85 research outputs found

    Policy-Instrument Choice and Benefit Estimates for Climate-Change Policy in the United States

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    This paper provides the first willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates in support of a national climate-change policy that are comparable with the costs of actual legislative efforts in the U.S. Congress. Based on a survey of 2,034 American adults, we find that households are, on average, willing to pay between 79and79 and 89 per year in support of reducing domestic greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions 17 percent by 2020. Even very conservative estimates yield an average WTP at or above $60 per year. Taking advantage of randomized treatments within the survey valuation question, we find that mean WTP does not vary substantially among the policy instruments of a cap-and-trade program, a carbon tax, or a GHG regulation. But there are differences in the sociodemographic characteristics of those willing to pay across policy instruments. Greater education always increases WTP. Older individuals have a lower WTP for a carbon tax and a GHG regulation, while greater household income increases WTP for these same two policy instruments. Republicans, along with those indicating no political party affiliation, have a significantly lower WTP regardless of the policy instrument. But many of these differences are no longer evident after controlling for respondent opinions about whether global warming is actually happening.

    Toward a New Consciousness: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities

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    A Synthesis of Insights and Recommendations from the 2007 Yale F&ES Conferenc

    The wisdom of crowds: predicting a weather and climate-related event

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    types: ArticleArticle published in open-access journal, Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(2), pp. 91-105Environmental uncertainty is at the core of much of human activity, ranging from daily decisions by individuals to long-term policy planning by governments. Yet, there is little quantitative evidence on the ability of non-expert individuals or populations to forecast climate-related events. Here we report on data from a 90-year old prediction game on a climate related event in Alaska: the Nenana Ice Classic (NIC). Participants in this contest guess to the nearest minute when the ice covering the Tanana River will break, signaling the start of spring. Previous research indicates a strong correlation between the ice breakup dates and regional weather conditions. We study betting decisions between 1955 and 2009. We find the betting distribution closely predicts the outcome of the contest. We also find a significant correlation between regional temperatures as well as past ice breakups and betting behavior, suggesting that participants incorporate both climate and historical information into their decision-making

    What do Republicans and Democrats think about climate change? It depends on where they live

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    As with most political issues, neither Republicans nor Democrats are completely against or in favor of action to tackle climate change. In new research Matto Mildenberger, Peter Howe, Jennifer Marlon, and Anthony Leiserowitz investigate how support for climate action varies from state to state for both party's supporters. They find that the belief that global warming is happening as well as support for particular climate mitigation policies varies widely across both states and congressional districts. Many Republicans, for example, believe that global warming is happening, but not that it is human-caused. Such contradictory beliefs, however, do not seem to affect Republicans’ support for funding research on renewables or even the regulation of carbon pollution

    The wisdom of crowds: Predicting a weather and climate-related event

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    Environmental uncertainty is at the core of much of human activity, ranging from daily decisions by individuals to long-term policy planning by governments. Yet, there is little quantitative evidence on the ability of non-expert individuals or populations to forecast climate-related events. Here we report on data from a 90-year old prediction game on a climate related event in Alaska: the Nenana Ice Classic (NIC). Participants in this contest guess to the nearest minute when the ice covering the Tanana River will break, signaling the start of spring. Previous research indicates a strong correlation between the ice breakup dates and regional weather conditions. We study betting decisions between 1955 and 2009. We find the betting distribution closely predicts the outcome of the contest. We also find a significant correlation between regional temperatures as well as past ice breakups and betting behavior, suggesting that participants incorporate both climate and historical information into their decision-making

    Climate Change Activism Among Latino and White Americans

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    Research indicates that Latinos have particularly strong pro-environmental attitudes and support for policies to reduce climate change. This study explores differences in climate change activism (i.e., contacting government officials) between Latino and non-Latino White citizens in the United States, and the individual and social factors that predict engagement. Two parallel, nationally representative surveys find that Latinos (n = 1,433) are more likely than Whites (n = 861) to report having contacted a government official in the past and are more willing to contact officials in the future. Key predictors of Latinos' significantly higher levels of political engagement include greater risk perceptions, egalitarian worldviews, pro-environment injunctive norms, collective political efficacy, and greater social network effects. Competitive mediation analyses find that stronger risk perceptions best predict differences in climate change activism between Latinos and Whites. Climate change communicators might particularly seek to amplify Latinos' pro-climate tendencies (e.g., heightened risk perceptions) and social norms to encourage greater climate action by this vital and growing segment of the U.S. population

    Do Americans Understand That Global Warming Is Harmful to Human Health? Evidence From a National Survey

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    Background: Global warming has significant negative consequences for human health, with some groups at greater risk than others. The extent to which the public is aware of these risks is unclear; the limited extant research has yielded discrepant findings. Objectives: This paper describes Americans' awareness of the health effects of global warming, levels of support for government funding and action on the issue, and trust in information sources. We also investigate the discrepancy in previous research findings between assessments based on open- versus closed-ended questions. Methods: A nationally representative survey of US adults (N = 1275) was conducted online in October 2014. Measures included general attitudes and beliefs about global warming, affective assessment of health effects, vulnerable populations and specific health conditions (open- and closed-ended), perceived risk, trust in sources, and support for government response. Findings: Most respondents (61%) reported that, before taking the survey, they had given little or no thought to how global warming might affect people's health. In response to a closed-ended question, many respondents (64%) indicated global warming is harmful to health, yet in response to an open-ended question, few (27%) accurately named one or more specific type of harm. In response to a closed-ended question, 33% indicated some groups are more affected than others, yet on an open-ended question only 25% were able to identify any disproportionately affected populations. Perhaps not surprising given these findings, respondents demonstrated only limited support for a government response: less than 50% of respondents said government should be doing more to protect against health harms from global warming, and about 33% supported increased funding to public health agencies for this purpose. Respondents said their primary care physician is their most trusted source of information on this topic, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and their local public health department. Conclusions: Most Americans report a general sense that global warming can be harmful to health, but relatively few understand the types of harm it causes or who is most likely to be affected. Perhaps as a result, there is only moderate support for an expanded public health response. Primary care physicians and public health officials appear well positioned to educate the public about the health relevance of climate chang
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