Climate change worries 4 in 5 San Diegans

More than half think warming not caused by human activities

By Deborah Sullivan Brennan
MAY 18,2013, San Diego Union Tribune

More than four out of five San Diegans are concerned about climate change, according to a newly released poll commissioned by a coalition of local universities and policy groups.

The telephone survey of 1,211 residents found that 84 percent of respondents believe climate change is happening, but that more than half think it’s not caused by human activities. About 72 percent believe climate change will affect them personally, while 58 percent believe their actions can make a difference in curtailing its effects.

Climate Education Partners, which commissioned the polling, includes the University of San Diego, California State University San Marcos, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Foundation.

The survey of randomly selected residents cut across ethnic, economic and political lines, with 30 percent of participants answering in Spanish, said Michel Boudrias, lead scientist for Climate Education Partners and chairman of the University of San Diego’s department of marine science and environmental studies.

In a bid for political balance, the coalition commissioned a bipartisan polling team made up of Public Opinion Strategies, a national Republican political and public affairs research firm, and FM3, a California-based polling group that skews Democratic, Boudrias said.

The study’s results were comparable to those of a 2012 survey that found 85 percent of San Diegans are confident climate change is occurring. They contrast with national surveys showing that about two-thirds of Americans feel that way.

“The first really important statement that come out of both of our surveys is that we have a large percentage of people who are concerned about climate change, much more so than the national average,” Boudrias said. “It shows how San Diegans are connected to nature and weather and our way of life.” 

Contact:

Katie Bamburg
climate@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-2281