Polling climate in California


Seventy-nine percent of Californians accept that global warming is happening, according to a new report (PDF) from the Yale Project on Climate Communication. More than half accept that human activity is responsible for global warming, and more than half accept that there is a consensus among the scientific community whether global warming is happening.

The poll defined global warming as "the idea that the world's average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world's climate may change as a result." Asked, "Do you think that global warming is happening, or not?" 79% of respondents answered yes, 11% answered no, and 10% were not sure.

Asked to assume that global warming is happening and asked why, 58% of respondents said that it was caused mostly by human activities, 23% said that it was caused mostly by natural changes in the environment, 13% volunteered that it was caused by both, 4% said none of these because it isn't happening, and 2% volunteered other answers or were unsure.

Asked about what most scientists think, 55% of respondents said (correctly) that most scientists think that global warming is happening, 37% said that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening, 3% said that most scientists think that global warming is not happening, and 6% were unsure.

The poll was conducted among 800 adult Californians by telephones from June 26 to July 3, 2013. According to the report, "the survey was administered to respondents reached on traditional landline telephones (480) as well as to those reached on cellphones (320). The average margin of error for the total sample [was] +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level."