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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:39 PM

More Americans convinced of climate change, poll finds

Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
4:31p.m. EST February 7, 2013

Did last year's extreme weather affect U.S. public attitudes about climate change? Duke University online survey finds more support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions ...

The share of Americans who say climate change is occurring 50% say definitely and 34% say probably has rebounded, reaching what may be its highest level in national polls since 2007, according to the survey of 1,089 adults conducted Jan. 16-22. Slightly more than half, or 54%, say climate change is primarily the result of human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels ...

More people also want to see action to fix the problem, echoing President Obama's pledge to tackle climate change in his second inaugural address last month. Nearly two-thirds, or 64%, strongly or somewhat favor regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories and cars, and requiring utilities to generate more power from "clean" low-carbon sources such as solar or wind energy.

Yet relatively few respondents favor market-based approaches such as a tax on carbon. Less than a third, or 29%, favor cap-and-trade, in which companies buy pollution credits if their emissions exceed a limit. Although support is low, many Americans have yet to form an opinion about this approach; 36% say they're neither for nor against it ...


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