Public opinion: Most farmers see climate change but can't see humans causing it -- 10/05/2012 -- www.eenews.net
A new crop of opinion polls suggests many U.S. farmers believe the climate is changing, but few lay the blame on man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Fewer still favor policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And many are turned off by even the mention of "climate change," which they consider a highly politicized phrase.
A February survey of 4,778 farmers across the nation's Corn Belt found that while roughly two-thirds believe the climate is changing, just 8 percent believe human activities are the primary cause.
Preliminary results from a similar poll conducted in Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin in 2009 show 40 to 50 percent of commercial farmers in those states don't believe climate change has been scientifically proved, while roughly 70 percent believe climate shifts will have little effect on crop yields.
Even in tiny Yolo County, Calif., a solidly Democratic outpost in a blue state, just 35.2 percent of 162 farmers surveyed by researchers at the University of California, Davis, agreed that human activities are "an important cause" of climate change. And respondents were equally divided when asked whether climate change would benefit or harm agriculture on a global scale.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, polls also show few growers are willing to accept measures designed to combat climate change.