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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_600MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "223401" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(88620) " Preface This survey on Californians and the environment—a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation—is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. The Packard Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in several program areas, including conservation and population. This special edition presents the responses of 2,001 adult residents throughout the state and provides the first comprehensive, advocacy-free study of Californians’ attitudes toward population growth, land use, and environmental issues. The survey examines in detail the public's concerns about local, regional, and statewide issues; explores the extent to which the environmental concerns expressed today are evident in the interests and everyday habits of Californians; and measures the public’s willingness to support policies designed to protect the land and natural resources from the impacts of future growth and development. Many of the policy choices offered in the survey require the public to weigh tradeoffs, some involving individuals’ rights versus the common good, and others calling for financial and personal sacrifices. More specifically, we examine the following issues: • Variations in perceptions, attitudes, and policy preferences across the four major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles area, and the rest of Southern California), between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, and across age and the socioeconomic and political spectrum. • Local and regional issues, including perceptions of current and future growth, traffic, and air pollution; the adequacy of local growth regulations; and the willingness to consider development restrictions in one's own region. • State issues, including identification of the most important environmental issue, perceptions of specific problems, and opinions about the seriousness of environmental problems in general and the performance of the Governor and state government in handling environmental issues. • Specific public policy issues, including support for environmental laws and regulations, local growth controls, taxpayer-supported open space purchases, and the purchase of undeveloped land by non-profit organizations. • Personal interests and household activities, including membership in environmental groups, attention to environmental news, outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, and daily habits such as recycling and buying organic foods. Copies of this report or other PPIC Statewide Surveys may be ordered by calling (800) 232-5343 [mainland U.S.] or (415) 291-4415 [Canada, Hawaii, overseas). -i- Contents Preface Press Release Local and Regional Issues State Issues Public Policy Personal Interests and Household Activities Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i v 1 7 13 23 29 31 36 - iii - Press Release STATE’S ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS POSE SERIOUS PERSONAL THREAT, RESIDENTS SAY Strong Support for Growth Restrictions, Open Space Preservation Dwindles When Public Asked to Ante Up SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 21, 2000 — It’s the environment, stupid. California’s unique natural resources are on the minds of residents this election year, with an overwhelming majority seeing environmental problems as a threat to their health and well-being, according to a new survey just released by the Public Policy Institute of California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. But while the public will make certain tradeoffs to deal with the growth-related issues driving their environmental anxiety, they would prefer to see someone else foot the bill. The large-scale public opinion survey of 2,001 Californians found that seven in ten residents see today’s environmental problems as a threat to their personal health and well-being, with one in four saying environmental problems are a “very serious” threat and almost half (45%) seeing them as a “somewhat serious” threat. When asked to identify the most important environmental issue facing the state, the top issue by far was air pollution (33%), followed distantly by growth (13%), pollution in general and water pollution (9% each), traffic (7%), and the water supply (6%). Nearly half of Californians also say that soil and groundwater contamination (48%) and urban and agricultural runoff (47%) are “big problems” today. Four in ten think that suburban development harming wildlife is a big problem. Specific regional issues also raise considerable worry: About half say that ocean and beach pollution (53%) and growth and pollution damaging the Sierra Mountains’ forests (45%) are big problems, and more than one in three have significant concerns about urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley (39%) and the logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California (34%). Solid majorities rate all of these environmental issues as at least “somewhat of a problem.” More Government? Given their broad concern, Californians are less than impressed with their state government’s efforts to protect the environment. Half of all residents believe the state is not doing enough in this arena. And Governor Davis — who receives strong ratings for his handling of economic issues — has failed to distinguish himself in a similar way on environmental issues. While 36 percent of residents approve of the way he is handling environmental issues, 28 percent disapprove and 36 percent say they don’t know. Californians are also looking to their federal representatives for environmental leadership: Most (84%) say the presidential candidates’ positions on growth, land use, and environmental issues are important to them, with 41 percent saying they are “very important.” “The successful candidate in California will be mindful of the concern Californians have for their state’s environment and natural resources,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “Quality of life is a key issue in the Golden State, especially in this period of prosperity and growth.” Most Californians are willing to accept a greater degree of government involvement in protecting the environment, although Americans as a whole are more likely to hold this view. Fifty-seven percent of state residents agree with the statement that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are -v- Press Release worth the cost,” compared to 65 percent of Americans. A majority of Californians also say they are willing to make some tradeoffs in order to preserve the environment: 54 percent favor restricting oil drilling off the coast, even if this means higher gas prices, and 59 percent oppose building new housing if it threatens endangered species, even if the result is more expensive housing. Public Likes Growth Limits, But Not the Price Tag Population growth is a persistent and troubling theme in California today, adding to worries about natural resources and land use. Most Californians (81%) believe that their local population has been growing in recent years — 58 percent say it has been growing rapidly — and most expect this trend to continue into the next decade. While they are generally happy with current conditions in their region, residents clearly have qualms about the effects of future growth on their quality of life: A greater number believe that their region will be a worse place to live in 2010 than a better place (36% to 28%). Most Californians say their area is already experiencing problems, although perceptions vary from region to region. Three in four say traffic congestion is a big problem, and 44 percent rate it as a big problem. In the San Francisco Bay area, 74 percent view traffic as a big problem, compared to 21 percent in the Central Valley and 47 percent in Los Angeles. Two in three Californians also cite growth and development and air pollution as problems, and about one in four rate each of these problems as serious. Given the expectations and concerns about rapid growth, it is not surprising that residents support a variety of local and regional policies aimed at controlling growth and development in the future. A majority (58%) would support a local initiative that would slow the pace of development in their city or community, even if this meant less economic growth. Three in four Californians say that establishing growth boundaries around cities, encouraging job centers near existing housing, and restricting development in environmentally sensitive areas can be at least somewhat effective in improving their region’s quality of life over the next decade. True to the strong support for slowing the pace of local development, most state residents (57%) like the idea of using public funds to buy undeveloped land in order to shield it from development. In fact, Californians are more likely than Americans in general (57% to 44%) to support this idea. But while they favor the concept of using taxpayer dollars to buy open space, Californians are ambivalent when confronted with the choice between using $1 billion of the state budget surplus to reduce their taxes or to create a trust fund to purchase and preserve open space. Forty-nine percent of residents support the idea of starting a conservation trust fund, while 44 percent would take the tax cut. Further, a majority of residents (52%) say they would oppose a bond measure authorizing local government to buy land in order to preserve it from development if it meant paying higher property taxes. Public support for land conservation is overwhelming, however, when someone else is picking up the tab: Seventy-one percent favor the idea of nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from development. “These results underscore what we’ve found in our conservation work: A growing majority of California residents share a deep concern for the quality of their environment,” said Richard T. Schlosberg III, President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “Clearly, Californians see conservation as best approached through a partnership between public and private agencies.” Environment a High Priority for Latinos; Few Worries in Central Valley Surprising ethnic and regional differences lurk beneath the broad public concern about the environment and growth and development. Overall, Latinos appear to be more concerned than the - vi - Press Release public at large about environmental problems, with a greater number believing that those problems pose a very serious threat to their health and well-being (31% to 25%). They are also more likely to believe that specific environmental issues — such as coastal pollution and threatened forests in the Sierras — are big problems today and to say that the presidential candidates’ views on environmental issues are very important to them. On the other hand, Latinos are also more likely than residents generally to support the way Governor Davis is handling environmental issues (52% to 36%), to believe that more oil drilling should be allowed off the California coast if this means lower gas prices (49% to 43%), and to believe that their region will be a better place to live ten years from now (37% to 28%). Interestingly, Latinos are also less likely to support using taxpayer dollars to buy and preserve undeveloped land (52% to 57%). Although Central Valley residents are the most likely to say that the population of their city or community has grown — and will continue to grow — rapidly, they are also the least likely to see population growth and development as a big problem. They are also less likely than all Californians to view as big problems urban and agricultural runoff (34% to 47%), suburban development harming wildlife habitats (27% to 39%), and growth and pollution damaging the Sierras (37% to 45%). One issue — urban sprawl taking over farmlands — does register more strongly in the Central Valley than elsewhere in the state (49% to 39%). Like Republicans throughout California, Central Valley residents are less likely to support environmental laws and regulations, more likely to support individual property rights, and would choose a tax cut over the creation of a conservation trust fund. “It is striking and disturbing that Central Valley residents — living in California’s most threatened and fast-growing region — see so little cause for concern or action,” said Baldassare. About the Survey The Californians and the Environment Survey — a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation — is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. The Packard Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in several program areas, including conservation and population. This survey provides the first comprehensive, advocacy-free study of Californians’ attitudes toward growth, land use, and environmental issues. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,001 California adult residents interviewed from May 22 to May 30, 2000. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. For additional information on survey methodology, see page 29. Dr. Mark Baldassare is a senior fellow at PPIC. He is founder and director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has conducted since 1998. For over two decades, he has conducted surveys for the University of California, Irvine, and major news organizations, including the Orange County Edition of the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Chronicle, KCAL-TV, and KRON-TV. Dr. Baldassare is the author of numerous books, including California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (University of California Press, 2000). PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. The Institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. ### - vii - Local and Regional Issues Local Population Growth Local population growth is a persistent theme in California today, but the perception of growth varies in interesting ways across regions and community types. Most Californians (81%) believe that their local population has been growing in recent years, and 58 percent believe it has been growing rapidly. Very few (15%) think there has been no population growth, and even fewer (1%) believe their local population has declined. Although people in all regions and community types perceive growth, the perception of rapid growth is greatest among residents of the Central Valley (68%) and the San Francisco Bay area (64%). It is also greater among people living in the surrounding Southern California region (59%) than it is in Los Angeles County (48%) itself. Across community types, the perception of rapid growth is greater for people in large cities (67%) than in suburbs (58%), less in small cities (53%) and lowest of all in rural areas (48%). Latinos and non-Hispanic whites (59% to 56%) have about the same perception of rapid growth in their communities. As for the future, most people expect the current local population growth trends to continue. Eight in 10 Californians expect their local communities to grow in the next 10 years, and 54 percent expect them to grow rapidly. Those living in the Central Valley (67%) and the Southern California region outside of Los Angeles (59%) are more likely to expect rapid growth than those living in Los Angeles (45%) and the San Francisco Bay area (53%). And the expectation of rapid growth is greater in large cities (62%) than in suburbs (51%), small cities (50%), and rural areas (53%). "In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining?" Growing rapidly Growing slowly Staying the same Declining Don't know All Adults 58% 23 15 1 3 Central Valley 68% 20 8 2 2 Region SF Bay Area 64% 23 10 1 2 Los Angeles 48% 23 25 0 4 Other Southern California 59% 22 14 1 4 Latino 59% 21 18 1 1 -1- Local and Regional Issues Local Growth Control Initiatives Although most residents rate their localities as excellent (32%) or good (45%) places to live and almost half (48%) say their local government’s efforts to regulate growth are adequate, worries about population growth affect their policy preferences. If faced with making a choice at the ballot box, many Californians (58%) say they would vote “yes” on a local initiative that would slow down the pace of development in their city or community, even if this meant less economic growth. Across regions, support for local initiatives to slow growth is strongest in the San Francisco Bay area (65%) and weakest in the Central Valley (52%). Across community types, support is strongest in the suburbs (64%). Opposition to slow-growth initiatives is strongest in the Central Valley (44%); but even there, the majority express support for such initiatives. Support varies across different population groups. It rises with