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. Americans See Climate Threat But Reluctant To Conserve

Only 38 percent of respondents said they supported a higher tax on gasoline to discourage energy consumption and to fight global warming.
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) April 27, 2007
A strong majority of people in the United States see global warming as an imminent danger but not all are ready to make big sacrifices to slow climate change, according to a new poll Friday. The New York Times/CBS poll said that even among Republicans, traditionally less likely to support environmental issues, 60 percent believed the threats to the global climate require immediate action. Among Democrats, the figure was 90 percent.

Overall, Americans believed by 52 percent to 36 percent that protecting the environment was a greater priority than stimulating the economy, and 68 percent thought it more important to encourage energy conversation that to increase energy production, emphasized by only 21 percent.

But Americans were less willing to make big sacrifices to their lifestyles to help fight climate change, according to the poll.

Despite the huge popularity of gas-guzzling sports, luxury and four-wheel-drive cars in the country, 92 percent said they thought car manufacturers should be required to produce more energy-efficient vehicles.

But only 38 percent said they supported a higher tax on gasoline to discourage energy consumption and to fight global warming.

That figure dropped to only 20 percent if the tax increase was two dollars a gallon (3.8 liters), which would effectively increase the current gas price by more than 40 percent.

Politically speaking, 57 percent thought the Democratic Party, which currently controls the Congress, more likely to protect the environment, while only 14 percent thought the Republicans -- the party of President George W. Bush -- better guardians of the environment.

The poll surveyed 1,052 adults during the past week and had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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