April 20, 2007

Majority of Sacramento residents concerned about environment

Full Report (pdf)

With Earth Day fast approaching, a recent survey finds a majority of Sacramento residents are concerned about the environment. According to the 2007 Sacramento State Annual Survey of the Region, 74 percent of residents think that the threat of global warming is either very serious (48 percent) or somewhat serious (26 percent).

The survey, conducted by Sacramento State Professor Amy Liu and her students, also found that 65 percent of Sacramento residents believe that if we fail to take strong action now we may experience a major ecological catastrophe. They also believe our actions must be carefully planned: an overwhelming majority of residents recognize that the balance of nature is delicate (77 percent), and 79 percent believe that when humans interfere with nature it can lead to disastrous consequences.

And residents believe in a plan of action—86 percent of Sacramento area residents support water conservation measures as a way to address the dwindling water supply, and 88 percent believe local governments in the region should restrict the construction of new homes in areas without adequate flood protection.

However, support for new area dams to control flooding, store water and generate electricity is moderate. Fully 46 percent support the Auburn dam project, and 44 percent support two dam construction projects proposed for northern California by the Governor. However, many have either not yet formed an opinion or have not heard about the three dams. If the analysis focused exclusively on those who have heard about the dams, support would increase to 52 percent for all three projects.

There is a negative relationship between belief in the threat of global warming and support for the three dams. Those who think global warming is very serious are least likely to support construction of the Auburn Dam (39 percent) and the two dams proposed by the Governor (39 percent), whereas those who think the threat of global warming is not serious are most likely to endorse the dam constructions (73 percent for the Governor’s proposed dams and 74 percent for the Auburn Dam).

The survey was a computer-assisted telephone interview of 1,106 randomly selected adults from Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

More information is available by contacting Liu at amyliuus@yahoo.com or (916) 278-7572.