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environment

Polls Show Sharp Drop in Concern over Climate Change

Throughout California and the nation, there’s been a  steady decline in the concern over climate change, stated Dr. Richard Bernard, Sr. Vice President of Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin and Associates, during a workshop entitled  “California’s Changing Views on the Environment,”  presented by Liberty Hill and its partner donees Green LA Coalition and Green LA Institute and hosted by the Emmett Center for Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law.

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An audience of professionals from the environmental and environmental justice worlds as well as students had gathered at  UCLA to glean information that could have an impact upon their work and the future of California, if not the planet.

Bernard and his firm conduct opinion research and provide public policy analysis for their clients, among them progressive organizations hoping to fund their environmental causes through ballot measures in statewide or local elections. Bernard shared data gathered through polling and focus groups that supported a number of conclusions.  Among his findings and insights:

--There is a sense that the economy is changing people’s ideas about the environment, that there has to be a tradeoff between the economy and the environment.

--In a national survey, when respondents were asked which issues were important to them, 79% stated that the economy and employment were important, 49% identified pollution of lakes and streams and 43% said global warming was important.

--Particularly because of the decline in concern over climate change, it’s critical to link the environment positively with the economy.

--Despite the poor economy in 2008, voters throughout the nation approved 62 of 87 land conservation measures--a success rate of 71%.

--Water issues rate higher with the public than all other environmental issues. Case in point: during the California elections of 2006, Prop. 84, a water bond measure, passed, while Prop. 87, a clean energy measure, lost.

CA Leads On The Environment. Pressure From The Grassroots Makes It Possible.

I was gratified to see The L.A. Times' story this morning about how Nancy Sutley, (L.A.'s former Deputy Mayor for Energy and the Environment and now White House Chair on Environmental Quality) took the vanguard ideas about environmental regulation she learned in L.A. and have made them a national standard.