age, income, and education, but a majority of all demographic groups say they would vote yes. Latinos (53%) are less likely than non-Hispanic whites (62%) to support a local slow-growth initiative. Women (60%) are slightly more likely than men (55%). Interestingly enough, there are no differences in support among Democrats (60%), Republicans (59%), and independent voters (58%). Those who think that current growth regulations are not strict enough would overwhelmingly vote for a local growth control initiative (71%). Nevertheless, even among those who think current efforts are about right, a majority would also vote yes to slow down development (53%). Among people who believe local population growth has been rapid in recent years, 62 percent would support a local growth control initiative. And for those who think their localities will grow rapidly in the next 10 years, 60 percent would vote yes. "If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local initiative that would slow down the pace of development in your city or community, even if this meant having less economic growth?” Yes No Don’t know All Adults 58% 37 5 Central Valley 52% 44 4 Region SF Bay Area 65% 29 6 Los Angeles 57% 38 5 Other Southern California 57% 38 5 Latino 53% 42 5 - 2- Local and Regional Issues Regional Problems Californians are happy with the overall conditions in the broader region they live in, with most saying the quality of life in their region today is going either very well (29%) or somewhat well (56%). Still, most admit that their regions do have problems. For example, three in four say traffic congestion is a problem, and 44 percent rate it a “big problem.” Two in three cite growth and development and air pollution as problems, and about one in four rate each of these problems as serious. San Francisco Bay area residents are more concerned than others about traffic congestion and growth and development. In that area, 74 percent view traffic congestion as a serious problem, compared with 21 percent in the Central Valley and 47 percent in Los Angeles. Similarly, nearly half of San Francisco Bay area residents view growth and development as a big problem in their region (47%), while fewer hold this perception in other regions of the state. Air pollution is more likely to be cited as a serious problem in Los Angeles (40%) than elsewhere in the state. Traffic congestion is cited as a big problem by most of the residents in large cities (59%) and suburbs (55%). Growth is seen as a big problem by about one-third of big-city dwellers (33%) and suburbanites (31%). Serious complaints about traffic and growth are less common in small cities and rural areas. Air pollution is also more often noted as a big problem in large cities (40%) than in other types of communities. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos to cite traffic (48% to 33%) and growth (31% to 16%) as big problems in their region, while there are no differences in perceptions of air pollution. "How much of a problem is ______________/_______________/__________ in your region today?" All Central Adults Valley Traffic congestion Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem 44% 32 24 21% 37 42 Population growth and development Big problem Somewhat of a problem 27% 39 17% 36 Not a problem Don't know 33 45 12 Air pollution Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know 28% 39 32 1 28% 37 34 1 SF Bay Area 74% 18 8 47% 34 19 0 26% 49 25 0 Region Los Angeles 47% 34 19 21% 46 32 1 40% 37 23 0 Other Southern California Latino 40% 37 23 34% 36 30 27% 36 36 1 23% 38 38 1 16% 42 41 1 29% 36 34 1 -3- Local and Regional Issues The Region’s Future When asked about the future of their region, most people say they expect the population to grow rapidly, and relatively few expect their region to be a better place to live in 2010. Across the state, 59 percent expect rapid regional growth in population in the next decade. People outside of Los Angeles, which is the most populous region today, are the most likely to expect rapid growth. The expectations of rapid growth in all regions, and even stronger trends in the Central Valley and Southern California region outside of Los Angeles, are in line with state demographers’ forecasts. Looking ahead, only 28 percent expect their region to be a better place to live in 2010 than it is today. Many (36%) think it will become worse, and 32 percent expect their regions to stay the same. San Francisco Bay area residents are the least optimistic about their region’s future, with only 22 percent believing it will be a better place to live. Latinos (37%) are more optimistic than nonHispanic whites (24%) that in 2010 their region will be a better place to live. The expectation of rapid growth in a region is related to people's perceptions of regional problems. Those who see their regions growing rapidly in the next 10 years are much more likely than others to cite traffic (51%), growth (35%), and air pollution (33%) as big regional problems. Those who expect their region’s population to grow rapidly are also more likely than others to say their region will be a worse place (45%) to live in 2010. "Thinking about the next 10 years, do you think that the population in your region will grow rapidly, grow slowly, stay about the same, or decline?" Grow rapidly Grow slowly Stay about the same Decline Don't know All Adults 59% 24 14 2 1 Central Valley 67% 21 10 1 1 Region SF Bay Area 62% 25 10 2 1 Los Angeles 50% 28 19 1 2 Other Southern California 64% 18 15 2 1 Latino 56% 24 17 1 2 "Do you think that in 2010 your region will be a better place to live than it is now, a worse place to live than it is now, or will there be no change?" Better place Worse place No change Don't know All Adults 28% 36 32 4 Central Valley 34% 31 31 4 Region SF Bay Area 22% 43 29 6 Los Angeles 27% 35 34 4 Other Southern California 31% 38 29 2 Latino 37% 29 30 4 - 4- Local and Regional Issues Regional Policy Options Faced with the prospect of population growth, most Californians believe that various proposals aimed at limiting where development occurs could improve the quality of life. Three in four say that establishing growth boundaries around cities, encouraging job centers around existing housing, and restricting development in environmentally-sensitive areas can be at least somewhat effective in improving their region’s quality of life over the next decade. Thirty-three percent rate growth boundaries as very effective, while 41 percent rate job centers near housing and restricting development in environmentally-sensitive areas as very effective policy options for improving living conditions in their regions. The response is similar across regions for establishing growth boundaries and encouraging job centers near existing housing. However, Central Valley residents are the least positive and San Francisco Bay area residents are the most positive that restricting development in environmentallysensitive areas would be a very effective way to improve their region. Those who expect their region to grow rapidly are more likely than others to say that restricting development in environmentally-sensitive areas (47%), encouraging job centers near existing housing (44%), and establishing growth boundaries (38%) are very effective ways to improve the quality of life. "How effective do you think the following activities would be in improving the quality of life in your region over the next 10 years?" Establishing growth boundaries around cities beyond which new development would not be permitted Very effective Somewhat effective Not effective Don't know Encouraging the development of job centers near existing housing to reduce commute time for workers Very effective Somewhat effective Not effective Don't know Restricting development in order to preserve wetlands, rivers, and environmentally sensitive areas Very effective Somewhat effective Not effective Don't know All Adults 33% 42 22 3 41% 38 19 2 41% 35 21 3 Central Valley 31% 41 23 5 41% 38 19 2 33% 41 23 3 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles 34% 42 21 3 30% 43 24 3 42% 37 19 2 40% 40 19 1 47% 34 17 2 44% 31 22 3 Other Southern California 34% 43 20 3 43% 37 19 1 39% 37 21 3 Latino 34% 46 16 4 47% 41 12 0 39% 40 17 4 -5- State Issues Most Important Environmental Issue When residents were asked to identify the most important environmental issue facing California, the top issue by far was air pollution (33%), followed distantly by growth (13%), pollution in general and water pollution (9% each), traffic (7%), and the water supply (6%). No other issues were mentioned by more than 4 percent of the public. Fewer than one in 10 could not identify any environmental issue. Air pollution was named as the most important issue in every region of the state, across racial and ethnic groups, among men and women alike, for homeowners and renters, among those with and without children in the home, and in all age, income, educational, and political party groups. Perceptions about other important environmental issues did vary across regions. San Francisco Bay area residents were the most likely to mention growth (21%) and traffic (11%). Mention of growth as the biggest environmental issue also increased with age, income, and years of education. Responses to this open-ended question did not vary much across types of communities or current or anticipated growth experiences. For every group, air pollution was the top issue. Suburban residents (16%) were more likely than those living in large cities (10%) and small cities (11%) to say that growth and development was the top environmental issue in the state. "What do you think is the most important environmental issue facing California today?" Region Air pollution Growth, development Water, ocean, and beach pollution, MTBE Pollution in general Traffic congestion Water supply Toxic waste, pesticides, contamination of land Loss of wilderness, open space Loss of farmlands, agriculture Logging, loss of redwoods and forests Other* Nothing, there is none Don’t know All Adults 33% 13 9 9 7 6 2 1 1 1 9 1 8 Central Valley 36% 9 10 7 4 7 2 1 2 2 10 0 10 SF Bay Area 30% 21 5 7 11 6 1 2 2 1 8 1 5 Los Angeles 37% 11 8 12 5 6 2 1 — — 8 1 8 Other Southern California 32% 12 12 9 7 5 1 2 1 — 9 1 9 Latino 34% 8 7 11 5 3 4 — 1 1 10 2 14 * Includes several issues each mentioned by 1 percent or less, including floods; nuclear wastes and nuclear energy; ozone depletion; global warming; protecting wildlife and endangered species; preserving wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams, and other environmentally sensitive areas; landfills, garbage, sewage, and waste disposal; lack of parks and recreation areas. -7- State Issues Environmental Problems in the State Californians are most likely to name air pollution as the biggest problem, but other environmental issues in the state raise concerns. Nearly half say that soil and groundwater contamination by toxics such as MTBE and urban and agricultural runoff pollution of lakes, rivers and streams are big problems in California today. Four in 10 think that suburban development harming wildlife and endangered species is a big problem. Eight in 10 rate these three environmental issues as at least somewhat of a problem. Across regions, San Francisco Bay area residents are the most likely to say that groundwater and soil contamination is a big problem. Central Valley residents worry the least about the harmful effects of urban and agricultural runoff on water and of suburban development on wildlife habitats. Latinos seem to be more worried than non-Hispanic whites about this set of statewide environmental issues. Latinos are more likely to rate soil and groundwater contamination (53% to 46%), pollution from urban and agricultural runoff (51% to 45%), and suburban development harming wildlife habitats (44% to 39%) as big environmental problems. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to cite pollution from urban and agricultural runoff (51% to 37%), soil and groundwater contamination (49% to 39%), and suburban development harming wildlife habitats and endangered species (45% to 33%) as big problems. Women (43%) are more likely than men (36%) to say that suburban development harming wildlife habitats is a big problem. Those 55 and older (41%) are less likely than younger adults (49%) to view pollution from urban and agricultural runoff as a big problem. There are no differences across income groups. "How much of a problem is __________/__________/__________ in California today?" MTBE and other toxic substances contaminating soil and groundwater Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Urban and agricultural runoff polluting lakes, rivers, and streams Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Suburban development harming wildlife habitats and endangered species Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know All Adults 48% 32 8 12 47% 37 12 4 39% 40 18 3 Central Valley 45% 37 10 8 34% 44 18 4 27% 45 25 3 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California 57% 28 6 9 50% 29 6 15 40% 37 10 13 49% 38 9 4 53% 36 7 4 47% 36 13 4 43% 41 13 3 43% 39 15 3 42% 37 18 3 - 8- Latino 53% 31 8 8 51% 34 12 3 44% 39 14 3 State Issues Environmental Problems in Specific Regions Many Californians have concerns about environmental problems in specific regions of the state. About half say that ocean and beach pollution (53%) and growth and pollution damaging the Sierra Mountain’s forests (45%) are big problems in California today. More than one in three have significant concerns about urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley (39%) and the logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California (34%). Those living in Los Angeles (67%) and the rest of Southern California (63%) are the most likely to cite ocean and beach pollution as a big problem, while those in the San Francisco Bay area (48%) and the Central Valley (49%) are much more likely than others to say that urban sprawl taking over Central Valley farmlands is a big problem. Los Angeles residents (55%) worry the most about Sierra Mountain forests, while San Francisco Bay area residents (43%) are the most concerned about the logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say ocean and beach pollution (62% to 50%) and damage to the Sierra Mountain’s forests (55% to 42%), while non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos to express major concerns about urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley (44% to 35%). "How much of a problem is __________/__________/__________/__________ in California today" Ocean and beach pollution along the California coast Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Urban growth, air pollution damaging the forests in the Sierra Mountains Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know All Adults 53% 36 7 4 45% 37 11 7 39% 35 16 10 34% 33 19 14 Central Valley 39% 39 11 11 37% 41 17 5 49% 32 14 5 25% 34 27 14 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 35% 51 10 4 67% 28 3 2 63% 30 5 2 62% 29 5 4 43% 40 9 8 55% 31 7 7 42% 40 10 8 55% 33 7 5 48% 30 14 8 34% 39 14 13 30% 38 20 12 35% 38 18 9 43% 31 19 7 34% 36 14 16 31% 31 19 19 34% 33 17 16 -9- State Issues Personal Threat of the State’s Environmental Problems Californians may notice environmental problems and even view them as significant, but how many see today’s environmental problems as a threat to their own health and well-being? Seven in 10 residents think environmental problems pose a threat, with one in four saying environmental problems in the state are a “very serious” threat to themselves, while almost half (45%) see them as a “somewhat serious” threat. About one-third third say these problems aren't a serious personal threat. Los Angeles residents (34%) are the most likely to see environmental problems as a very serious threat to their lives. Those living in other areas of Southern California and in the Central Valley are the most likely to say that the personal threat of environmental problems is not too serious. Latinos worry more than non-Hispanic whites (31% to 22%) that environmental problems are a very serious problem for them. The perceived personal threat of environmental problems varies by age and income: People under 35 years of age (30%) are more likely than those 55 and older (19%), and people earning under $40,000 (31%) are more likely than those making $80,000 or more (18%), to say that environmental problems pose a very serious threat to their own health and well-being. There are no differences by level of education or between men and women. Democrats (26%) and independent voters (24%) are more likely than Republicans (18%) to say that environmental problems in California pose a very serious threat to their health and well-being. However, those individuals who are not registered to vote (32%) are the most likely of all to