Republicans may be making a big mistake in ignoring climate change. A poll by the Washington Post/Kaiser family Foundation indicates Americans believe climate change is at a crisis point and half say they believe urgent action needs to be taken soon.
Climate change is extremely or very important to 64% of those polled, behind only economy (87%), healthcare (86%) and immigration ((72%). Seventy percent said they’re worried climate change will hurt the health of those living in the United States and 51% said regulations to deal with the crisis likely will hurt the economy.
The poll released Friday indicates 67 percent of those queried say President Trump is mishandling the issue and nearly eight in 10 said human activity is responsible although they were less sure they understood what caused climate change and what to do about it and 84% were optimistic there’s still time to take action.
Thirty-eight percent said climate change is a crisis while another 38% described it as a major problem but not a crisis. When it comes to reducing fossil fuel consumption, 46% said use must be reduced drastically while 41% opted for gradual reductions. Thirty-seven percent said they’re on board with making major sacrifices while 48 percent said they would make minor sacrifices.
Seventy-one percent are hoping new technology will stem climate change.
Nearly half of those queried said they didn’t know whether pulling out of the paris climate agreement, which Trump did at the very beginning of his presidency, was a good idea, but 67% said they would not object to states setting stricter fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles and 71% said they support more ambitious targets being set for renewable energy.
The poll, which queried 2,293 adults and 693 teens, came just days after reports the Trump administration said it is investigating whether four automakers formed an illegal cartel by agreeing to abide by california’s clean air rules. The Trump administration rolled back gas consumption standards for cars and light trucks adopted by the Obama administration and has proposed canceling all upcoming increases.
The administration has been working consistently to reduce environmental controls aimed at battling climate change and pollution. On Thursday, the administration overturned a 2015 rule protecting wetlands and earlier lifted restrictions on coal.
The poll’s sampling error was pegged as 3% for adults and 5% for teens.