In what might signal a turning point in environmental sentiment in America, a new poll of hunters and fishermen finds the majority think the country is on the wrong track with its energy policy and should be a leader in combating global warming.
In the poll of licensed hunters and anglers, 76 percent said global warming is occurring and 73 percent believe it is impacting or will impact hunting and fishing conditions. A full 78 percent said the solutions should involve conserving more energy, developing fuel-efficient vehicles and expanding the use of renewable sources.
The nationwide poll of 1,031 hunters and anglers was conducted by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, Virginia for the National Wildlife Federation.
The respondents had voted for President Bush in 2004 by about a 2-to-1 margin, and half of them identified themselves as evangelical Christians.
“We are reaching a tipping point in this country where the vital sportsmen’s constituency is adding its voice to those who recognize global warming is occurring, that it poses serious threats and that action must be taken to address it,” said Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation.
According to the federation, the poll represents an important group of voters. More than 40 million Americans hunt and fish. The typical survey respondent was male, middle-aged and lived in a small town or rural setting.
The membership of the National Wildlife Federation and its 47 state and territorial affiliates includes nearly 750,000 hunters and anglers.
About two-thirds of those surveyed said they would favor a presidential candidate who supports strong laws and immediate action to address global warming. And 75 percent agreed that "Congress should pass legislation that sets a clear national goal for reducing global warming pollution with mandatory timelines because industry has already had enough time to clean up voluntarily."
Complete poll results are available at http://www.targetglobalwarming.org.
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