Latest PPIC survey finds majority of Californians say global warming contributing to drought, admit they don’t know how much water they should be saving

From the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC):

A solid majority of Californians believe that global warming is already having an impact, and nearly two-thirds of residents say it has contributed to the state’s current drought, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

As Governor Brown and state policymakers seek to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 62 percent of Californians say the effects of global warming have begun, while 24 percent say they will happen in the future. Just 10 percent say the effects will never happen. Democrats (73%) and independents (65%) are far more likely than Republicans (37%) to say global warming’s effects have begun. Notably, 31 percent of Republicans say they will never happen. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (69%) are the most likely to say the effects have already begun, followed by blacks (63%), Asians (60%), and whites (58%).

Most residents say that global warming is a very serious (52%) or somewhat serious (27%) threat to California’s future and quality of life. Democrats (66%) are more likely than independents (51%) and far more likely than Republicans (26%) to call the threat very serious.

PPIC chart“The threat of global warming to the state’s future is a shared belief among inland and coastal residents and Californians across racial and ethnic groups,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “But there are persistent partisan divisions on climate change.”

As California copes with a fourth year of drought, 64 percent of residents say global warming has contributed to it, while 28 percent say it has not. The partisan split is sharp: 78 percent of Democrats say global warming has contributed to drought and 62 percent of Republicans say it has not. Asked how concerned they are about the possible impact of global warming on droughts, 84 percent of residents say they are concerned (50% very concerned, 34% somewhat concerned) about droughts that are more severe.

Back to top

Asked to name the most important environmental issue facing the state today, 58 percent of Californians say it is water supply or drought—up 23 points from July 2014 and up 50 points from July 2011. Air pollution ranks a distant second, with 9 percent saying it is the most important issue. Last year was the first year that air pollution was not the top issue and water or drought was number one. Another indication of the importance of the drought: most residents say they are following news about it either very closely (38%) or fairly closely (40%).

A strong majority of Californians (68%) say the water supply in their part of California is a big problem, similar to the shares in March (66%) and May (69%). Residents of the Central Valley (76%) are the most likely and those in Los Angeles (62%) the least likely to say their water supply is a big problem.

Residents take a more positive view of their neighbors’ response to the drought than they did earlier this year. About half (52%) say that people in their region are not doing enough, compared to 66 percent in March and 60 percent in May.

Help fill up Maven’s glass!

Maven’s Notebook remains only half-funded for the year.

Click here to find out how you can help
Print Friendly, PDF & Email