greenstone, director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, said in a statement.

“These findings appear to run counter to the conventional wisdom about the most politically appealing version of a carbon tax and to recent efforts by the federal government to step back from environmental protection,” he said. The Institute participated in conducting the poll.

The survey also found that a plurality of respondents, 44 percent, support a carbon tax, while 29 percent oppose it.

Given a handful of options for where the funds raised from a carbon tax would go, 67 percent said they would be most supportive of a tax if it paid to restore forests, wetlands and other natural areas.

Only 49 percent said they’d support a carbon tax whose revenue went back to taxpayers.