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Poll: Floridians Concerned About Global Warming Dangers

MIAMI, Florida, July 10, 2008 (ENS) – A new public opinion poll of Floridians finds that most are convinced that global warming is happening now and that more should be done by key leaders to help Florida deal with climate change.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed believe that global warming is already having or will have dangerous impacts on people in Florida within the next 10 years.

Sixty-nine percent believe that parts of the state’s coasts may need to be abandoned due to rising sea levels over the next 50 years.


Sea level rise and storm surge
endangers these Florida beachfront
homes. (Photo courtesy FEMA)

The survey is the first to study Floridians’ opinions about global warming. It was conducted by researchers at Yale University and the University of Miami, with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

A survey of 1,077 adults in Florida from May 1, 2008 to May 19, 2008 was fielded by Knowledge Networks, using a representative, online research panel.

The survey found that a majority of Floridians are convinced that global warming is happening (71%) and that global warming is caused mainly by human activities (55%), or caused equally by humans and natural changes (13%).

“Floridians believe global warming will have serious consequences here at home and are growing increasingly concerned about the issue,” said Dr. Kenny Broad, associate professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Large majorities believe that global warming will cause worse storms, hurricanes and tornadoes (80%), droughts and water shortages (80%), flooding of major cities (68%), food shortages (68%), less tourism (64%), and increased rates of disease (57%).

In line with these concerns, large majorities support state policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even if these policies impact their own pocketbook.

Sixty-five percent support requiring electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from wind, solar or other renewable energy sources, even it if costs the average household an extra $100 per year.

Sixty-five percent support a state subsidy to encourage building owners to replace old water heaters, air conditioners, light bulbs, and insulation, even if it cost the average household $5 a month in higher taxes. Sixty-three percent of those polled support the installation of solar panels on state-owned buildings, even if the electricity generated is significantly more expensive than what state government normally pays for its electricity.

“Large majorities of Floridians want Governor [Charlie] Crist, their state legislators, and their own mayors to do more to address global warming,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change at Yale University. “Many Floridians also say they are willing to act individually to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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