Letter: Majority of Utahns believe in climate change — and politicians should take note

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Participants rally while holding their 'Student Resolution on Climate Change the Governor's Mansion during the Utah People's Climate March Saturday, April 29, 2017.

A recent Tribune/Hinckley Institute poll shows that Utahns’ attitudes about our changing climate are changing. The poll, conducted Oct. 10-13, indicates that 72 percent of Utahns believe that climate change is occurring, and 64 percent believe that human activity is exacerbating that change.

This may be compared to a 2016 Yale climate study that found only 62 percent of Utahns believed that the climate was changing at that time, and just 43 percent believed that it was mostly caused by human activities. The Yale study further indicated that 79 percent of Utahns supported government funding for renewable-energy research, and 67 percent said the government should regulate carbon dioxide, thought by a majority of scientists globally to be a key contributor to global warming as a pollutant.

In just a year, this represents a significant shift in attitudes, showing that, now, a majority of us in Utah believe in, and are concerned about climate change. Hopefully, our political leaders will consider taking note of this shift as representatives of the citizens, and not just special interest groups, and will be inspired to take action from all levels of government to mitigate these adverse climate effects that threaten us all.

John Kennington, Cottonwood Heights