Red, White and Green

alternative energy

By Jason Kelley
June 11, 2011

Consumer Insights

Large majorities of Americans support alternative energy regulations, although a smaller majority believes that global warming and offshore drilling support is increasing.

Fuel Efficiency Seen as Most Important
When asked about alternative energy policy, 79% of US adults want requirements for better fuel efficiency, and 74% want more funding for alternative energy. Smaller majorities want more mass transit funding (63%) and more tax incentives for hybrid/electric vehicles (60%). Alternative energy does not necessarily mean “green” energy, as 45% want to promote more nuclear power use.

60% Believe in Global Warming, Fewer Say It’s Man-Made
Fifty-nine percent of US adults say there is solid evidence that the Earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades. However, only 34% believe it is due to human activity. While these figures have changed little from 2009, in July 2006 much higher percentages both believed in global warming (79%) and human activity being responsible (50%).

1 in 3 Say Global Warming is ‘Very Serious’
About one-third (32%) of US adults say global warming is very serious, while another 31% say it is somewhat serious and 16% say it is not too serious. 18%  say global warming is not a problem at all.

These figures are also little changed from last year, but show a marked decrease in concern about global warming since July 2006. At that time, 43% said global warming is a very serious problem, and only 9% said it is not a problem.

Less than Half Want Government Action
Forty-six percent of US adults want government action regarding global warming, down from 61% in July 2006. Interestingly, the percentage not wanting government action remained almost flat (26% in July 2006 and 29% in October 2010). However, the percentage saying global warming is not a problem jumped from 10% to 21%.