Friday, August 17, 2012

Americans are increasingly concerned about drought and other extreme weather conditions. And, according to a survey conducted for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute (CSI), two-thirds of Americans want the government to take action on weather extremes.

Conducted July 26-30, 2012, the CSI survey found 81 percent of Americans are concerned about “increased drought” and other extreme weather conditions. Three out of four Americans – including 61 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Independents – believe that “with all the current concern about severe drought and the risk of water shortages, America needs to start focusing more on alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, that require less water,” according to CSI.

 “We now understand all too well the harsh realities of the current drought and its relationship to changes in the climate from global warming,” said Civil Society Institute president Pam Solo in a press release issued Thursday. “America’s 'all of the above' non-solution for electricity generation is a dead-end path – one requiring vast amounts of water for coal-fired power plants, nuclear reactors and the fracking extraction of natural gas.”

Solo criticized Congress for not following up on a 2005 mandate that instructed the U.S. Department of Energy to produce a water/energy roadmap.

The survey, conducted for CSI by ORC International, found that two-thirds of Americans now believe that climate change is “real” or “appears to be happening.” Just six percent of respondents said climate change is “definitely not happening.”

Of those who said they believe climate change is real or appears to be happening, 73 percent have been influenced in their views by “recent extreme weather events in the united States – including drought, wildfires, high-wind storms, and other developments.”

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