June 10th Poll Indicates American Willingness to Bear the Cost of Climate Change

June 18, 2014 – It’s only a poll which is hardly an election, but a Bloomberg measure of American attitudes towards tackling climate change show a significant public opinion shift. It appears that 62% of Americans polled are prepared to pay more for energy if it means reducing carbon emissions. Only a third of Americans are not.

Of course in the world of Red, and Blue and Independents, the way Americans divide themselves these days, of those Red Republicans 46% express a willingness to be taxed more if it means carbon emissions are addressed, while 49% say no.  Blue Democrats are 82% willing. And 60% of Independents are on side as well.



New EPA guidelines to reduce emissions from 2005 levels to 2030, by 30% will mean an average 10% hike in electricity costs to Americans. With the upcoming mid-term elections in the United States, the Bloomberg Poll asked if respondents would be influenced in their voting by candidates who were in favor of measures to curb climate change. More than half said yes. Support for action splits between Red, Blue and Independents as well with 28% of Republicans, 70% of Democrats and 51% of Independents backing pro-climate change action candidates.

The catalyst for this change seems to have been President Obama’s conviction and announcements about climate change and the latest executive directives to the EPA. Many Americans remain skeptical that any action by their nation alone is of value. They point to China and others coming on board expressing this as an issue of fairness should America go this route. And the majority of Americans don’t buy into the assertion that reducing carbon will have net health benefits for them, the other card that the President dealt in his announcements of last week reasoning why the need for executive action.

As for believing in the certainty of climate change. Only 48% of Americans say they are believers while 43% say the scientists are manipulating the evidence to support a political agenda.


American views on climate science


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...


  • Scottar

    Bloomberg poll, yah I can take that to the bank.

  • Interesting! Sweden was one of the first countries to impose a carbon tax, in 1995.
    It did not create havoc in the economy, as many feared. In Sweden it is quite common to burn garbage in cogeneration plants and distribute the heat through district heating grids. In summer cold lake and river water is used to cool buildings through the, often paralell, district cooling grids. When in New York a couple of years ago I was astonished to se new builds were they were installing an electric arconditioner in virtually every window! Swedes do, much like Americans, tend to prefer larger cars and our living standard is very much on par with the US, still the average American produce more than four times the carbon dioxide the Swede does.
    Since the carbon tax was introduced the Swedish GNP per capita was around 12 % below the US, today it is more or less equal.
    Maybe carbon tax is one of the necessary means to counter the unfair advantage fossils have over renewables, since fossils continue to be heavily subsidized?
    According to the IEA fossils received 409 billion USD in subsidies in 2010 alone.
    If only some of that money was used to create the solutions the world needs, it might actually trigger a boost in the economy.