Survey: Most Ohioans believe global warming is happening

(FOX19) - A recent statewide survey of Ohioans finds that most (70 percent) believe global warming is happening, while only 16 percent believe it is not happening.

Over half believe that if global warming is happening, it is mostly due to human activities.

"Many Ohioans have connected the dots between climate change and extreme weather, and believe that it will increasingly impact the state over time," said lead investigator Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD, of Yale University.

Of those who believe global warming is happening, large majorities say that it is already having an influence on the severity of heat waves (90%), droughts (88%), and flooding of rivers or lakes (87%) in Ohio.

Further, of those Ohioans who believe climate change is happening, large majorities say that over the next 50 years, climate change will cause more heat waves, worse storms, declining numbers of fish and native wildlife, droughts and water shortages, increased allergies, asthma, infectious diseases, or other health problems, and more power outages in the state.

A majority of Ohioans support more climate action at all levels of government—from Congress (59%) and President Obama (54%), to Ohio's state legislature (56%) and Governor Kasich (54%), to local government officials (53%). And even more say that corporations and industry (69%) and citizens themselves (65%) should be doing more to address climate change.

However, Ohioans see global warming as a relatively distant threat. While 70 percent believe global warming will harm future generations of people and plant and animal species, only 35 percent believe it will harm them personally.

The report, Climate Change in the Ohioan Mind, includes findings about Ohioans' climate change beliefs and attitudes, observations of climate impacts and extreme weather, support for climate and energy policies, personal actions to limit global warming, and communication about the issue.

These findings come from a statewide, representative survey of Ohio conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. A total of 800 adults over the age of 18 were interviewed by phone.

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