say that environmental problems are a very serious personal threat. "Overall, how serious a threat to your own health and well-being are environmental problems in California today — very serious, somewhat serious, or not too serious?" Very serious Somewhat serious Not too serious Don't know All Adults 25% 45 29 1 Central Valley 21% 45 34 0 Region SF Bay Area 22% 49 28 1 Los Angeles 34% 45 21 0 Other Southern California 21% 44 34 1 Latino 31% 44 24 1 Governor’s Report Card When asked how they rate the job Gray Davis is doing as Governor, most Californians in PPIC Statewide Surveys earlier this year indicated they are generally pleased, and most approve of how he is handling issues like crime, budget and taxes, and schools. However, they give him better marks on economic issues than on environmental issues. There is a 20-point spread between those who approve (49%) and those who disapprove (29%) how he handles economic issues, and only 22 percent have no opinion. When it comes to the environment, there is an 8-point spread, with 36 percent approving, 28% disapproving, and 36 percent having no opinion about his handling of the issues. - 10 - State Issues In every region, residents are more likely to approve of the Governor’s performance on economic issues than they are to approve of his performance on environmental issues. This difference persists across population and political groups: Latinos (62% to 52%) and non-Hispanic whites (44% to 32%) and Democrats (59% to 42%), Republicans (40% to 30%), and independent voters (43% to 33%) all give the governor higher marks for economic than environmental performance. "Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Gray Davis is handling ______________/_______________ in California?" Environmental issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know Economic issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults Central Valley Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 36% 28 36 38% 27 35 35% 28 37 39% 29 32 35% 26 39 52% 20 28 49% 29 22 47% 32 21 49% 31 20 54% 28 18 46% 28 26 62% 20 18 Environmental issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know Economic issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know Party Registration Democrat Republican Other Voters Not Registered to Vote 42% 27 31 30% 33 37 33% 33 34 39% 18 43 59% 25 16 41% 38 21 43% 36 21 49% 19 32 - 11 - State Issues State Government’s Efforts Californians are not all that impressed with their state government’s overall efforts in the environmental protection arena. Half believe the state government is not doing enough to protect the environment in California, 37 percent say it is doing just enough, and 9 percent believe it is doing more than enough. The perception that state government efforts are inadequate is most common in the urban coastal areas of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. Central Valley residents are the most satisfied with the state government’s efforts. Most Latinos (50%) and non-Hispanic whites (49%) believe the state government is not doing enough to protect the environment. Republicans (40%) are less likely than Democrats (55%) or independent voters (53%) to be critical of how much the state government is doing. Women are more likely than men (57% to 43%), and adults under 55 are more likely than those 55 and older (52% to 44%) to say the state government is not doing enough. There are no differences by education and income. "Do you think the state government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to protect the environment in California?" More than enough Just enough Not enough Don't know All Adults 9% 37 50 4 Central Valley 12% 41 42 5 Region SF Bay Area 8% 36 53 3 Los Angeles 6% 33 57 4 Other Southern California 8% 40 48 4 Latino 10% 37 50 3 More than enough Just enough Not enough Don't know Democrat 6% 36 55 3 Party Registration Republican 13% 42 40 5 Other Voters 9% 34 53 4 Not Registered to Vote 9% 35 51 5 - 12 - Public Policy Environmental Regulations Most Californians agree with the pro-environmental statement that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost” (57%), although Americans as a whole are more likely to hold this view. Residents in the San Francisco Bay area (64%) are the most likely to say that stricter environmental laws are worth the cost, while Central Valley residents (46%) are the least supportive. Most Californians in all political and demographic groups support environmental regulations. However, Democrats (64%) and independent voters (60%) are more supportive of environmental regulations than Republicans (53%). Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (61% to 53%), women are more likely than men (60% to 55%), those earning $40,000 a year or more are more likely than those earning under $40,000 (63% to 53%), and younger adults are more likely than those 55 and older (60% to 49%) to say that environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. "Does the first statement or the second statement come closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost Don't know 28% 65 7 37% 57 6 * Source: National survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 1999 Stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs Stricter environmental laws worth the cost Don’t know Central Valley 47% 46 7 Region SF Bay Area 31% 64 5 Los Angeles 34% 60 6 Other Southern California 36% Latino 40% 58 53 67 - 13 - Public Policy Global Warming A solid majority (57%) of Californians believe that there is evidence to warrant either immediate action (22%) or some action (35%) to address global warming. Californians are more likely than the rest of the nation to think there is enough evidence of climate change to take some action (35% to 28%). Democrats (66%) and independent voters (61%) are more likely than Republicans (47%) to believe there is enough evidence of climate change for at least some action to be taken. San Francisco Bay area residents (65%) and Los Angeles residents (60%) are the most likely to say that there is enough evidence to take some action, while fewer living in the rest of the Southern California region (54%) and the Central Valley (52%) believe the facts call for some action. Non-Hispanic whites are a little more likely than Latinos (59% to 54%) to think that the facts call for at least some actions to stop global climate change. College graduates are more likely than those with a high school education or less (63% to 51%), those earning $40,000 or more a year are more likely than those earning less (62% to 52%), and younger adults are more likely than those 55 and older (61% to 46%) to think that there is enough evidence of global warming to elicit a response. "From what you know about global climate change or global warming, which of the following four statements comes closest to your views?" Global climate change has been established as a serious problem and immediate action is necessary There is enough evidence that climate change is taking place and some action should be taken We don’t know enough about global climate change, and more research is necessary before we take any actions Concern about global climate change is unnecessary Other, don't know * Source: National survey conducted by Hart and Teeter, 1999 All Adults U.S.* California 23% 22% 28 35 32 33 11 7 63 Party Registration Global climate change is serious, take immediate action Enough evidence of climate change, take some action We don’t know enough about global climate change Concern about global climate change is unnecessary Other, don't know Democrats 27% 39 28 3 3 Republicans 13% 34 40 12 1 Other Voters 25% 36 29 8 2 Not Registered to Vote 24% Latino 20% 31 34 35 37 64 45 - 14 - Public Policy Individual Rights on Land Use When asked to choose between two values—individuals’ property rights and government regulation of development—Californians favor property rights by 54 percent to 42 percent. However, Californians are more likely than Americans as a whole to prefer government regulation of development (42% to 25%). Republicans (64%) and independents (60%) are more likely than Democrats (46%) to favor individual property rights over government regulation of development. Public support for individual property rights is higher in the Central Valley (66%) than in Los Angeles (48%), the San Francisco Bay area (51%), and the rest of the Southern California region (55%). Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (56% to 49%) to choose property rights over government regulation of development. Men are more likely than women (58% to 50%), and homeowners are more likely than renters (56% to 51%) to favor individual property rights. College graduates are more likely than those who have not graduated from college (49% to 37%), and those earning $80,000 or more are more likely than those earning less (46% to 41%) to favor government regulation of residential and commercial development. “If you had to choose, which is more important …” All Adults U.S.* California The ability of individuals to do what they want with the land they own The ability of government to regulate residential and commercial development for the common good Don’t know 69% 25 6 54% 42 4 * Source: National survey conducted by the Yankelovich Partners, 1999 Party Registration The ability of individuals to do what they want with the land they own The ability of government to regulate development Don't know Democrats Republicans 46% 64% 49 31 55 Other Voters 60% 38 2 Not Registered to Vote 50% Latino 49% 46 48 43 - 15 - Public Policy Government Funding to Purchase Open Space True to the strong support noted above for slowing down the pace of local development—most Californians (57%) like the idea of using public funds to buy undeveloped land in order to shield it from development. In fact, Californians are more likely than Americans in general (57% to 44%) to support this concept. San Francisco Bay area residents (65%) are highly supportive of this idea, as are Los Angeles residents (56%) and those living elsewhere in Southern California (59%). Those living in the Central Valley (50%) only narrowly support the idea. More Democrats (64%) than Republicans or independent voters (54% each) are in favor having the government purchase land with taxpayer money in order to keep it from being developed. Though majorities in each group express support, non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (61% to 52%), and those with incomes of $40,000 or more a year are more likely than those earning less (63% to 52%), to favor the idea of the government purchasing land to protect it. Those with a high school education or less (49%) are less likely than those with some college (57%) and a college degree (65%) to favor using government funding for this purpose. Those 35 to 54 years old (63%) are more likely than either younger adults (56%) or older adults (50%) to favor taxpayer funding of open space. "Do you favor or oppose using taxpayer money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from commercial and residential development?” Favor Oppose Don't know All Adults U.S.* California 44% 57% 49 37 76 * Source: National survey conducted by the Yankelovich Partners, 1999 Favor Oppose Don’t know Central Valley 50% 44 6 Region SF Bay Area 65% 31 4 Los Angeles 56% 38 6 Other Southern California 59% 36 6 Latino 52% 38 10 - 16 - Public Policy Nonprofits' Money to Purchase Open Space Public support is overwhelming when it comes to nonprofit organizations using their funds to purchase undeveloped land. Seventy-one percent of Californians favor the idea of nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from development. This result holds across political groups: 72 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans, and even more independent voters (78%) favor this use of nonprofit funds. Strong majorities support this idea in every region: 79 percent in the San Francisco Bay area, 70 percent in Los Angeles, 69 percent in the rest of Southern California, and 65 percent in the Central Valley. Support for this use of nonprofit funding is strong across all demographic groups, although there are differences. Non-Hispanic whites like this idea better than do Latinos (75% to 60%), and those with incomes of $40,000 are more positive about it than those earning less (80% to 61%). Support is higher among younger adults than among those 55 and older (75% to 58%). There are no significant differences in levels of support between men and women (73% to 69%). Fifty-nine percent of respondents with no college education support such efforts by nonprofits, compared to 71 percent of those with some college and a remarkable 82 percent of those with a college degree or more. "Do you favor or oppose nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from commercial and residential development?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 71% 24 5 Democrats 72% 24 4 Party Registration Republicans 71% 23 6 Other Voters 78% 19 3 Not Registered to Vote 65% 29 6 Latino 60% 33 7 Favor Oppose Don’t know Central Valley 65% 29 6 Region SF Bay Area 79% 17 4 Los Angeles 70% 26 4 Other Southern California 69% 25 6 - 17 - Public Policy State Conservation Trust to Purchase Open Space Californians may like the concept of having taxpayer funding or nonprofits buy open space, but they are ambivalent when confronted with the choice between using $1 billion of the state budget surplus for creating a conservation trust fund to purchase land or having lower taxes. Forty-nine percent of residents support the idea of starting a conservation trust fund (49%), while 44 percent would take the tax reduction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (55%) and Los Angeles residents (52%) show the most support for starting a conservation trust fund, while those living in the rest of Southern California are equally divided between wanting their taxes cut and starting a conservation trust fund (47% to 46%). Residents in the Central Valley are least supportive of such a fund (43%) and, in fact, most favor a tax cut (52%). Democrats (56%) are more likely than independent voters (49%) or Republicans (37%) to choose a conservation trust fund over tax relief as a way of using $1 billion of the state budget surplus. There are no differences between Latinos (52%) and non-Hispanic whites (50%) in their support of using the money for a conservation trust fund. Those under 55 are more likely than older adults to want to create such a fund (52% to 40%). Men are a little more likely than women to want a tax cut (47% to 41%). There are no differences across education or income groups. "The state budget surplus may reach $5 billion for the current year and $8 billion for the next year. Most of the surplus funds will go to education and other state programs. Assuming that about $1 billion is left, would you most prefer to use the remaining surplus on ...” Reducing your taxes Creating a conservation trust fund to purchase lands for parks and open space Other answer, don't know All Adults 44% 49 7 Central Valley 52% 43 5 Region SF Bay Area 38% Los Angeles 41% 55 52 77 Other Southern California 47% Latino 43% 46 52 75 Reducing your taxes Conservation trust fund Don’t know Party Registration Democrats 35% 56 9 Republicans 55% 37 8 Other Voters 46% 49 5 Not Registered to Vote 43% 51 6 - 18 - Public Policy Local Bond Measure to Purchase Open Space When asked if they would approve a local bond measure that might require raising property taxes, support for using taxpayer funds to buy land to preserve it from development shrinks even further. Most Californians (52%) would vote “no” on a local bond measure to purchase open space, even though 57 percent had earlier supported the principle of using taxpayer money for this same purpose. Apparently, the government funding many had in mind would come at no additional cost to taxpayers like themselves. Democrats (51%) only narrowly favor a local bond measure to purchase land, while Republicans (59%) and independent voters (53%) would vote against it. San Francisco Bay Area residents give a bare majority of support to a local bond measure to purchase open space (51%), while those living in Los Angeles (53%) and the rest of Southern California (52%) are narrowly opposed. The largest majority who would vote against such a measure (57%) is found in the Central Valley. