A majority of Americans polled would pay higher taxes, or accept a higher price on a new home, if it meant the added money was going toward energy efficiency improvements that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming, according to a new poll by GfK Public Affairs and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
More than 2,000 people were polled by telephone, and there's a +/- 3 percentage points sampling error.
Here's a look at the results:
Those findings suggest that there's widespread support, at least in principle, for progressive policies aimed at "smart growth" planning that encourages compact dense development around existing town centers, which de-emphasizes the need to drive a car and allows more walking, biking and use of public transportation to get to school, shopping, work and recreation. In other words, reducing sprawl reduces emissions, and people are speaking up in favor of that -- for the most part (they still don't want apartment houses in their towns, overall, and they don't want any taxes on gas).
The survey should support the efforts of local politicians and advocates -- particularly in fast growing parts of the country -- who want to see progressive land use policies in place. Few communities require new homes to meet Energy Star efficiency standards, and few towns offer incentives for energy efficiency renovations -- though those seem to be popular policies among poll-takers.
"City and local leaders are critical players in the effort to reduce global warming, and its clear that their constituents want action," said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale Project on Climate Change, one of the sponsors of the groundbreaking survey measuring public opinion of local government-led green initiatives. "The public is on board and willing to help foot the bill. All thats left to do now is act."
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.