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Californians Say Climate Change Effects Already Seen

Photo by David McNew / Getty Images

Above: Emissions-producing diesel trucks and cars pass non-polluting windmills along the 10 freeway in Banning, California, Dec. 8, 2009.

A new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows nearly two thirds of Californians believe the effects of global warming are already apparent.

Two thirds of Californians believe we're already seeing the effects of climate change. That's the finding of a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

A strong majority of Californians recognize the fact and the seriousness of global warming. Sixty-four percent believe the effects of global warming are already occurring. That is a greater percentage than the nation as a whole, but not by much.

A Gallup poll from last year showed 59 percent of Americans believed the same.

The PPIC poll shows there are differences among political and ethnic groups. Latinos, at 62 percent, were the most likely to view global warming as a serious threat to California's economy and quality of life. Only 24 percent of Republicans took that view, compared to 71 percent of Democrats.

Even among Democrats that opinion has changed with the times. During the great recession, when jobs and incomes were on peoples' minds, concerns about global warming eroded and less than 60 percent of California Democrats saw climate change as a serious threat.

Most Californians (56%), including majorities across age and income groups, say they would be willing to pay more for electricity generated by renewable sources to reduce global warming.

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