A new statewide poll shows three-quarters of Pennsylvanians accept that climate change is happening.
It’s the highest level of acceptance since Muhlenberg College pollsters started asking the question 15 years ago.
The poll included more than 400 people statewide and has a margin of error of 5.5 percent.
More than half of respondents said climate change is a very serious problem, while another quarter said it was somewhat serious.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said human activity is the main driver of global warming. Another 24 percent said it was a combination of human activity and natural patterns.
Scientists who worked on the United Nations’ climate reports say humans are indisputably causing climate change.
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The Muhlenberg College poll found feelings on global warming remain partisan. Ninety-two percent of Democrats polled said there is solid evidence for climate change, while only 45 percent of Republicans agreed.
Though global climate experts say the world must dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst effects of warming, the poll found people statewide are divided on fracking.
Natural gas drilling can release methane during the process. Burning gas produces carbon dioxide.
Forty-eight percent of those polled said they support extraction, while 44 percent are opposed.
The share of people who said drilling will bring more benefits to Pennsylvania has fallen ten percentage points since 2012, to 44 percent. Four in ten said it will bring more problems for the state, up ten percent since 2012.
Most respondents, 86 percent, said fracking is very or somewhat important to Pennsylvania’s economy.
This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among The Allegheny Front, WPSU, WITF and WHYY to cover the commonwealth's energy economy.