Filed under: Global Warming, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Economy, Environment, Junk Science
What do Americans believe about energy and the environment? The Manhattan Institute undertook a poll, with the help of Zogby, to find out with a survey in January of 2009 of 1,000 Americans, chosen to be representative of public opinion generally. Some examples:
- 49 percent of respondents believe that Saudia Arabia exports the most oil to the U.S., while only 13 percent correctly identified Canada as our major supplier. Only 16.1 percent of our imports came from the Persian Gulf region.
- More than 67 percent believe that we can meet future energy demand through conservation and efficiency. Historically, energy demand increases with efficiency gains. The Energy Information Administration projects U.S. energy use to increase 11.2 percent from 2007 to 2030, while global energy consumption will increase by 50 percent.
- Only 37 percent correctly answered that no one has ever died from the actual generation of nuclear power in the U.S. The U.S. has not built a nuclear -power reactor since the meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979, 104 active reactors safely generate roughly one fifth of our nations electricity.
- 63 percent of those surveyed believe that human activity is the greatest source of greenhouse gases. In fact, such emissions are significantly smaller than natural emissions. Most of the CO2 that enters the atmosphere comes from the oceans and the biosphere — 41.46 and 55.28 percent respectively. The burning of fossil fuels accounts for only 3.27 percent of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere.
- Fewer than 28 percent believe that U.S. air quality has improved since 1970. The six most common pollutants have decreased by more than 50 percent. Air toxins from large industrial sources have fallen by nearly 70 percent, and new cars are more than 90 percent cleaner. During the same period, GDP tripled, energy consumption increased 50 percent and motor vehicle use increased almost 200 percent.
Offshore oil drilling can be accomplished in an environmentally sensitive manner. Spent nuclear fuel can be stored safely. 91 percent of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels and uranium. Renewables will not soon make any significant dent in that.
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