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Poll: Most see disasters, few climate turn

July 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM
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NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) -- Three-quarters of Americans say natural disasters are on the increase, but fewer than ever believe the climate is heating up, a new poll finds.

And only half say they have prepared for calamity by stockpiling three days worth of food and water, Harris reports.

Seventy-six percent say hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes are becoming more frequent, and 31 percent say much more. Only 2 percent perceive a decline and 23 percent no change.

In the Northeast, 77 percent say a snow or ice storm is most likely to affect them, while 79 Midwesterners agree and 89 percent of them fear tornadoes.

In the South, 66 percent worry about tornadoes, 54 percent hurricanes and 50 percent drought. In the West, earthquakes are a concern for 66 percent. Only 11 percent across the country think a nuclear power accident would affect them.

Only 44 percent say they "believe the theory" that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the Earth, down from 51 percent in 2009 and 71 percent in 2007, but most movement has been into the "not sure" column.

The online poll of 2,163 adults was conducted June 13 through 20. Harris does not give margin-of-error figures.

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