Poll shows support for solar power, belief in climate change
BOSTON — The majority of those responding to a recent poll believe that climate change is happening and that solar power is the most popular form of renewable energy to fight the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The poll of Massachusetts voters, conducted by NPR affiliate radio station WBUR, was conducted by The MASS Inc Polling Group between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, 2015, and surveyed 504 registered Massachusetts voters. It came at a time that the state Legislature seemed deadlocked on advancing legislation to lift the net metering caps that are limiting solar development.
According to the results, when asked the question, "In thinking about future energy needs, which of these energy sources do you think we should rely on more and which should we rely on less here in Massachusetts," solar energy led the field with 84 percent, wind power was next with 77 percent. Hydro power was third at 62 percent.
The lower half of the field was made up of natural gas (50 percent), nuclear power (24 percent), oil (14 percent) and coal (10 percent).
Respondents also favored paying $10 per month more on energy (with 58 percent in favor and 32 percent against) if it helped to significantly reduce greenhouse gases.
The idea that the Earth's temperatures have been slowly rising over the past 100 years was endorsed by 78 percent of those polled.
Those who believe human activities in whole or in part have caused a warming climate added up to 77 percent.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents believe that the effects of climate change have already started. Inaction will cause very or somewhat serious consequences in Massachusetts, according to 72 percent of those who answered.
When asked whether they thought global warning can still be stopped, 55 percent said yes, and 26 percent said it is already too late.
Results of the poll can be found at:
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