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Even Republicans agree that “Global Warming” is Real

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
  • Most say NO to new taxes to improve environment
  • More Republicans than Democrats say global warming can be slowed
  • 12.5% have measured their carbon footprint

PITTSBURGH – The harsh winter that has rocked much of the nation has not dissuaded most Americans that global warming is occurring, according the results of a survey of 1,006 adults released today by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media.

That there still are some doubters is troubling to Tony Kerzmann, a professor of mechanical engineering and energy expert at Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh.

“Scientists not only agree on global warming and climate change, but find that it is extremely likely that temperature increases are caused by manmade factors,” said Kerzmann.

With regard to environmental issues, the poll indicated that:

  • On a composite basis, 70.4% of Americans surveyed indicated that “global warming” was very or somewhat real.  The percent is significantly higher among Democrats (86.4%) than Republicans (52.2%) yet more than half of all Republicans surveyed believe global warming is very or somewhat real.
  • Overall, significantly more respondents believe “climate change” is very or somewhat real – at 80.1%.  Democrats (89.8%) are more likely to believe climate change was very or somewhat real than Republicans (68.7%).
  • Republicans are more likely, at 52.2%, to suggest they can make a difference and contribute to slowing any global warming or climate change occurring than Democrats (47.4%).
  • Over one-half, 57.7% of all respondents agreed (strongly or somewhat) that tax dollars should be re-directed to help reduce global warming or climate change.  Democrats were significantly more like to agree (74.7%) than Republicans (41.9%).
  • Just 12.5% of all Americans surveyed have measured their carbon footprint to determine their impact on the environment.  Results are not significantly different between Republicans (11.1%) and Democrats (15.1%).
  • Just two-fifths or 41.2%, agreed that they would be very or somewhat willing to pay more in taxes to improve the environment.  Democrats were more inclined at 54.8% than Republicans at 30.3%.

“I suspect that if we had asked people if they would be willing to pay more in order to improve their health, more people might have said yes,” said Kerzmann. “Yet in many cases environmental issues directly affect health.”

Nationwide, people surveyed had taken different types of steps to reduce their impact on the environment. These include recycling, installation of CFL or LED bulbs or energy efficient appliances, home insulation, replaced windows and the purchase of green or energy efficient products and services. Less frequent steps included the purchase of a fully electric car or buying carbon credits.

ABOUT THE POLL: The Poll was conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media.  Polling by the Institute is conducted on a regular basis and may also include spontaneous polling on occurring events.

METHODOLOGY:  The Poll sampled opinions of 1006 approximately proportional to state population contribution nationwide.  The survey was conducted February 15 – 21, 2014. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis. 

ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY:  Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Learn more at


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