Global warming worries California voters, poll finds

Published: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 - 6:34 pm | Page 3A

A new survey shows most California voters don't like government's response to global warming and still support the state's greenhouse gas emissions law.

The Field Poll results released today show that 62 percent of voters are unhappy with the federal government's actions and nearly half, 49 percent, give low marks to what the state is doing.

Overall, about two-thirds of California voters think global warming is so serious that government needs to combat it and 70 percent support Assembly Bill 32, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by regulating industrial polluters.

Both support levels are down somewhat from 2007, one year after AB 32's passage, when 79 percent of voters supported the law and 76 percent wanted something done about climate change.

Republicans, voters 65 and older, Central Valley residents and voters with no more than a high school education tend to believe that more research is needed or that concerns are unwarranted, the poll found.

They also tended to be "by far the people most opposed to AB 32," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. "Any government action is misguided, from their standpoint."

Luis Hernandez, a 26-year-old registered Democrat, said he's a global-warming skeptic. He thinks government is overreacting.

"It's what I hear on the news," said the Merced resident, "but I'm not a scientist."

On the other side, Democrats, independents, voters up to age 40, San Francisco Bay Area residents, Asian Americans and college graduates tended to think global warming is serious and merits more government action.

"The skeptics don't think government has a role," DiCamillo said. "People who do, view the federal government as dragging its feet."

Sacramento catering business owner Rose Wallace, 63, said the weather has become "topsy-turvy" in her lifetime, and that government work to counter it.

"I think we're going to wait on doing something until it's too late," Wallace said. "This is serious."

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