NJ Should Pay More Taxes to Fight Climate Change, Most Say in Poll
GALLOWAY — Most New Jersey residents would pay higher taxes or fees to mitigate the effects of climate change, a problem that almost three-quarters of the state's adults say is affecting New Jersey right now, according to a Stockton University poll released Monday.
The poll of 807 residents found views on climate change did not vary between those living along the water and those living inland. Overall, two-thirds said they believe climate change is a crisis or major problem.
"The majority are siding with the scientists that say they believe human activity, the burning of fossil fuels, is the main cause of climate change," said John Froonjian, interim director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton. "We had 1% tell us they don't believe in climate change at all."
Froonjian presented an overview of the results Sunday as part of Coast Day at Stockton Atlantic City.
Seventy-three percent of respondents said climate change is already affecting the Garden State. Among these respondents, at least 70% cited issues such as beach erosion, rising sea level, extreme weather and worsening pollution as "major problems."
Young people appear to be the most concerned about the issue. Eighty percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 see climate change as a crisis or major problem. Democrats and women were more likely than Republicans and men to express concern.
Just over half of respondents said they'd support local construction projects to reduce the threat of flooding, even if they had to put more money out of their pocket in the way of taxes or fees. Larger majorities said they'd support limiting or restricting beachfront construction and support building dunes to protect the shore even if they block the view of the ocean.
Nearly a third of respondents said government response to climate change is totally inadequate, while 56% said government could or should do more to address the issue.
Tammy Murphy, wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, recently announced an initiative aimed at incorporating climate change education into the academic standards of New Jersey's K-12 schools.