Arizona’s Views on Climate Change
A research team from the University of Arizona and Stanford University conducted a survey in November and December 2014 of 803 adult Arizona residents to better understand their concerns and tailor UA climate change research to address their needs. The questions were asked in English or Spanish. The results provide valuable insight into Arizonans’ views on climate change and how those views vary depending on age, gender, ethnicity, and political affiliation. Overall, Arizonans are interested and engaged in the issue of climate change, and their views on global warming are generally in step with the rest of the nation.
Summary of Key Findings
A large majority of Arizona residents believe that the world’s temperature has been rising (74%), that it is at least partly caused by human activity (78%), and that it will continue to rise if nothing is done to stop it (75%).
More women in Arizona than men believe the federal and state governments should take action to prepare for the effects of global warming and that doing so would help the economy.
Three-quarters of people surveyed believe global warming will be a serious problem for Arizona, the U.S., and the world and that it will hurt future generations if nothing is done to reduce it in the future.
Hispanics are more concerned about the impacts of global warming than white or other groups. A greater percentage of Hispanics want the government to limit emissions and implement policies such as cap and trade and regulation for energy efficiency.
More people believe that federal or state action to prepare for or reduce the effects of global warming would help the Arizona economy than the proportion who believes government action would hurt the state economy or have no effect.
A greater percentage of younger people (under 35) are concerned about the impacts of a warming world than people over 35. Younger adults are also more likely to favor government action to reduce emissions and are more favorably inclined toward cap and trade and tax breaks for renewables and efficiency.
Generally, Arizonans’ views on global warming are not substantially different from those of the U.S. as a whole. Responses to some questions indicate that Arizonans are more concerned that the impacts of climate change will hurt them personally (43% Arizona compared to 32% U.S.).
In Arizona, more Democrats and independents than Republicans believe that the planet’s temperature has been increasing and that government should address it through such measures as cap and trade, greenhouse gas fees, regulation, and tax breaks. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans believe the U.S. and Arizona governments should limit greenhouse gas emissions, and more Republicans than Democrats and independents believe that action on global warming would hurt the economy.
More than 70% believe that the U.S. and Arizona governments should take action on global warming and should limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by businesses. Most respondents believe making electricity from sunlight (88%), wind (81%), and naturally flowing water (82%) are good ideas; 24% believe making electricity from coal is a good idea.
The Within Arizona Difference Report contains the results for a subset of survey interview questions. The data tables in the document show the percent of respondents giving the answers in the categories listed for each question, and they are divided into sections, based on the within-Arizona difference of interest. The interest categories include gender, ethnicity, age, political party affiliation, and Maricopa vs. Pima counties. The first column in each table shows the results for all Arizonans, and the subsequent columns show the comparison categories. Comparisons with statistically significant differences are highlighted in a blue font color. Statistically significant refers to the likelihood that a result is caused by something other than random chance.
Arizona TOPLINE Summary contains the results for all survey interview questions. The data tables in the document show the percent of respondents giving the answers in the categories listed for each question. There are two columns in each table: AZ_2014 shows the results for this survey of Arizonans, conducted in late 2014; Jan-2015 shows the results for a national survey conducted in early 2015. Thus the results contrast attitudes of Arizonans with those of the nation. This document also shows the alternative phrasings used by the survey interviewers. The document does not indicate the statistical significance of the comparison responses.