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (47% to 42%) to support a local bond measure to purchase open space. Support rises with affluence and education, but only 50 percent of college graduates and 52 percent of those earning $80,000 or more would vote yes. Support falls below a majority for both men (43%) and women (44%), and in all age groups. Renters are more likely than homeowners (48% to 40%) to support a local bond measure that would result in higher property taxes to help buy and preserve undeveloped land. "If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local bond measure that would allow local government to buy undeveloped land and keep it free from development, even if this meant paying higher property taxes?” Yes No Don’t know All Adults 43% 52 5 Democrats 51% 45 4 Party Registration Republicans 36% 59 5 Other Voters 44% 53 3 Not Registered to Vote 40% 53 7 Latino 42% 53 5 Yes No Don’t know Central Valley 38% 57 5 Region SF Bay Area 51% 44 5 Los Angeles 43% 53 4 Other Southern California 44% 52 4 - 19 - Public Policy Oil Drilling Off the California Coast Most Californians (54%) oppose more offshore oil drilling, even if it results in higher prices for gasoline, while 43 percent say that more oil drilling should be allowed if it means lower gasoline prices. Democrats (60%) and independent voters (58%) are more likely than Republicans (50%) to say they oppose more drilling off the California coast. Those living in the San Francisco Bay area (63%)—where drivers face the highest gasoline prices in the state today—are more opposed to having more offshore oil drilling than those living in Los Angeles (58%), the rest of Southern California (47%), and the Central Valley (50%). Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (57% to 48%) to oppose more drilling. Opposition to more offshore oil drilling increases with education (43% for no college versus 52% for some college and 65% for college graduates) and income (48% for under $40,000 and 60% for $40,000 or more). Younger adults are a little less likely than those 55 and older (50% to 54%), and women are slightly more likely than men (56% to 52%) to oppose more oil drilling off the coast. "Is the first statement or the second statement closer to your views ..." Party Registration More oil drilling off the California coast should be allowed if this means lower gasoline prices for California drivers More oil drilling off the California coast should not be allowed, even if this means higher gasoline prices for California drivers Don't know All Adults Democrats Republicans 43% 36% 47% 54 60 34 50 3 Other Voters 40% 58 2 Not Registered to Vote Latino 50% 49% 46 48 43 Should allow oil drilling Should not allow oil drilling Don’t know Central Valley 47% 50 3 Region SF Bay Area 34% 63 3 Los Angeles 39% 58 3 Other Southern California 49% 47 4 - 20 - Public Policy Building New Housing in California Consistent with their pro-environmental stands on regulations, most Californians (59%) oppose building new housing that threatens endangered species, even if this will make housing more expensive. Six in 10 Democrats (63%) and independent voters (61%) oppose building new housing that threatens endangered species. While Republicans (53%) are also opposed, it is by a narrower margin. Residents of the San Francisco Bay area—usually more inclined to favor the environmentalist position but also living in the most expensive housing market in the state—are indistinguishable from Central Valley residents on this issue, with 55 percent saying new housing should not be built if it threatens endangered species. Six in 10 living in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern Californians, on the other hand, would oppose new housing to save endangered species, even if it meant higher housing costs. A majority in all demographic groups are opposed to building new housing that threatens endangered species. However, men are more likely than women (42% to 33%) and residents 55 and older are more likely than younger adults (46% to 34%) to say that new housing should be built even if it threatens endangered species. There are no differences between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, across education or income groups or, perhaps most surprisingly, between homeowners and renters. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." Party Registration New housing should be built to make housing more affordable for Californians, even if it threatens some endangered species New housing should not be built if it threatens endangered species, even if it makes housing more expensive for Californians Don't know All Adults 37% 59 4 Democrats 33% 63 4 Republicans 43% 53 4 Other Voters 37% 61 2 Not Registered to Vote Latino 37% 37% 59 59 44 Housing should be built Housing should not be built Don’t know Central Valley 41% 55 4 Region SF Bay Area 40% 55 5 Los Angeles 34% 63 3 Other Southern California 35% 61 4 - 21 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Importance of Candidate Positions Most Californians (84%) say the presidential candidates’ positions on growth, land use, and environmental issues are important to them, and 41 percent say that they are “very important.” Democrats (46%) are more likely than Republicans (30%) and independent voters (38%) to say environmental positions are very important. Those living in the San Francisco Bay area (42%) and Los Angeles (43%) are a little more likely than those living elsewhere in Southern California (38%) and the Central Valley (38%) to say that the presidential candidates’ positions on environmental issues are very important to them. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (54% to 37%) to rate growth, land use, and environmental issues as very important in thinking about the presidential election. Those with lower incomes and less education are also more likely to say that the candidates' positions on environmental issues are very important—49% of those with incomes below $40,000 versus 37% with incomes from $40,000 to $80,000 and 33% with incomes of $80,000 or more; 48% of those with no college education versus 39% of those with some college and 35% of those with a college degree. There are no age or gender differences. "In thinking about the presidential election this year, how important are the candidates’ positions on population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Very important Somewhat important Not important Don’t know All Adults 41% 43 14 2 Democrat 46% 43 9 2 Party Registration Republican 30% 48 21 1 Other Voters 38% 45 16 1 Not Registered to Vote 47% 35 14 4 Latino 54% 34 9 3 - 23 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Interest in Environmental News More than eight in 10 Californians say they are interested in news and information about growth, land use, and environmental issues, while more than one in three are “very interested.” Very few express little or no interest in growth, land use, and environmental news. Strong interest in environmental news is a little more common in the Los Angeles (38%) and San Francisco Bay (36%) areas than in the Central Valley (31%) and the rest of Southern California (31%). Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say they are very interested in environmental news (41% to 34%). "How interested are you in news and information about population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Very interested Somewhat interested Not too interested Not at all interested Don’t know All Adults 35% 48 12 4 1 Central Valley 31% 48 14 6 1 Region SF Bay Area 36% 49 12 3 0 Los Angeles 38% 46 12 4 0 Other Southern California 31% 53 12 3 1 Latino 41% 43 12 3 1 News and Information Sources When it comes to growth, land use, and environmental issues, Californians are equally likely to turn to newspapers as to television for news (37% to 36%). In looking at regional differences, newspapers take precedence over television for environmental news only in the San Francisco Bay Area (38% to 28%). Among Latinos, television leads newspapers by a wide margin (50% to 30%), while non-Hispanic whites favor newspapers over television by a narrower margin (40% to 32%). Californians with a high school education or less are much more likely to receive their environmental news by television than by newspapers (52% to 31%), as are people with incomes below $40,000 (52% to 26%). All other education and income levels rely more on newspapers for environmental news. "Where do you get most of your news about population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Television Newspapers Magazines and newsletters The Internet Radio Talking to people Other, don't know All Adults 37% 36 8 7 5 5 2 Central Valley 44% 32 6 5 5 6 2 Region SF Bay Area 28% 38 12 7 6 5 4 Los Angeles 37% 37 7 8 6 3 2 Other Southern California 43% 35 6 7 3 4 2 Latino 50% 30 4 4 5 6 1 - 24 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Environmental News Ratings Two in thee Californians are at least somewhat satisfied with the amount of news they receive on growth, land use, and environmental issues. However, only 13 percent report being “very satisfied” with regard to the quantity of this type of news. Central Valley residents are the most likely to say they are very satisfied with the amount of news coverage on these issues (16%), while San Francisco Bay area residents are the least likely (11%). Latinos and non-Hispanic whites (69% to 68%) are equally likely to say they are at least somewhat satisfied with the amount of news. Seven in 10 Californians have at least some trust in the news they are receiving on growth, land use, and environmental issues. However, only one in eight has “a great deal “ of trust in the news coverage on these topics. There are no differences across regions, between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, and across demographic groups. When asked to choose which sources about growth, land use, and environmental issues reported in the news media are most believable, Californians say that colleges and universities have the most credibility (33%), followed by nonprofit organizations (20%), environmental groups (18%), government (8%), business and industry (8%), and civic groups (7%). "How satisfied are you with the amount of news coverage on population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Don’t know All Adults 13% 55 23 7 2 Central Valley 16% 55 23 5 1 Region SF Bay Area 11% 56 24 8 1 Los Angeles 12% 55 25 7 1 Other Southern California 14% 57 22 4 3 Latino 15% 54 23 5 3 Membership in Environmental Groups The importance and interest that individuals attach to environmental issues does not, in most cases, translate into membership in environmental groups. One in nine Californians belongs to an environmental group. Participation is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (14%) and lowest in the Central Valley (7%). Democrats (14%) have only slightly higher rates of membership than Republicans (11%). Latinos (9%) are only slightly less likely than non-Hispanic whites (12%) to say they belong to environmental groups. College graduates (18%) and those with average incomes of $40,000 or more (15%) are more likely than others to belong to environmental groups. "Do you belong to any environmental groups?" All Adults Central Valley Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino Yes 11% 7% 14% 13% 10% 9% No 89 93 86 87 90 91 - 25 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Outdoor Leisure Activities Californians’ appreciation of the environment is evident in their leisure pursuits. Nearly four in five spend at least some of their leisure time at local parks, recreation areas, or beaches, and more than one in three do so on a regular basis. Two in three Californians say they at least sometimes take a trip to a national park or other scenic destination, while one on four does so on a frequent basis. More than four in 10 residents sometimes take day trips that involve hiking or mountain biking on unpaved trails (43%) or go on overnight backpacking or camping trips (38%). About one in seven regularly rough it on unpaved trails (15%) or overnight camping trips (12%). San Francisco Bay Area residents are the most likely to spend their leisure time at local parks, recreation areas, or beaches and to take day trips that involve hiking and biking on unpaved trails. Los Angeles residents are the least likely to regularly take trips to national parks and scenic areas. Central Valley residents are the most likely to at least sometimes go on overnight camping and backpacking trips. Latinos and non-Hispanic whites report similar levels of recreational activity when it comes to visiting local parks and beaches, taking trips to national parks and scenic areas, going on day trips that involve hiking or biking, or going on overnight trips that include camping or backpacking. Men and women are equally likely to at least sometimes visit local parks and beaches (78% to 75%) and take trips to scenic areas (69% to 64%). However, women are more likely than men to say they “never” hike or bike on unpaved trails (39% to 26%) or go camping or backpacking (40% to 28%). People under 55 are more likely than older adults to regularly go to local parks and beaches (42% to 25%), to take trips to national parks and scenic destinations (25% to 18%), to hike and bike on unpaved trails (17% to 9%), and to go camping or backpacking (15% to 6%). Income and education also play a role in many of these outdoor recreational activities. People with incomes over $80,000 and college graduates are the most likely to visit parks, take trips to scenic destinations, and go on day trips that involve hiking or biking on unpaved trails. However, there are no differences across income or education groups when it comes to overnight camping or backpacking. "How often do you ..." Region Spend your leisure time at local parks, recreation areas, or beaches Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Take a trip to a national park or other scenic destination Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never All Adults 37% 39 20 4 23% 44 25 8 Central Valley 31% 44 21 4 23% 46 23 8 SF Bay Area 41% 39 16 4 25% 46 22 7 Los Angeles 35% 40 20 5 18% 44 29 9 - 26 - Other Southern California Latino 39% 36 21 4 39% 39 19 3 25% 40 26 9 24% 40 27 9 Personal Interests and Household Activities "How often do you ..." Region Go on day trips that involve hiking or mountain biking on unpaved trails Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Go on overnight trips that involve camping or backpacking Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never All Adults 15% 28 24 33 12% 26 28 34 Central Valley 11% 19 29 41 19% 30 20 31 SF Bay Area 21% 32 23 24 9% 28 32 31 Los Angeles 10% 27 24 39 8% 24 27 41 Other Southern California Latino 16% 31 25 28 15% 26 29 30 13% 23 30 34 13% 26 39 32 Environmentally-Friendly Practices Californians have a mixed record when it comes to environmentally-friendly practices in their daily lives. An overwhelming majority regularly recycle their newspapers, aluminum cans, or glass (78%). One in two routinely purchase recycled paper or plastic goods. However, only one in five regularly buy organic or pesticide-free foods or carpool on a regular basis. When we compare the findings of our California survey with those of a national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 1997, we find that Californians are more likely than Americans as a whole to regularly recycle (78% to 69%), purchase recycled paper and plastics (49% to 40%), buy organic foods (22% to 17%), and carpool (21% to 16%). There are few differences across regions of the state. San Francisco Bay area residents are the most likely to recycle regularly (90%). Central Valley residents—living in the agricultural heartland—are the least likely to buy organic foods at least some of the time (51%). About half of the residents in all regions say they regularly purchase recycled products. About half in all regions say they never carpool. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos to say they regularly recycle (83% to 69%). Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say they routinely buy recycled paper and plastics (55% to 47%) and carpool (34% to 16%). Both groups are equally likely to buy organic and pesticide-free foods. There are a few important differences in other demographic groups. People over the age of 55 (86%) are the most likely to regularly recycle, while those under 35 are the most likely to regularly carpool (29%). Women are a little more likely than men to routinely recycle (80% to 76%), buy recycled paper and plastic (53% to 45%), and carpool (23% to 18%). Recycling tends to increase with higher income and education, while carpooling declines with higher education and income. - 27 - Personal Interests and Household Activities "In your household, how often do you ..." Region Recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, or glass Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Purchase recycled products when buying paper or plastic goods Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Buy organic or pesticide-free foods Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Carpool Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never All Adults 78% 10 5 7 49% 40 7 4 22% 35 23 20 21% 16 11 52 Central Valley 75% 12 6 7 48% 41 6 5 19% 32 27 22 23% 13 10 54 SF Bay Area 90% 4 1 5 47% 41 8 4 21% 40 21 18 19% 16 13 52 Los Angeles 73% 11 7 9 50% 39 8 3 25% 33 24 18 21% 19 10 50 Other Southern California Latino 74% 13 4 9 69% 15 6 10 49% 41 7 4 20% 37 21 22 20% 17 12 51 55% 34 9 3 22% 35 25 18 34% 18 13 35 - 28 - Survey Methodology The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research assistance from Eric McGhee and Christopher Hoene. