Global warming a concern for sportsmen - Soundings Online

Global warming a concern for sportsmen

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Outdoor recreation pollster Mark Duda says he sees a growing consensus among anglers and hunters that global warming is a problem that no longer can be ignored.

Outdoor recreation pollster Mark Duda says he sees a growing consensus among anglers and hunters that global warming is a problem that no longer can be ignored.

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“I’m a little surprised at how strong the numbers are,” says Duda, president of Responsive Management, of Harrisonburg, Va. Duda polled 304 licensed Florida sportsmen in March and April as part of a six-state poll of hunters and anglers about global warming.

Ninety percent of the Florida sportsmen said they were concerned about more hurricanes, 89 percent about red tides, 73 percent about coral bleaching, another 73 percent about rising sea levels — all possibly linked to warming climates globally.

An overwhelming 80 percent said they believed global warming is occurring, and 62 percent said it probably is related to burning fossil fuels. Seventy-six percent said global warming was a serious threat, and 74 percent said it requires immediate action.

Seventy-four percent said the country should take action now to reduce pollution. Eighty-nine percent thought the United States should be a global leader in addressing the problem. Another 93 percent said America is addicted to oil. Sixty percent thought we ought to expand renewable energy sources like wind, solar and ethanol.

“It’s clear that a lot of things are coming together,” Duda says. “Florida sportsmen are reading more about global warming and sea rise. They are out there seeing the results: coral bleaching, hurricanes, red tides.

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed were male. Forty percent described themselves as conservative politically, 35 percent moderate, 11 percent liberal. They voted 2-to-1 for George Bush in 2004.

Sixty percent said they would vote for a candidate who promises to take strong action on global warming.

“Are people going to go out and vote on global warming alone?” Duda asked. “No, but it’s in the mix now.”