Archive for November 27, 2013

What Do Americans Really Think About Climate Change?

Percentage of Americans who believe global warming will pose a serious problem for the United States

Ever wonder how Pennsylvania’s opinions on climate change compare with other states?

A recent study from Stanford University combined results from national surveys of Americans’ opinions on climate change. The results are broken down state-by-state on a variety of topics and questions.

These include: Has past global warming been caused by humans? Will global warming pose a serious problem for the United States? Should the U.S. government do more to address global warming?

To view all the maps and poll questions, click here. For Pennsylvania-specific results, click here.

Executive Order: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

Earlier this month, President Obama issued an executive order to prepare the Nation for climate disruption. This statement, which can be read in full here, provides steps towards implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan.

The executive order begins by outlining a general policy overview, stating that climate change impacts “are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation.” President Obama calls for a coordinated plan among all stakeholders to improve climate preparedness and resilience.

Section 2 focuses on reforming Federal programs to encourage action on climate change protection. This includes removing barriers to projects that improve climate change resilience and providing opportunities for climate protection investments.

The next section calls for agencies to assess changes to land- and water- related programs “to make the Nation’s watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them, more resilient in the face of a changing climate.” Much of this work will be completed by the teams outlined in Section 4, titled “Providing Information, Data, and Tools for Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience.”

Finally, the order calls for agencies to regularly report their plans and actions, which will be monitored by the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.  In addition, a State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force will provide recommendations and input to the President and Council.

To learn more, watch this PBS and Bloomberg News commentary, read this White House fact sheet, or read the entire executive order here.

Pittsburgh Environment Survey Results

According to the recent Pittsburgh Regional Environment Survey, more than 64 percent of Pittsburgh residents believe climate change is a severe or moderate problem, and only 18.5 percent do not think climate change is a problem. With a sample size of 805 citizens living in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, the results of this survey provide the most comprehensive profile to date of the environment-related behaviors of Pittsburgh residents. This survey also analyzes citizens’ perspectives on issues ranging from air and water quality to government regulation, Marcellus Shale drilling and climate change. You can find the entire report online here.