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; however, the survey methodology and questions and the content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare. The survey benefited from consultation with Michael Teitz at PPIC and Michael Mantell, Mark Valentine, and others who offered their expertise on behalf of the Packard Foundation. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,001 California adult residents interviewed from May 22 to May 30, 2000. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers, ensuring that both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in California were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to five times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Each interview took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Maria Tello translated the survey into Spanish. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California's adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to U.S. Census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,001 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. Sampling error is just one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to four geographic regions. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “SF Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and "Other Southern California" includes the mostly suburban regions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. These four regions were chosen for analysis because they are the major population centers of the state, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population; moreover, the growth of the Central Valley and “Other Southern California” regions have given them increasing political significance. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 24 percent of the state's adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. The sample sizes for the African American and Asian subgroups are not large enough for separate statistical analysis. We contrast the opinions of Democrats and Republicans with "other voters." This third category includes those who are registered to vote as “decline to state” or independents as well as a fewer number who say they are members of other political parties. In some cases, we compare PPIC Statewide Survey responses to responses recorded in national surveys conducted in 1997 and 1999 by the Pew Research Center, and 1999 national surveys by Hart and Teeter, and Yankelovich Partners. We used earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys to analyze trends over time in California. - 29 - STATEWIDE SURVEY: SPECIAL SURVEY ON THE ENVIRONMENT MAY 22 – MAY 30, 2000 2,001 CALIFORNIA ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/- 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. Which of the following best describes the place where you now live: Is it a large city, suburb, small city or town, or rural area? 30% large city 21 suburb 40 small city or town 9 rural area 2. Overall, how would you rate your city or community as a place to live? Would you say it is excellent, good, fair, or poor? 32% excellent 45 good 18 fair 5 poor 3. In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining? 58% growing rapidly 23 growing slowly 15 staying about the same 1 declining 3 don’t know 4. In the next 10 years, do you think that the population of your city or community will grow rapidly, grow slowly, stay about the same, or decline? 54% grow rapidly 25 grow slowly 18 stay about the same 1 decline 2 don't know 5. Do you think that government regulations in your city or community aimed at controlling growth are too strict, about right, or not strict enough? 10% 48 31 11 too strict about right not strict enough don’t know 6. How much of a problem is traffic congestion in your region today: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 44% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 24 not a problem 7. How much of a problem is population growth and development in your region today: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 27% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 33 not a problem 1 don't know 8. How much of a problem is air pollution in your region today: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 28% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 32 not a problem 1 don't know 9. Thinking about the quality of life in your region, how do you think things are going—very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly? 29% very well 56 somewhat well 10 somewhat badly 4 very badly 1 don't know 10. Thinking about the next 10 years, do you think that the population in your region will grow rapidly, grow slowly, stay about the same, or decline? 59% grow rapidly 24 grow slowly 14 stay about the same 2 decline 1 don't know 11. Overall, do you think that in 2010 your region will be a better place to live than it is now, a worse place to live than it is now, or will there be no change? 28% better place 36 worse place 32 no change 4 don't know I’d like to ask you about ways to improve the quality of life in your region over the next 10 years. How effective do you think the following actions would be—very effective, somewhat effective or not effective? (rotate q. 12-14) - 31 - 12. Establishing growth boundaries around cities beyond which new development would not be permitted. Do you think this would be very effective, somewhat effective, or not effective at improving the quality of life in your region? 33% very effective 42 somewhat effective 22 not effective 3 don't know 13. Encouraging the development of job centers near existing housing to reduce commute times for workers. Do you think this would be very effective, somewhat effective, or not very effective? 41% very effective 38 somewhat effective 19 not effective 2 don't know 14. Restricting development in order to preserve wetlands, rivers, and other environmentally sensitive areas. Do you think this would be very effective, somewhat effective, or not very effective? 41% very effective 35 somewhat effective 21 not effective 3 don't know 15. What do you think is the most important environmental issue facing California today? (open-ended) 33% air pollution 12 growth, overpopulation 9 pollution in general 7 traffic congestion 6 water supply 6 water pollution of rivers, lakes, streams 2 ocean and beach pollution 1 protecting wildlife, endangered species 1 preserving wetlands, sensitive areas 1 loss of farmlands, agriculture 1 loss of wilderness, open space 1 sprawl, too much development 1 toxic wastes, contamination of the land 1 logging, loss of redwoods, protecting forests 1 pesticides 1 MTBE, gas in water supply 1 landfills, garbage, sewage, waste 6 other (specify) 1 nothing, there is none 8 don't know Now, I am going to read you a list of environmental issues. Please tell me if you think each of the following is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in California today. (rotate q. 1622 ) 16. How much of a problem is urban and agricultural runoff polluting lakes, rivers, and streams: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 47% big problem 37 somewhat of a problem 12 not a problem 4 don't know 17. How much of a problem is MTBE and other toxic substances contaminating soil and groundwater: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 48% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 8 not a problem 12 don't know 18. How much of a problem is ocean and beach pollution along the California coast: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 53% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 7 not a problem 4 don't know 19. How much of a problem is the logging of oldgrowth redwoods in Northern California: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 34% big problem 33 somewhat of a problem 19 not a problem 14 don't know 20. How much of a problem is urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 39% big problem 35 somewhat of a problem 16 not a problem 10 don't know 21. How much of a problem is suburban development harming wildlife habitats and endangered species: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 39% big problem 40 somewhat of a problem 18 not a problem 3 don't know - 32 - 22. How much of a problem is urban growth and air pollution damaging the forests in the Sierra Mountains: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 45% big problem 37 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 7 don't know 23. Overall, how serious a threat to your own health and well-being are environmental problems in California today—very serious, somewhat serious, or not too serious? 25% very serious 45 somewhat serious 29 not too serious 1 don’t know 24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Gray Davis is handling environmental issues in California? 36% approve 28 disapprove 36 don’t know 25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Gray Davis is handling economic issues in California? 49% approve 29 disapprove 22 don’t know 26. Overall, do you think the state government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to protect the environment in California? 9% more than enough 37 just enough 50 not enough 4 don’t know Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement in the following questions comes closer to your views—even if neither is exactly right. (rotate q. 27 to 31 and rotate a and b in each question) 27. (a) stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, (b) stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. 37% stricter environmental laws cost jobs 57 stricter environmental laws worth the cost 6 don't know 28. (a) more oil drilling off the California coast should be allowed if this means lower gasoline prices for California drivers, (b) more oil drilling off the California coast should not be allowed, even if this means higher gasoline prices for California drivers. 43% oil drilling should be allowed 54 oil drilling should not be allowed 3 don't know 29. (a) new housing should be built to make housing more affordable for Californians, even if it threatens some endangered species, (b) new housing should not be built if it threatens endangered species, even if it makes housing more expensive for Californians. 37% new housing should be built 59 new housing should not be built 4 don't know 30. The state budget surplus may reach $5 billion for the current year and $8 billion for the next year. Most of the surplus funds will go to education and other state programs. Assuming that about $1 billion is left, would you most prefer to use the remaining surplus on (a) reducing your taxes or (b) creating a conservation trust fund to purchase lands for parks and open space. 44% reducing taxes 49 creating conservation trust fund 7 both 31. If you had to choose, which is more important. (rotate a and b): (a) the ability of individuals to do what they want with the land they own or (b) the ability of government to regulate residential and commercial development for the common good. 54% individuals do what they want 42 government regulate development 4 don't know 32. Do you favor or oppose using taxpayer money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from commercial and residential development? 57% favor 37 oppose 6 don't know 33. Do you favor or oppose nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from development? 71% favor 24 oppose 5 don't know - 33 - 34. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local initiative that would slow down the pace of development in your city or community, even if this meant having less economic growth? 58% yes 37 no 5 don't know 35. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local bond measure allowing local government to buy undeveloped land and keep it free from development, even if this meant paying higher local property taxes? 43% yes 52 no 5 don't know 36. From what you know about global climate change or global warming, which of the following four statements comes closest to your views? (rotate responses a, b, c, d). 22% a) global climate change has been established as a serious problem and immediate action is necessary 35 b) there is enough evidence that climate change is taking place and some action should be taken 33 c) we don’t know enough about global climate change, and more research is necessary before we take any actions 7 d) concern about global climate change is unwarranted 3 other, don't know 37. In thinking about the presidential election this year, how important are the candidates’ positions on population growth, land use, and environmental issues in determining your vote? Are they very important, somewhat important, or not important to you? 41% very important 43 somewhat important 14 not important 2 don't know 38. How interested are you in news and information about population growth, land use, and environmental issues—very interested, somewhat interested, not too interested, or not at all interested? 35% very interested 48 somewhat interested 12 not too interested 4 not at all interested 1 don't know 39. Where do you get most of your news and information about population growth, land use, and environmental issues? (rotate) 37% television 36 newspapers 8 magazines and newsletters 7 the Internet 5 radio 5 talking to people 2 other, don't know 40. Overall, how satisfied are you with the amount of news coverage on population growth, land use and environmental issues: Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? 13% very satisfied 55 somewhat satisfied 23 somewhat dissatisfied 7 very dissatisfied 2 don't know 41. Overall, how much do you trust the news coverage on population growth, land use and environmental issues—a great deal, some, very little, or not at all? 12% a great deal 58 some 22 very little 7 not at all 1 don't know 42. Which of the following sources of information on population growth, land use, and environmental issues do you find the most believable? (rotate) 33% colleges and universities 20 nonprofit organizations 17 environmental groups 8 government 8 business and industry 7 civic groups 7 other (specify), don't know - 34 - 43. Do you yourself belong to any environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, or a state or local environmental organization? 11% yes 89 no 44. How often do you spend your leisure time at local public parks, recreation areas, or beaches—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 37% regularly 39 sometimes 20 hardly ever 4 never 45. How often do you take a trip to a national park or other scenic destination—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 23% regularly 44 sometimes 25 hardly ever 8 never 46. How often do you go on day trips that involve hiking or mountain biking on unpaved trails— regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 15% regularly 28 sometimes 24 hardly ever 33 never 47. How often do you go on overnight trips that involve camping or backpacking—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 12% regularly 26 sometimes 28 hardly ever 34 never 48. In your household, how often do you recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, or glass— regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 78% regularly 10 sometimes 5 hardly ever 7 never 49. In your household, how often do you carpool— regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 21% regularly 16 sometimes 11 hardly ever 52 never 50. In your household, how often do you purchase recycled products when buying paper or plastic goods—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 49% regularly 40 sometimes 7 hardly ever 4 never 51. In your household, how often do you buy organic or pesticide-free foods—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 22% regularly 35 sometimes 23 hardly ever 20 never 52. Some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain you are registered to vote? (if yes: Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent or decline-to-state?) 32% yes, Democrat 25 yes, Republican 3 yes, other party 17 yes, independent or "decline-to-state" 23 no, not registered 53. Would you consider yourself to be politically very liberal, somewhat liberal, middle-of-theroad, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? 10% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 33 middle-of-the-road 25 somewhat conservative 10 very conservative 54. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 19% a great deal 43 fair amount 30 only a little 8 none 55. Would you say you follow what's going on in government and public affairs most of the time, some of the time, hardly ever, or never? 