Most voters see climate change as current problem

Source: By Marie Cusick, StateImpact Pennsylvania • Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A majority of Pennsylvania voters say climate change is causing problems right now, according to a new poll suggesting broad support for policies boosting renewable energy.

The Franklin & Marshall College/StateImpact Pennsylvania poll found that 62 percent of voters say climate change is causing problems today, while 17 percent said the problems haven’t started yet.

Another 17 percent of poll respondents said global warming isn’t happening or wouldn’t cause problems. But even two-thirds of Republicans said climate change is a problem.

“Democrats and independents are much more likely to believe climate change is happening,” said Berwood Yost, director of F&M’s Center for Opinion Research. “But the truth is, a majority of Republicans do believe climate change is real.”

The poll also found 69 percent said Pennsylvania should pursue policies that support renewable energy over fossil fuels, and it found that opposition to shale gas extraction has climbed to 55 percent from 35 percent in 2011.

The margin of error was 6.8 percentage points.

Pennsylvania is the third-largest carbon dioxide-emitting state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.