Survey: 'Green' Actions Not Bound by Political Persuasion

The number of "green" actions a person takes has little to do with whether they’re a Republican or a Democrat, according to a new survey.

Of the 11,000 American adults, 65 percent of those who always vote Republican and 71 percent of those who always vote Democrat said they were actively reducing energy use in their homes.

On the whole, Democrats performed about 15 percent more "green" actions than Republicans, the survey found.

Those who considered climate change a danger, but a combatable one, were undertaking about 60 percent more activities to protect the environment than those who did not, regardless of political persuasion.

"These data tell us that in some ways, climate change is not the partisan issue we see every day in the media," said survey team member Ed Maibach of the Center of Excellence in Climate Change Communication Research at George Mason University. "People across the political spectrum who see the serious risks and feel they can do something to stop climate change are more likely to be taking action today."

The survey, announced today, was conducted in the late spring and summer of 2007 by George Mason researchers and Porter Novelli.

The survey found Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans to believe that global warming is a serious problem.

While more than half of the adults surveyed agreed that "global warming is a very serious problem," one quarter to one third of adults were undecided as to the dangers posed by global warming.

"We need to do a better job of giving these people useful information about global warming," Maibach said.

Andrea Thompson
Live Science Contributor

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.