40% most of the time 44 some of the time 13 hardly ever 3 never 56. How often would you say you vote—always, nearly always, part of the time, seldom or never? 50% always 19 nearly always 11 part of the time 6 seldom 14 never [Questions 57 – 64: Demographic Questions] - 35 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Ruben Barrales President Joint Venture–Silicon Valley Network Angela Blackwell President Policy Link Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley Dennis A. Collins President The James Irvine Foundation Matt Fong Attorney Sheppard Mullin William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Associate Claremont Graduate University Monica Lozano Associate Publisher and Executive Editor La Opinión Donna Lucas President NCG Porter Novelli Max Neiman Director Center for Social and Behavioral Research University of California, Riverside Jerry Roberts Managing Editor San Francisco Chronicle Dan Rosenheim News Director KRON-TV Richard Schlosberg President The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Carol Stogsdill Senior Vice President APCO Associates Cathy Taylor Editorial Page Editor Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center - 36 -" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(125) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-special-survey-on-californians-and-the-environment-june-2000/s_600mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8115) ["ID"]=> int(8115) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:35:00" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3221) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 600MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_600mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_600MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "223401" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(88620) " Preface This survey on Californians and the environment—a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation—is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. The Packard Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in several program areas, including conservation and population. This special edition presents the responses of 2,001 adult residents throughout the state and provides the first comprehensive, advocacy-free study of Californians’ attitudes toward population growth, land use, and environmental issues. The survey examines in detail the public's concerns about local, regional, and statewide issues; explores the extent to which the environmental concerns expressed today are evident in the interests and everyday habits of Californians; and measures the public’s willingness to support policies designed to protect the land and natural resources from the impacts of future growth and development. Many of the policy choices offered in the survey require the public to weigh tradeoffs, some involving individuals’ rights versus the common good, and others calling for financial and personal sacrifices. More specifically, we examine the following issues: • Variations in perceptions, attitudes, and policy preferences across the four major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles area, and the rest of Southern California), between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, and across age and the socioeconomic and political spectrum. • Local and regional issues, including perceptions of current and future growth, traffic, and air pollution; the adequacy of local growth regulations; and the willingness to consider development restrictions in one's own region. • State issues, including identification of the most important environmental issue, perceptions of specific problems, and opinions about the seriousness of environmental problems in general and the performance of the Governor and state government in handling environmental issues. • Specific public policy issues, including support for environmental laws and regulations, local growth controls, taxpayer-supported open space purchases, and the purchase of undeveloped land by non-profit organizations. • Personal interests and household activities, including membership in environmental groups, attention to environmental news, outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, and daily habits such as recycling and buying organic foods. Copies of this report or other PPIC Statewide Surveys may be ordered by calling (800) 232-5343 [mainland U.S.] or (415) 291-4415 [Canada, Hawaii, overseas). -i- Contents Preface Press Release Local and Regional Issues State Issues Public Policy Personal Interests and Household Activities Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i v 1 7 13 23 29 31 36 - iii - Press Release STATE’S ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS POSE SERIOUS PERSONAL THREAT, RESIDENTS SAY Strong Support for Growth Restrictions, Open Space Preservation Dwindles When Public Asked to Ante Up SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 21, 2000 — It’s the environment, stupid. California’s unique natural resources are on the minds of residents this election year, with an overwhelming majority seeing environmental problems as a threat to their health and well-being, according to a new survey just released by the Public Policy Institute of California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. But while the public will make certain tradeoffs to deal with the growth-related issues driving their environmental anxiety, they would prefer to see someone else foot the bill. The large-scale public opinion survey of 2,001 Californians found that seven in ten residents see today’s environmental problems as a threat to their personal health and well-being, with one in four saying environmental problems are a “very serious” threat and almost half (45%) seeing them as a “somewhat serious” threat. When asked to identify the most important environmental issue facing the state, the top issue by far was air pollution (33%), followed distantly by growth (13%), pollution in general and water pollution (9% each), traffic (7%), and the water supply (6%). Nearly half of Californians also say that soil and groundwater contamination (48%) and urban and agricultural runoff (47%) are “big problems” today. Four in ten think that suburban development harming wildlife is a big problem. Specific regional issues also raise considerable worry: About half say that ocean and beach pollution (53%) and growth and pollution damaging the Sierra Mountains’ forests (45%) are big problems, and more than one in three have significant concerns about urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley (39%) and the logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California (34%). Solid majorities rate all of these environmental issues as at least “somewhat of a problem.” More Government? Given their broad concern, Californians are less than impressed with their state government’s efforts to protect the environment. Half of all residents believe the state is not doing enough in this arena. And Governor Davis — who receives strong ratings for his handling of economic issues — has failed to distinguish himself in a similar way on environmental issues. While 36 percent of residents approve of the way he is handling environmental issues, 28 percent disapprove and 36 percent say they don’t know. Californians are also looking to their federal representatives for environmental leadership: Most (84%) say the presidential candidates’ positions on growth, land use, and environmental issues are important to them, with 41 percent saying they are “very important.” “The successful candidate in California will be mindful of the concern Californians have for their state’s environment and natural resources,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “Quality of life is a key issue in the Golden State, especially in this period of prosperity and growth.” Most Californians are willing to accept a greater degree of government involvement in protecting the environment, although Americans as a whole are more likely to hold this view. Fifty-seven percent of state residents agree with the statement that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are -v- Press Release worth the cost,” compared to 65 percent of Americans. A majority of Californians also say they are willing to make some tradeoffs in order to preserve the environment: 54 percent favor restricting oil drilling off the coast, even if this means higher gas prices, and 59 percent oppose building new housing if it threatens endangered species, even if the result is more expensive housing. Public Likes Growth Limits, But Not the Price Tag Population growth is a persistent and troubling theme in California today, adding to worries about natural resources and land use. Most Californians (81%) believe that their local population has been growing in recent years — 58 percent say it has been growing rapidly — and most expect this trend to continue into the next decade. While they are generally happy with current conditions in their region, residents clearly have qualms about the effects of future growth on their quality of life: A greater number believe that their region will be a worse place to live in 2010 than a better place (36% to 28%). Most Californians say their area is already experiencing problems, although perceptions vary from region to region. Three in four say traffic congestion is a big problem, and 44 percent rate it as a big problem. In the San Francisco Bay area, 74 percent view traffic as a big problem, compared to 21 percent in the Central Valley and 47 percent in Los Angeles. Two in three Californians also cite growth and development and air pollution as problems, and about one in four rate each of these problems as serious. Given the expectations and concerns about rapid growth, it is not surprising that residents support a variety of local and regional policies aimed at controlling growth and development in the future. A majority (58%) would support a local initiative that would slow the pace of development in their city or community, even if this meant less economic growth. Three in four Californians say that establishing growth boundaries around cities, encouraging job centers near existing housing, and restricting development in environmentally sensitive areas can be at least somewhat effective in improving their region’s quality of life over the next decade. True to the strong support for slowing the pace of local development, most state residents (57%) like the idea of using public funds to buy undeveloped land in order to shield it from development. In fact, Californians are more likely than Americans in general (57% to 44%) to support this idea. But while they favor the concept of using taxpayer dollars to buy open space, Californians are ambivalent when confronted with the choice between using $1 billion of the state budget surplus to reduce their taxes or to create a trust fund to purchase and preserve open space. Forty-nine percent of residents support the idea of starting a conservation trust fund, while 44 percent would take the tax cut. Further, a majority of residents (52%) say they would oppose a bond measure authorizing local government to buy land in order to preserve it from development if it meant paying higher property taxes. Public support for land conservation is overwhelming, however, when someone else is picking up the tab: Seventy-one percent favor the idea of nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from development. “These results underscore what we’ve found in our conservation work: A growing majority of California residents share a deep concern for the quality of their environment,” said Richard T. Schlosberg III, President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “Clearly, Californians see conservation as best approached through a partnership between public and private agencies.” Environment a High Priority for Latinos; Few Worries in Central Valley Surprising ethnic and regional differences lurk beneath the broad public concern about the environment and growth and development. Overall, Latinos appear to be more concerned than the - vi - Press Release public at large about environmental problems, with a greater number believing that those problems pose a very serious threat to their health and well-being (31% to 25%). They are also more likely to believe that specific environmental issues — such as coastal pollution and threatened forests in the Sierras — are big problems today and to say that the presidential candidates’ views on environmental issues are very important to them. On the other hand, Latinos are also more likely than residents generally to support the way Governor Davis is handling environmental issues (52% to 36%), to believe that more oil drilling should be allowed off the California coast if this means lower gas prices (49% to 43%), and to believe that their region will be a better place to live ten years from now (37% to 28%). Interestingly, Latinos are also less likely to support using taxpayer dollars to buy and preserve undeveloped land (52% to 57%). Although Central Valley residents are the most likely to say that the population of their city or community has grown — and will continue to grow — rapidly, they are also the least likely to see population growth and development as a big problem. They are also less likely than all Californians to view as big problems urban and agricultural runoff (34% to 47%), suburban development harming wildlife habitats (27% to 39%), and growth and pollution damaging the Sierras (37% to 45%). One issue — urban sprawl taking over farmlands — does register more strongly in the Central Valley than elsewhere in the state (49% to 39%). Like Republicans throughout California, Central Valley residents are less likely to support environmental laws and regulations, more likely to support individual property rights, and would choose a tax cut over the creation of a conservation trust fund. “It is striking and disturbing that Central Valley residents — living in California’s most threatened and fast-growing region — see so little cause for concern or action,” said Baldassare. About the Survey The Californians and the Environment Survey — a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation — is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. The Packard Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in several program areas, including conservation and population. This survey provides the first comprehensive, advocacy-free study of Californians’ attitudes toward growth, land use, and environmental issues. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,001 California adult residents interviewed from May 22 to May 30, 2000. