Only 3 Percent of Floridians Think Global Warming Is the Biggest Environmental Threat to Florida

Only 3 Percent of Floridians Think Global Warming Is the Biggest Environmental Threat to Florida
Illustration by Nikolay Lamm

Despite scientists predicting that large swathes of coastal and southern Florida could be underwater one day thanks to global warming, Floridians aren't particularly concerned. Just 3 percent think it's the biggest environmental problem facing the state according to a new Sunshine State Survey released by the University of South Florida.

The poll also asked Floridians about their views on gun laws, with Floridians being about equally split on whether the state needs tougher gun laws or the current laws are just about right.

See also: Rolling Stone Predicts Miami Will Be Underwater by 2030

When asked, "What is the biggest environmental problem facing Florida today?" about 32 percent thought it was the quality or shortage of fresh water. Nine percent thought it was air pollution, 6 percent thought it was littering, and about 5 percent thought it was overdevelopment. Just 2 percent thought it was erosion to the state's beaches, and just 3 percent through it was the threat of global warming and climate change. Another 3 percent thought it was offshore oil drilling. Eighteen percent said they had no idea, though.

Miami-area residents had slightly different concerns than the rest of the state, with 16 percent thinking air pollution was the biggest problem, 12 percent answering with littering, and 10 percent saying the Everglades. Exact information for how many in Miami answered global warming wasn't available.

Overall, Floridians think the state is doing a worse job in protecting the environment. Only 44 percent gave the state "excellent" or "good" ratings on environmental issues this year compared to 49 percent in 2012. About 20 percent gave the state a "poor" rating, compared to 15 percent in 2015.

When asked about the state's gun laws, 46 percent said they weren't restrictive enough. Forty-three percent said they were about right, and 9 percent said they were too restrictive.

Those answers, of course, differ wildly among demographics.

Fifty-two percent of women think gun laws aren't restrictive enough compared to 39 percent of men.

Seventy-nine percent of African Americans want stricter gun laws, compared to just 30 percent of whites.

Sixty-three of resident of the Miami/Palm Beach area wanted stricter gun laws, while just over the Everglades in the Naples area only 31 percent did.

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