Support for the increased use of nuclear power has declined amid the ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan. But with the surge in gas prices, support for increased offshore oil and gas drilling is growing.
A majority of Americans say the earth is warming, but far fewer than said so in 2006. The decline has come mostly from Republicans, and very few Tea Party supporters say there is solid evidence of global warming. Also, the public is divided on the question of whether scientists themselves agree that the earth is warming.
Senior research staff answer questions from readers relating to all the areas covered by our seven projects, ranging from polling techniques and findings, to media, technology, religious, demographic and global attitudes trends.
Most Americans envision a future where cancer is cured and space travel is for everyone. But they also see a world beset by war, energy shortages and a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons. Still, most see a better future for themselves and the nation over the next four decades.
Americans want expanded exploration and development of coal, oil and gas in the U.S. but also want limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Michele Obama's favorability stays strong but the president's and Sarah Palin's popularity slip.
Americans are critical of the government's response to the environmental disaster in the Gulf, but even more so of BP. Support for offshore oil drilling is down, though Republican opinion is unchanged.
Americans strongly favor increased funding for research on wind, solar and hydrogen technology and more spending on mass transit, but majorities also support offshore drilling and nuclear power. Half have heard nothing at all about "cap and trade."
As leaders convene in Copenhagen to discuss climate change, they will address a concern shared around the globe. Publics are willing to sacrifice economic growth for the environment, but nations are split on which country should lead on global warming.
Why do fewer Americans believe the earth is warming? A range of possibilities, including a sour economy and, perhaps, a cooler than normal summer in parts of the U.S., may provide an explanation.
There has been a sharp decline in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. Still, there is more support than opposition for cap and trade policy.