Richard Greene

Democrats better check this poll before promising major action on climate change

A major new survey provides fresh insight into what Americans think should be done, or not done, to deal with climate change.

The Morning Consult research organization has provided responses from the largest national tracking poll I have seen on climate issues topping the Democratic presidential candidates’ agendas.

While many may not be familiar with Morning Consult, the global technology company describes their survey research methodology as trusted by media outlets such as The New York Times, Bloomberg and Politico.

With a margin of error of only two percentage points, the revelations in the survey expose just how disconnected people are from the consequences of global warming that will, according to alarmists, doom civilization in just 12 years.

It is difficult to understand how candidates believe they can find traction with climate change when considering the answer to just the first question in the survey, which asks about the top issue on voters minds.

Among the 14 issues polled, a whopping seven percent of respondents cite climate change as the one that will determine their vote. The economy and jobs was the No. 1 concern, followed closely by healthcare.

While more than half say they believe climate change is happening and caused by human activity, few see themselves as responsible for changing their behaviors to help with it.

Instead, the top response to the question of who should tackle it was the federal government. About 60 percent see themselves as the least capable of addressing it.

Then, a paradox develops. When asked if Congress can be trusted to solve what candidates say is an existential crisis, 64 percent say they strongly or somewhat distrust our representatives in the nation’s capital.

On the question of whether the Green New Deal will help, hurt or have no effect, or if they support or oppose the extreme initiative, half the respondents say they don’t know or have no opinion.

Follow-up questions promoting the plan reveal more support. But that became irrelevant when reality set in.

When asked about their support for achieving 100 percent of America’s energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar in 10 years, which would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, less than 30 percent of respondents offer their support.

Here’s where the rubber hits the road: How much in additional taxes would you be willing to pay help combat climate change?

The No. 1 response, from 37 percent of those surveyed, was that they would be willing to pay nothing more. Another 14 percent said they would pay $1 more, and 22 percent said they would go as high as $5.

Those meager amounts will never produce anywhere close to the trillions of dollars to cover the cost of the Green New Deal. A summary inquiry asked about paying more in electric bills to achieve a complete shift to renewal energy. Some 70 percent said probably or definitely not.

Follow up questions revealed another 70 percent in support for continued use of natural gas as a source of electricity.

The final question asked about the understanding of the Green New Deal. More than a third said they never heard of it. A quarter more said they had but didn’t know what it is, about the same number that said they had only a general sense of it.

Political candidates really should check out the report -- and realize climate change isn’t working for them in spite of the media frenzy surrounding it.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and lectures at UT Arlington.