High Point University has been very active in conducting a lot of interesting state polls recently and the newest one provides some insights into how state residents view climate change.

One key finding from the study was that nearly half of those polled – 47 percent –said they see climate change as an emergency.

But not all of those polled see it that way: 39 percent said climate change isn’t an emergency and 14 percent didn’t offer any opinion on the matter.

According to data from the poll, “When asked which statement comes closest to their view about global warming, 35 percent of poll respondents said global warming is caused mostly by human activity such as burning fossil fuels. Another 20 percent said global warming is caused mostly by natural patterns in the earth’s environment while 26 percent said it is caused by both. Only 10 percent of respondents said global warming does not exist.”

North Carolina, like many states in recent years, has seen some unusually rough weather, and, according to the new poll from HPU, a majority of people in the state – 55 percent – responded that the extreme weather events in the US over the past few years are related to climate change.

Just under one third of participants said they don’t think there’s a connection, while 16 percent didn’t offer an opinion one way or another.

A large number of responders said that they sometimes take actions that they feel will help protect the environment and mitigate climate change. When asked what types of “environmentally friendly actions or activities they practice, 63 percent said they recycled newspapers, glass, aluminum, motor oil or other items. About 58 percent said they try to use less water at home, while 55 percent said they used re-usable shopping bags at grocery stores.

Here are some other findings from the poll:

  • 44 percent of state residents responding said that they’ve purchased products specifically because they thought they were better for the environment.
  • 24 percent of North Carolina respondents said they had at some point voted for or worked for candidates because of their positions on environmental issues.
  • 20 percent said they had signed a petition supporting an environmental group or an environmental protection effort.
  • When it comes to addressing climate change, 46 percent of North Carolinians said they believe the federal government isn’t doing enough, while only 18 percent think the federal government is doing what it should to address climate change.

And 10 percent think the federal government doesn’t need to be involved at all.