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. For additional information on survey methodology, see page 29. Dr. Mark Baldassare is a senior fellow at PPIC. He is founder and director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has conducted since 1998. For over two decades, he has conducted surveys for the University of California, Irvine, and major news organizations, including the Orange County Edition of the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Chronicle, KCAL-TV, and KRON-TV. Dr. Baldassare is the author of numerous books, including California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (University of California Press, 2000). PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. The Institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. ### - vii - Local and Regional Issues Local Population Growth Local population growth is a persistent theme in California today, but the perception of growth varies in interesting ways across regions and community types. Most Californians (81%) believe that their local population has been growing in recent years, and 58 percent believe it has been growing rapidly. Very few (15%) think there has been no population growth, and even fewer (1%) believe their local population has declined. Although people in all regions and community types perceive growth, the perception of rapid growth is greatest among residents of the Central Valley (68%) and the San Francisco Bay area (64%). It is also greater among people living in the surrounding Southern California region (59%) than it is in Los Angeles County (48%) itself. Across community types, the perception of rapid growth is greater for people in large cities (67%) than in suburbs (58%), less in small cities (53%) and lowest of all in rural areas (48%). Latinos and non-Hispanic whites (59% to 56%) have about the same perception of rapid growth in their communities. As for the future, most people expect the current local population growth trends to continue. Eight in 10 Californians expect their local communities to grow in the next 10 years, and 54 percent expect them to grow rapidly. Those living in the Central Valley (67%) and the Southern California region outside of Los Angeles (59%) are more likely to expect rapid growth than those living in Los Angeles (45%) and the San Francisco Bay area (53%). And the expectation of rapid growth is greater in large cities (62%) than in suburbs (51%), small cities (50%), and rural areas (53%). "In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining?" Growing rapidly Growing slowly Staying the same Declining Don't know All Adults 58% 23 15 1 3 Central Valley 68% 20 8 2 2 Region SF Bay Area 64% 23 10 1 2 Los Angeles 48% 23 25 0 4 Other Southern California 59% 22 14 1 4 Latino 59% 21 18 1 1 -1- Local and Regional Issues Local Growth Control Initiatives Although most residents rate their localities as excellent (32%) or good (45%) places to live and almost half (48%) say their local government’s efforts to regulate growth are adequate, worries about population growth affect their policy preferences. If faced with making a choice at the ballot box, many Californians (58%) say they would vote “yes” on a local initiative that would slow down the pace of development in their city or community, even if this meant less economic growth. Across regions, support for local initiatives to slow growth is strongest in the San Francisco Bay area (65%) and weakest in the Central Valley (52%). Across community types, support is strongest in the suburbs (64%). Opposition to slow-growth initiatives is strongest in the Central Valley (44%); but even there, the majority express support for such initiatives. Support varies across different population groups. It rises with age, income, and education, but a majority of all demographic groups say they would vote yes. Latinos (53%) are less likely than non-Hispanic whites (62%) to support a local slow-growth initiative. Women (60%) are slightly more likely than men (55%). Interestingly enough, there are no differences in support among Democrats (60%), Republicans (59%), and independent voters (58%). Those who think that current growth regulations are not strict enough would overwhelmingly vote for a local growth control initiative (71%). Nevertheless, even among those who think current efforts are about right, a majority would also vote yes to slow down development (53%). Among people who believe local population growth has been rapid in recent years, 62 percent would support a local growth control initiative. And for those who think their localities will grow rapidly in the next 10 years, 60 percent would vote yes. "If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local initiative that would slow down the pace of development in your city or community, even if this meant having less economic growth?” Yes No Don’t know All Adults 58% 37 5 Central Valley 52% 44 4 Region SF Bay Area 65% 29 6 Los Angeles 57% 38 5 Other Southern California 57% 38 5 Latino 53% 42 5 - 2- Local and Regional Issues Regional Problems Californians are happy with the overall conditions in the broader region they live in, with most saying the quality of life in their region today is going either very well (29%) or somewhat well (56%). Still, most admit that their regions do have problems. For example, three in four say traffic congestion is a problem, and 44 percent rate it a “big problem.” Two in three cite growth and development and air pollution as problems, and about one in four rate each of these problems as serious. San Francisco Bay area residents are more concerned than others about traffic congestion and growth and development. In that area, 74 percent view traffic congestion as a serious problem, compared with 21 percent in the Central Valley and 47 percent in Los Angeles. Similarly, nearly half of San Francisco Bay area residents view growth and development as a big problem in their region (47%), while fewer hold this perception in other regions of the state. Air pollution is more likely to be cited as a serious problem in Los Angeles (40%) than elsewhere in the state. Traffic congestion is cited as a big problem by most of the residents in large cities (59%) and suburbs (55%). Growth is seen as a big problem by about one-third of big-city dwellers (33%) and suburbanites (31%). Serious complaints about traffic and growth are less common in small cities and rural areas. Air pollution is also more often noted as a big problem in large cities (40%) than in other types of communities. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos to cite traffic (48% to 33%) and growth (31% to 16%) as big problems in their region, while there are no differences in perceptions of air pollution. "How much of a problem is ______________/_______________/__________ in your region today?" All Central Adults Valley Traffic congestion Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem 44% 32 24 21% 37 42 Population growth and development Big problem Somewhat of a problem 27% 39 17% 36 Not a problem Don't know 33 45 12 Air pollution Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know 28% 39 32 1 28% 37 34 1 SF Bay Area 74% 18 8 47% 34 19 0 26% 49 25 0 Region Los Angeles 47% 34 19 21% 46 32 1 40% 37 23 0 Other Southern California Latino 40% 37 23 34% 36 30 27% 36 36 1 23% 38 38 1 16% 42 41 1 29% 36 34 1 -3- Local and Regional Issues The Region’s Future When asked about the future of their region, most people say they expect the population to grow rapidly, and relatively few expect their region to be a better place to live in 2010. Across the state, 59 percent expect rapid regional growth in population in the next decade. People outside of Los Angeles, which is the most populous region today, are the most likely to expect rapid growth. The expectations of rapid growth in all regions, and even stronger trends in the Central Valley and Southern California region outside of Los Angeles, are in line with state demographers’ forecasts. Looking ahead, only 28 percent expect their region to be a better place to live in 2010 than it is today. Many (36%) think it will become worse, and 32 percent expect their regions to stay the same. San Francisco Bay area residents are the least optimistic about their region’s future, with only 22 percent believing it will be a better place to live. Latinos (37%) are more optimistic than nonHispanic whites (24%) that in 2010 their region will be a better place to live. The expectation of rapid growth in a region is related to people's perceptions of regional problems. Those who see their regions growing rapidly in the next 10 years are much more likely than others to cite traffic (51%), growth (35%), and air pollution (33%) as big regional problems. Those who expect their region’s population to grow rapidly are also more likely than others to say their region will be a worse place (45%) to live in 2010. "Thinking about the next 10 years, do you think that the population in your region will grow rapidly, grow slowly, stay about the same, or decline?" Grow rapidly Grow slowly Stay about the same Decline Don't know All Adults 59% 24 14 2 1 Central Valley 67% 21 10 1 1 Region SF Bay Area 62% 25 10 2 1 Los Angeles 50% 28 19 1 2 Other Southern California 64% 18 15 2 1 Latino 56% 24 17 1 2 "Do you think that in 2010 your region will be a better place to live than it is now, a worse place to live than it is now, or will there be no change?" Better place Worse place No change Don't know All Adults 28% 36 32 4 Central Valley 34% 31 31 4 Region SF Bay Area 22% 43 29 6 Los Angeles 27% 35 34 4 Other Southern California 31% 38 29 2 Latino 37% 29 30 4 - 4- Local and Regional Issues Regional Policy Options Faced with the prospect of population growth, most Californians believe that various proposals aimed at limiting where development occurs could improve the quality of life. Three in four say that establishing growth boundaries around cities, encouraging job centers around existing housing, and restricting development in environmentally-sensitive areas can be at least somewhat effective in improving their region’s quality of life over the next decade. Thirty-three percent rate growth boundaries as very effective, while 41 percent rate job centers near housing and restricting development in environmentally-sensitive areas as very effective policy options for improving living conditions in their regions. The response is similar across regions for establishing growth boundaries and encouraging job centers near existing housing. However, Central Valley residents are the least positive and San Francisco Bay area residents are the most positive that restricting development in environmentallysensitive areas would be a very effective way to improve their region. Those who expect their region to grow rapidly are more likely than others to say that restricting development in environmentally-sensitive areas (47%), encouraging job centers near existing housing (44%), and establishing growth boundaries (38%) are very effective ways to improve the quality of life. "How effective do you think the following activities would be in improving the quality of life in your region over the next 10 years?" Establishing growth boundaries around cities beyond which new development would not be permitted Very effective Somewhat effective Not effective Don't know Encouraging the development of job centers near existing housing to reduce commute time for workers Very effective Somewhat effective Not effective Don't know Restricting development in order to preserve wetlands, rivers, and environmentally sensitive areas Very effective Somewhat effective Not effective Don't know All Adults 33% 42 22 3 41% 38 19 2 41% 35 21 3 Central Valley 31% 41 23 5 41% 38 19 2 33% 41 23 3 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles 34% 42 21 3 30% 43 24 3 42% 37 19 2 40% 40 19 1 47% 34 17 2 44% 31 22 3 Other Southern California 34% 43 20 3 43% 37 19 1 39% 37 21 3 Latino 34% 46 16 4 47% 41 12 0 39% 40 17 4 -5- State Issues Most Important Environmental Issue When residents were asked to identify the most important environmental issue facing California, the top issue by far was air pollution (33%), followed distantly by growth (13%), pollution in general and water pollution (9% each), traffic (7%), and the water supply (6%). No other issues were mentioned by more than 4 percent of the public. Fewer than one in 10 could not identify any environmental issue. Air pollution was named as the most important issue in every region of the state, across racial and ethnic groups, among men and women alike, for homeowners and renters, among those with and without children in the home, and in all age, income, educational, and political party groups. Perceptions about other important environmental issues did vary across regions. San Francisco Bay area residents were the most likely to mention growth (21%) and traffic (11%). Mention of growth as the biggest environmental issue also increased with age, income, and years of education. Responses to this open-ended question did not vary much across types of communities or current or anticipated growth experiences. For every group, air pollution was the top issue. Suburban residents (16%) were more likely than those living in large cities (10%) and small cities (11%) to say that growth and development was the top environmental issue in the state. "What do you think is the most important environmental issue facing California today?" Region Air pollution Growth, development Water, ocean, and beach pollution, MTBE Pollution in general Traffic congestion Water supply Toxic waste, pesticides, contamination of land Loss of wilderness, open space Loss of farmlands, agriculture Logging, loss of redwoods and forests Other* Nothing, there is none Don’t know All Adults 33% 13 9 9 7 6 2 1 1 1 9 1 8 Central Valley 36% 9 10 7 4 7 2 1 2 2 10 0 10 SF Bay Area 30% 21 5 7 11 6 1 2 2 1 8 1 5 Los Angeles 37% 11 8 12 5 6 2 1 — — 8 1 8 Other Southern California 32% 12 12 9 7 5 1 2 1 — 9 1 9 Latino 34% 8 7 11 5 3 4 — 1 1 10 2 14 * Includes several issues each mentioned by 1 percent or less, including floods; nuclear wastes and nuclear energy; ozone depletion; global warming; protecting wildlife and endangered species; preserving wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams, and other environmentally sensitive areas; landfills, garbage, sewage, and waste disposal; lack of parks and recreation areas. -7- State Issues Environmental Problems in the State Californians are most likely to name air pollution as the biggest problem, but other environmental issues in the state raise concerns. Nearly half say that soil and groundwater contamination by toxics such as MTBE and urban and agricultural runoff pollution of lakes, rivers and streams are big problems in California today. Four in 10 think that suburban development harming wildlife and endangered species is a big problem. Eight in 10 rate these three environmental issues as at least somewhat of a problem. Across regions, San Francisco Bay area residents are the most likely to say that groundwater and soil contamination is a big problem. Central Valley residents worry the least about the harmful effects of urban and agricultural runoff on water and of suburban development on wildlife habitats. Latinos seem to be more worried than non-Hispanic whites about this set of statewide environmental issues. Latinos are more likely to rate soil and groundwater contamination (53% to 46%), pollution from urban and agricultural runoff (51% to 45%), and suburban development harming wildlife habitats (44% to 39%) as big environmental problems. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to cite pollution from urban and agricultural runoff (51% to 37%), soil and groundwater contamination (49% to 39%), and suburban development harming wildlife habitats and endangered species (45% to 33%) as big problems. Women (43%) are more likely than men (36%) to say that suburban development harming wildlife habitats is a big problem. Those 55 and older (41%) are less likely than younger adults (49%) to view pollution from urban and agricultural runoff as a big problem. There are no differences across income groups. "How much of a problem is __________/__________/__________ in California today?" MTBE and other toxic substances contaminating soil and groundwater Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Urban and agricultural runoff polluting lakes, rivers, and streams Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Suburban development harming wildlife habitats and endangered species Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know All Adults 48% 32 8 12 47% 37 12 4 39% 40 18 3 Central Valley 45% 37 10 8 34% 44 18 4 27% 45 25 3 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California 57% 28 6 9 50% 29 6 15 40% 37 10 13 49% 38 9 4 53% 36 7 4 47% 36 13 4 43% 41 13 3 43% 39 15 3 42% 37 18 3 - 8- Latino 53% 31 8 8 51% 34 12 3 44% 39 14 3 State Issues Environmental Problems in Specific Regions Many Californians have concerns about environmental problems in specific regions of the state. About half say that ocean and beach pollution (53%) and growth and pollution damaging the Sierra Mountain’s forests (45%) are big problems in California today. More than one in three have significant concerns about urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley (39%) and the logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California (34%). Those living in Los Angeles (67%) and the rest of Southern California (63%) are the most likely to cite ocean and beach pollution as a big problem, while those in the San Francisco Bay area (48%) and the Central Valley (49%) are much more likely than others to say that urban sprawl taking over Central Valley farmlands is a big problem. Los Angeles residents (55%) worry the most about Sierra Mountain forests, while San Francisco Bay area residents (43%) are the most concerned about the logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say ocean and beach pollution (62% to 50%) and damage to the Sierra Mountain’s forests (55% to 42%), while non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos to express major concerns about urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley (44% to 35%). "How much of a problem is __________/__________/__________/__________ in California today" Ocean and beach pollution along the California coast Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Urban growth, air pollution damaging the forests in the Sierra Mountains Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know Logging of old-growth redwoods in Northern California Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don’t know All Adults 53% 36 7 4 45% 37 11 7 39% 35 16 10 34% 33 19 14 Central Valley 39% 39 11 11 37% 41 17 5 49% 32 14 5 25% 34 27 14 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 35% 51 10 4 67% 28 3 