A thousand potential California voters were asked this open ended question: What are the main issues facing California.
Respondents said that the most pressing issues were:
• The state budget and budget deficit (18 percent)
• The economy in general (12 percent)
• Gasoline prices (9 percent)
• Education (9 percent)
• Illegal immigrants (9 percent)
• Unemployment (7 percent)
• Housing and the mortgage crisis (5 percent)
• High taxes (3 percent)
• Government spending (3 percent)
• Global warming or environment (2 percent)
The total does not add up to 100 percent due to the multiple other issues in the open ended question that did not score. Full Reuters article here.
Of course environmentalist attacked the credibility of this study by EMC Research for the AB32 Implementation Group. A group formed to track the implications of the legislation. According to the Reuters article:
"I don't see any merit in a survey that lacks credibility. The questions are so leading and misleading," said Wendy James, manager of the Global Warming Action Coalition based in Southern California.
But, as the Reuters article notes:
About 80 percent of the respondents said they had not heard about California's landmark legislation passed in 2006 and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that mandates a cut of global warming gases to 1990 levels by 2020.
So where is the groundswell of support for the implementation of AB32? What it comes down to is that California are for environmental protection until it starts to cost them personally. It is OK if the cost comes from somebody else's wallet, but not from their own pocket book. The scary thing is that eighty percent of Californian's are not paying attention and the Legislature and the Governor preparing some very costly surprises.
Also from the EMC Research survey:
Sixty-three percent of the Californians surveyed said that they support the goal of reducing carbon emissions. But, when informed that cutting carbon could mean higher energy prices, the support fell to 47 percent.
On the other hand, back in 2007 when the Institute of Public Policy Institute conducted a survey of 2,504 California's on how they felt about Global Warming, the results were very different. But, the questions were all about others paying the bill not those being questioned. Full report here.
• Overwhelming majorities of adults and likely
voters continue to favor the state’s efforts
to reduce the effects of global warming,
including state laws requiring a reduction in
auto emissions and in greenhouse gas
emissions. Majority support for these state
laws is found in all political, regional, and
demographic groups. (page 17)
• The public overwhelmingly supports the
adoption by state government of measures
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
increasing the use of renewable energy,
such as solar and wind power, by utilities;
requiring lower emissions from industrial
plants, refineries, and commerce;
encouraging local governments to change
land use and transportation planning so
that people drive less; and requiring greater
energy efficiency in homes and business.
Interesting how the results could be so different. It could be that with a declining economy that environmental protection has dropped in priority. When Californians are trying to save their jobs, their homes, and feed their kids, protecting the environment is not such a big issue. We will have to see how all this plays out, when the global warming protection tax bills start to come due. Will people pay to solve a non-existing problem? For how long, when California's economy is collapsing around us. Stay Tuned.