Survey: Most in Delaware believe in climate change (Dover Post staff reports)

As a first step in its campaign to win approval for an expansion of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, DNREC is planning three public input sessions next week. And in advance of these sessions it published the results of a public opinion survey (conducted in late 2019 by Standage Market Research, supervised by UD’s Center for Political Communication) that seemingly suggests widespread support for decisive action.

DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin is quoted as follows: “Failure to take action now increasingly locks us into a future with increased flooding, more intense heat waves and threats to our quality of life.”

The recap of the survey indicates that most Delawareans believe in climate change and sea level rise. Somewhat smaller majorities say (a) the state should take “immediate action” to address this purported problem, and (b) they have personally experienced it. See this chart, taken from the
summary of the survey that DNREC has posted on its website.


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DNREC will be seeking inputs on options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other responses to the purported problem, but the story doesn’t reveal what options state leaders may have in mind. The apparent plan is to conduct “brainstorming” discussions based on public sentiment that can be cited to support whatever solutions DNREC wants to propose.

Judging from the survey summary, a majority of Delawareans would support a range of options; the word “cost” does not appear.

More than four-fifths (83%) favor increasing conservation of forested and agricultural lands. Large majorities also support requiring stronger air pollution controls on business and industry (80%), requiring that an increasing percentage of electricity used in Delaware come from renewable sources (74%), and requiring stronger energy efficiency standards on household appliances (73%). Fewer Delawareans favor requiring that an increasing percentage of vehicles sold in Delaware be powered by electricity, but a majority still support this strategy (53%).
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