Insurance giant Munich Re has released the results of a new survey of American attitudes on Climate Change, clean energy and adaptation. The survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that 83% accept that Climate Change is occurring and 71% believe that greater emphasis should be placed on the use of alternative energy including wind and solar.
Additionally, America 2014 Climate Change Barometer found that 66% support government-backed tax incentives to drive business or consumer behavior. And while other surveys have confirmed that Americans overwhelmingly support wind and solar, when it comes to priorities, the nation has other things on its mind.
Only 14% of Americans were concerned most about Climate Change, as opposed to 31% who ranked global political instability highest, 27% who put an economic crisis first, and 22% who are more concerned about the potential for widespread infectious diseases.
Those familiar with recent reports by the IPCC, the IEA or the U.S. military may see the irony in that the degree of Climate Change which we are headed towards will cause all three of those things. However, it is not inconsistent for the American electorate to prioritize short-term concerns over long-term consequences.
The report also comes as the new Republican majority in the U.S. Senate is preparing to take over leadership of committees. This includes Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a champion of the coal and oil industries, who is preparing to take over as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Additionally, Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), a bombastic Climate Change denier, is expected to become chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe is known for his extreme views and has compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo.
Final committee assignments have not yet been made. However, recent election results have already shown that the congressmen and senators which U.S. citizens chose do not share their views on Climate Change and energy.