American Opinions on Global Warming

14 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2010 Last revised: 16 Apr 2010

Date Written: 2003


Anthony Leiserowitz and the University of Oregon Survey Research Laboratory (OSRL) conducted a national survey entitled “American Opinions on Global Warming” between November 2002 and February 2003 (n=673).

This research found that of those Americans who have heard of global warming (92%):

• Over 90% think the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

• A strong majority (77%) support government regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant and investment in renewable energy (71%).

• A strong majority (88%) support the Kyoto Protocol and (76%) want the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do.

• While a majority favor a tax on "gas guzzlers" (54%), strong majorities oppose a gasoline tax (78%) or a business energy tax (60%) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

• They divide evenly (40%) regarding a market-based emissions trading system, while 18% are uncertain.

• Democrats and Liberals express stronger support for climate change policies than Republicans and Conservatives.

• Independents and Moderates show levels of support more similar to Democrats and Liberals than to Republicans and Conservatives.

• Nonetheless, majorities of Republicans and Conservatives support most climate change policies.

Keywords: Global warming, climate change, public opinion, United States

Suggested Citation

Leiserowitz, Anthony A., American Opinions on Global Warming (2003). Available at SSRN: or

Anthony A. Leiserowitz (Contact Author)

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States
(541) 485-2400 (Phone)
(541) 485-2403 (Fax)


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