Results of a statewide poll of 600 Iowans with either a hunting or fishing license by the National Wildlife Federation shows global warming is their top concern among conservation issues. Rick Ridder is a consultant who analyzed the results of the poll for the federation.
Ridder says, "Three-quarters of the Iowa sportsman say we have a strong moral responsibility to act now to curb the world’s effect of global warming and to protect our children’s future." Ridder says a 75% response gives a "fair degree" of salience to the numbers. While the group is focusing on global warming, it was not the top issue of concern among those in the poll.
The poll shows that 45% listed the war in Iraq as the issue they were most concerned with, 41% said stopping illegal immigration, 25% fighting terrorism, 25% strengthening the economy and creating jobs, and 15% global warming and energy. When it comes to conservation issues, global warming was the top issue for 28%, clean water for 22%, public lands and wetlands for 18% and clear air for 17%.
While the poll shows a strong feeling, Ridder says those feelings don’t seem to have translated to the Iowa presidential campaign. He says only nine percent have decided who to support in the upcoming caucuses, "so this is a group that is both undecided, and concerned about the global warming issue." Ridder says the poll indicates that sportsmen and women in Iowa believe global warming is a problem.
Ridder says 69% believe that global warming is occurring, 58% indicate that human activity is at least a contributing factor, and 52% believe the U.S. is doing too little to address global warming. When the poll numbers are broken down by party, Ridder says Republicans are less worried overall about global warming.
Ridder says a majority of 51% believe global warming is occurring, while among Democrats, 91-percent believe global warming is occurring. He says 85% of Democrats believe human activity is a factor in global warming, and 82% believe the U.S. is doing too little to address the issue.
Ridder says 57% of all those in the survey believe global warming is a problem that requires immediate action. He says 84% agree we can improve the environment and strengthen the economy by investing in renewable energies that create jobs while reducing global warming, and 75% agree the U.S. should be a world leader in addressing global warming. Gun rights have long been a major concern of sportsmen, but Ridder says this poll shows the environment has caught up.
"Sixty-six-percent of hunters and anglers now say conservation is just as important, if not more important to them…as gun rights issues," Ridder says. Ridder says the concerns over global warming hit close to home with the group. Ridder says 61% of the sportsman are concerned that the wildlife or fish population in the areas where they hunt or fish will decrease significantly or disappear.
The National Wildlife Federation says the nonpartisan survey was conducted between September sixth and 11to with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1% percent. You can see the entire results of the poll at the National Wildlife Federation’s website.