March 7, 2014
By Justin Brown
A new poll finds that about 55 percent of Pennsylvanians believe that tax dollars should be redirected to help reduce global warming or climate change. About the same number feel they can make a difference to slow global warming. This comes from a poll conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute that queried a thousand people nationally and about half that number in Pennsylvania.
Nationally, some 70 percent of people believe global warming is quote “very or somewhat” real—the study differentiated between the terms climate change and global warming. Tony Kerzmann teaches mechanical engineering and energy and sustainability at Robert Morris. He proposed the study topic and analyzed the results.
"The fact that we have only 70 percent of the national population believes global warming as real or somewhat real is actually a very low number, it should be one-hundred percent at this point. And maybe that goes to show we need to educate our public a little more,” he says.
Nationally, the study showed perhaps surprising results when it came to party lines. Eighty-six percent of Democrats agree that global warming exists, and more than half of Republicans surveyed say the same. One big difference in the survey findings was that Republicans are more confident than Democrats that they can make a difference in curbing global warming or climate change.
Kerzmann says this might mean Republicans are more inclined to promote individual efforts instead of relying on raising taxes or other governmental policies to deal with climate change.