Public Opinion Quarterly. 71, 444–470 (2007).
Matthew Nisbet and Teresa Myers compiled 20 years of public opinion surveys regarding the issue of climate change providing the first “authoritative summary of their collective findings.” The surveys looked at public awareness and knowledge of global warming, their perceptions of the level of certainty among experts about the issue, their concern about the impacts, their support for policy action in light of economic costs, and support of the Kyoto climate treaty.
This study found that the amount of public awareness regarding the issue highly depends on media coverage, resulting in changing levels of awareness over the years. In addition, global warming usually remains at the lower end of the public’s worries, especially in comparison to water-related pollution. In regards to potential solutions, the general public tended to be more supportive of alternative energy sources and emission limits on industry and automobiles, however less inclined towards the use of nuclear energy and taxes on electricity and gasoline.
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