AUSTIN (KXAN) — There are varying differences of opinion on what Americans believe about climate change and, more specifically, the need for clean energy. Questions about the benefits of solar and wind energy continue to be asked and answered.
So, where do Americans stand when it comes to clean sources of energy? That question was answered in a poll conducted by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland. The responses were overwhelmingly in favor of the need the United States has for clean energy sources.
Specifically, 75% of respondents opined they would have no problem living near solar farms. A solar farm is a large collection of PV (photovoltaic) solar panels harnessing energy from the sun. That energy is converted into electricity which then goes to a power grid for distribution and consumption.
The poll also found that 70% feel the same about wind turbines. Wind turbines convert wind energy into electricity.
Americans overwhelmingly agree that clean energy is needed because of the benefits these green energy sources provide as well as the projects both solar and wind bring to their communities.
What’s more is the poll also imparted that it doesn’t matter where respondents live. More than 65% of those who offered their opinions lived in both urban (66%) and rural (65%) areas.
The poll went one step further by asking respondents what to what party they are affiliated. Two-thirds of Republicans said building solar panels in their communities would be a good thing while 59% would be comfortable with wind turbines.
Democrat numbers were much higher, with 87% polled agreeable to solar farms and 79% with wind farms.
There was one more numerical tidbit this poll found. Less than 50% of both parties said they would be agreeable to a nuclear power plant in their areas.
Something else the poll found about this is that the media has done a bad job reporting on how Americans feel about clean energy sources, instead focusing on the negatives about said sources and the need for them.
But while there is widespread support for new green energy sources there is still one segment of America that continues to express opposition to this need with a “Not in My Backyard” attitude. This poses a big challenge when it comes to projects to build solar farms and wind turbine fields.
Our country is the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter. In addition, 25% of the country’s carbon dioxide comes for electricity generation.
Eliminating this carbon pollution by 2035 is one of the goals set forth by President Joe Biden. What does this entail? It would require the country doing a massive shift from fossil fuels.
Overall, the majority of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, understand the need to reduce emissions as part of the battle against climate change. It boils down to the more people understanding the need for solar and wind sources the better the opportunity for solar farms being constructed where they live.
But until that happens, the major issue will continue to be the denial of many who don’t believe, or perhaps understand, that our climate is changing.