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Curious About Global Warming, Climate Change

By Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV
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(AP photo)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The doomsday predictions of global warming may have grown tired for some people. A recent Gallup poll shows Americans are more worried about a series of other environmental concerns like water quality and animal extinction over the impacts of Climate Change. But surveys of 1,200 households in the state of Massachusetts show a much different attitude.

“We found is a large portion of people believe in global warming, that it is human induced and the want government to take action,” says Stanford social psychology professor John Krosnick.

Massachusetts is one of the first states to move forward with a comprehensive program to address climate change with the passing of the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008, with the goal of reducing emissions by promoting and investing in the renewable energy sector.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Joyce reports.

“Clean energy solutions are cost effective. They are good decisions from a financial point of view, but you also get the great result of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Secretary of Energy and Environment Affairs Richard Sullivan

The plan currently in place is to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The question is will any of this be able to help cool the global temperature?

Also See: WBZ Forecast

Richard Lindzen is a professor of Atmospheric sciences at MIT. He says these actions will have very little effect on the overall climate. “CO2 will cause some warming, the question is how much? It won’t be much. It will be fractions of a degree even if we double CO2.”

There is a fear that increased government regulation of emissions will mean increased taxes and expenses which will trickle down to the consumer and make it harder for businesses to compete.

Some scientists and economists say the costs could be quite substantial to address climate change.

But, Secretary of Energy Richard Sullivan says the there will be more savings than cost in the legislation for Massachusetts

“At the end of the day, you will ultimately see cost savings, and a cleaner more reliable power source. It will be local and actually grow the economy,” said Sullivan.

Most agree it is too early to tell how much this will eventually cost. But, the hope is the vision of the Patrick administration will pay off in the long run.

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