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(08/08/07) -

Americans Chide Bush on Climate Change Efforts

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States are disappointed with the way their president has dealt with global warming, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates released by Newsweek. 68 per cent of respondents think the George W. Bush administration has not done enough to try to address climate change.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States are disappointed with the way their president has dealt with global warming, according to a poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates released by Newsweek. 68 per cent of respondents think the George W. Bush administration has not done enough to try to address climate change.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. has not ratified the treaty, which is due to expire in 2012.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Earlier this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which states that global warming has been “very likely”—or 90 per cent certain—caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

When asked to assess specific things the federal government might do to address climate change, 57 per cent of respondents favour lowering the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants are allowed to release into the air, while 44 per cent support building cars that use less gasoline. In addition, 34 per cent of respondents call for air conditioners, refrigerators, or other appliances that use less electricity, and 27 per cent back building new homes and offices that use less energy for heating and cooling.

Earlier this month, Bush invited the leaders of 16 nations, the UN, and the European Union (EU) to a two-day conference on climate change, scheduled for Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 in Washington. In his letter of invitation, the American president wrote: “We expect to place special emphasis on how major economies can, in close cooperation with the private sector, accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies, a critical component of an effective global approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Polling Data

Do you think the Bush administration has done as much as it should to try to address climate change and reduce global warming, or hasn’t done enough?

Done as much as it should

21%

Hasn’t done enough

68%

Don’t know

11%

As I read you some things the government might do to address climate change and reduce global warming, please tell me if each is something you think government should require by law, or should encourage through tax breaks, but not require, or should stay out of entirely.

Require

Encourage

Stay out of

Don’t Know

Lowering the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants are allowed to release into the air

57%

21%

14%

8%

Building cars that use less gasoline

44%

33%

16%

7%

Building air conditioners, refrigerators, or other appliances that use less electricity

34%

39%

21%

6%

Building new homes and offices that use less energy for heating and cooling

27%

48%

19%

6%

Source: Princeton Survey Research Associates / Newsweek
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,002 American adults, conducted on Aug. 1, 2007. Margin of error is 4 per cent.