2 63% 30 5 2 62% 29 5 4 43% 40 9 8 55% 31 7 7 42% 40 10 8 55% 33 7 5 48% 30 14 8 34% 39 14 13 30% 38 20 12 35% 38 18 9 43% 31 19 7 34% 36 14 16 31% 31 19 19 34% 33 17 16 -9- State Issues Personal Threat of the State’s Environmental Problems Californians may notice environmental problems and even view them as significant, but how many see today’s environmental problems as a threat to their own health and well-being? Seven in 10 residents think environmental problems pose a threat, with one in four saying environmental problems in the state are a “very serious” threat to themselves, while almost half (45%) see them as a “somewhat serious” threat. About one-third third say these problems aren't a serious personal threat. Los Angeles residents (34%) are the most likely to see environmental problems as a very serious threat to their lives. Those living in other areas of Southern California and in the Central Valley are the most likely to say that the personal threat of environmental problems is not too serious. Latinos worry more than non-Hispanic whites (31% to 22%) that environmental problems are a very serious problem for them. The perceived personal threat of environmental problems varies by age and income: People under 35 years of age (30%) are more likely than those 55 and older (19%), and people earning under $40,000 (31%) are more likely than those making $80,000 or more (18%), to say that environmental problems pose a very serious threat to their own health and well-being. There are no differences by level of education or between men and women. Democrats (26%) and independent voters (24%) are more likely than Republicans (18%) to say that environmental problems in California pose a very serious threat to their health and well-being. However, those individuals who are not registered to vote (32%) are the most likely of all to say that environmental problems are a very serious personal threat. "Overall, how serious a threat to your own health and well-being are environmental problems in California today — very serious, somewhat serious, or not too serious?" Very serious Somewhat serious Not too serious Don't know All Adults 25% 45 29 1 Central Valley 21% 45 34 0 Region SF Bay Area 22% 49 28 1 Los Angeles 34% 45 21 0 Other Southern California 21% 44 34 1 Latino 31% 44 24 1 Governor’s Report Card When asked how they rate the job Gray Davis is doing as Governor, most Californians in PPIC Statewide Surveys earlier this year indicated they are generally pleased, and most approve of how he is handling issues like crime, budget and taxes, and schools. However, they give him better marks on economic issues than on environmental issues. There is a 20-point spread between those who approve (49%) and those who disapprove (29%) how he handles economic issues, and only 22 percent have no opinion. When it comes to the environment, there is an 8-point spread, with 36 percent approving, 28% disapproving, and 36 percent having no opinion about his handling of the issues. - 10 - State Issues In every region, residents are more likely to approve of the Governor’s performance on economic issues than they are to approve of his performance on environmental issues. This difference persists across population and political groups: Latinos (62% to 52%) and non-Hispanic whites (44% to 32%) and Democrats (59% to 42%), Republicans (40% to 30%), and independent voters (43% to 33%) all give the governor higher marks for economic than environmental performance. "Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Gray Davis is handling ______________/_______________ in California?" Environmental issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know Economic issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults Central Valley Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 36% 28 36 38% 27 35 35% 28 37 39% 29 32 35% 26 39 52% 20 28 49% 29 22 47% 32 21 49% 31 20 54% 28 18 46% 28 26 62% 20 18 Environmental issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know Economic issues Approve Disapprove Don’t know Party Registration Democrat Republican Other Voters Not Registered to Vote 42% 27 31 30% 33 37 33% 33 34 39% 18 43 59% 25 16 41% 38 21 43% 36 21 49% 19 32 - 11 - State Issues State Government’s Efforts Californians are not all that impressed with their state government’s overall efforts in the environmental protection arena. Half believe the state government is not doing enough to protect the environment in California, 37 percent say it is doing just enough, and 9 percent believe it is doing more than enough. The perception that state government efforts are inadequate is most common in the urban coastal areas of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. Central Valley residents are the most satisfied with the state government’s efforts. Most Latinos (50%) and non-Hispanic whites (49%) believe the state government is not doing enough to protect the environment. Republicans (40%) are less likely than Democrats (55%) or independent voters (53%) to be critical of how much the state government is doing. Women are more likely than men (57% to 43%), and adults under 55 are more likely than those 55 and older (52% to 44%) to say the state government is not doing enough. There are no differences by education and income. "Do you think the state government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to protect the environment in California?" More than enough Just enough Not enough Don't know All Adults 9% 37 50 4 Central Valley 12% 41 42 5 Region SF Bay Area 8% 36 53 3 Los Angeles 6% 33 57 4 Other Southern California 8% 40 48 4 Latino 10% 37 50 3 More than enough Just enough Not enough Don't know Democrat 6% 36 55 3 Party Registration Republican 13% 42 40 5 Other Voters 9% 34 53 4 Not Registered to Vote 9% 35 51 5 - 12 - Public Policy Environmental Regulations Most Californians agree with the pro-environmental statement that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost” (57%), although Americans as a whole are more likely to hold this view. Residents in the San Francisco Bay area (64%) are the most likely to say that stricter environmental laws are worth the cost, while Central Valley residents (46%) are the least supportive. Most Californians in all political and demographic groups support environmental regulations. However, Democrats (64%) and independent voters (60%) are more supportive of environmental regulations than Republicans (53%). Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (61% to 53%), women are more likely than men (60% to 55%), those earning $40,000 a year or more are more likely than those earning under $40,000 (63% to 53%), and younger adults are more likely than those 55 and older (60% to 49%) to say that environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. "Does the first statement or the second statement come closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost Don't know 28% 65 7 37% 57 6 * Source: National survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 1999 Stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs Stricter environmental laws worth the cost Don’t know Central Valley 47% 46 7 Region SF Bay Area 31% 64 5 Los Angeles 34% 60 6 Other Southern California 36% Latino 40% 58 53 67 - 13 - Public Policy Global Warming A solid majority (57%) of Californians believe that there is evidence to warrant either immediate action (22%) or some action (35%) to address global warming. Californians are more likely than the rest of the nation to think there is enough evidence of climate change to take some action (35% to 28%). Democrats (66%) and independent voters (61%) are more likely than Republicans (47%) to believe there is enough evidence of climate change for at least some action to be taken. San Francisco Bay area residents (65%) and Los Angeles residents (60%) are the most likely to say that there is enough evidence to take some action, while fewer living in the rest of the Southern California region (54%) and the Central Valley (52%) believe the facts call for some action. Non-Hispanic whites are a little more likely than Latinos (59% to 54%) to think that the facts call for at least some actions to stop global climate change. College graduates are more likely than those with a high school education or less (63% to 51%), those earning $40,000 or more a year are more likely than those earning less (62% to 52%), and younger adults are more likely than those 55 and older (61% to 46%) to think that there is enough evidence of global warming to elicit a response. "From what you know about global climate change or global warming, which of the following four statements comes closest to your views?" Global climate change has been established as a serious problem and immediate action is necessary There is enough evidence that climate change is taking place and some action should be taken We don’t know enough about global climate change, and more research is necessary before we take any actions Concern about global climate change is unnecessary Other, don't know * Source: National survey conducted by Hart and Teeter, 1999 All Adults U.S.* California 23% 22% 28 35 32 33 11 7 63 Party Registration Global climate change is serious, take immediate action Enough evidence of climate change, take some action We don’t know enough about global climate change Concern about global climate change is unnecessary Other, don't know Democrats 27% 39 28 3 3 Republicans 13% 34 40 12 1 Other Voters 25% 36 29 8 2 Not Registered to Vote 24% Latino 20% 31 34 35 37 64 45 - 14 - Public Policy Individual Rights on Land Use When asked to choose between two values—individuals’ property rights and government regulation of development—Californians favor property rights by 54 percent to 42 percent. However, Californians are more likely than Americans as a whole to prefer government regulation of development (42% to 25%). Republicans (64%) and independents (60%) are more likely than Democrats (46%) to favor individual property rights over government regulation of development. Public support for individual property rights is higher in the Central Valley (66%) than in Los Angeles (48%), the San Francisco Bay area (51%), and the rest of the Southern California region (55%). Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (56% to 49%) to choose property rights over government regulation of development. Men are more likely than women (58% to 50%), and homeowners are more likely than renters (56% to 51%) to favor individual property rights. College graduates are more likely than those who have not graduated from college (49% to 37%), and those earning $80,000 or more are more likely than those earning less (46% to 41%) to favor government regulation of residential and commercial development. “If you had to choose, which is more important …” All Adults U.S.* California The ability of individuals to do what they want with the land they own The ability of government to regulate residential and commercial development for the common good Don’t know 69% 25 6 54% 42 4 * Source: National survey conducted by the Yankelovich Partners, 1999 Party Registration The ability of individuals to do what they want with the land they own The ability of government to regulate development Don't know Democrats Republicans 46% 64% 49 31 55 Other Voters 60% 38 2 Not Registered to Vote 50% Latino 49% 46 48 43 - 15 - Public Policy Government Funding to Purchase Open Space True to the strong support noted above for slowing down the pace of local development—most Californians (57%) like the idea of using public funds to buy undeveloped land in order to shield it from development. In fact, Californians are more likely than Americans in general (57% to 44%) to support this concept. San Francisco Bay area residents (65%) are highly supportive of this idea, as are Los Angeles residents (56%) and those living elsewhere in Southern California (59%). Those living in the Central Valley (50%) only narrowly support the idea. More Democrats (64%) than Republicans or independent voters (54% each) are in favor having the government purchase land with taxpayer money in order to keep it from being developed. Though majorities in each group express support, non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (61% to 52%), and those with incomes of $40,000 or more a year are more likely than those earning less (63% to 52%), to favor the idea of the government purchasing land to protect it. Those with a high school education or less (49%) are less likely than those with some college (57%) and a college degree (65%) to favor using government funding for this purpose. Those 35 to 54 years old (63%) are more likely than either younger adults (56%) or older adults (50%) to favor taxpayer funding of open space. "Do you favor or oppose using taxpayer money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from commercial and residential development?” Favor Oppose Don't know All Adults U.S.* California 44% 57% 49 37 76 * Source: National survey conducted by the Yankelovich Partners, 1999 Favor Oppose Don’t know Central Valley 50% 44 6 Region SF Bay Area 65% 31 4 Los Angeles 56% 38 6 Other Southern California 59% 36 6 Latino 52% 38 10 - 16 - Public Policy Nonprofits' Money to Purchase Open Space Public support is overwhelming when it comes to nonprofit organizations using their funds to purchase undeveloped land. Seventy-one percent of Californians favor the idea of nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from development. This result holds across political groups: 72 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans, and even more independent voters (78%) favor this use of nonprofit funds. Strong majorities support this idea in every region: 79 percent in the San Francisco Bay area, 70 percent in Los Angeles, 69 percent in the rest of Southern California, and 65 percent in the Central Valley. Support for this use of nonprofit funding is strong across all demographic groups, although there are differences. Non-Hispanic whites like this idea better than do Latinos (75% to 60%), and those with incomes of $40,000 are more positive about it than those earning less (80% to 61%). Support is higher among younger adults than among those 55 and older (75% to 58%). There are no significant differences in levels of support between men and women (73% to 69%). Fifty-nine percent of respondents with no college education support such efforts by nonprofits, compared to 71 percent of those with some college and a remarkable 82 percent of those with a college degree or more. "Do you favor or oppose nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from commercial and residential development?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 71% 24 5 Democrats 72% 24 4 Party Registration Republicans 71% 23 6 Other Voters 78% 19 3 Not Registered to Vote 65% 29 6 Latino 60% 33 7 Favor Oppose Don’t know Central Valley 65% 29 6 Region SF Bay Area 79% 17 4 Los Angeles 70% 26 4 Other Southern California 69% 25 6 - 17 - Public Policy State Conservation Trust to Purchase Open Space Californians may like the concept of having taxpayer funding or nonprofits buy open space, but they are ambivalent when confronted with the choice between using $1 billion of the state budget surplus for creating a conservation trust fund to purchase land or having lower taxes. Forty-nine percent of residents support the idea of starting a conservation trust fund (49%), while 44 percent would take the tax reduction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (55%) and Los Angeles residents (52%) show the most support for starting a conservation trust fund, while those living in the rest of Southern California are equally divided between wanting their taxes cut and starting a conservation trust fund (47% to 46%). Residents in the Central Valley are least supportive of such a fund (43%) and, in fact, most favor a tax cut (52%). Democrats (56%) are more likely than independent voters (49%) or Republicans (37%) to choose a conservation trust fund over tax relief as a way of using $1 billion of the state budget surplus. There are no differences between Latinos (52%) and non-Hispanic whites (50%) in their support of using the money for a conservation trust fund. Those under 55 are more likely than older adults to want to create such a fund (52% to 40%). Men are a little more likely than women to want a tax cut (47% to 41%). There are no differences across education or income groups. "The state budget surplus may reach $5 billion for the current year and $8 billion for the next year. Most of the surplus funds will go to education and other state programs. Assuming that about $1 billion is left, would you most prefer to use the remaining surplus on ...” Reducing your taxes Creating a conservation trust fund to purchase lands for parks and open space Other answer, don't know All Adults 44% 49 7 Central Valley 52% 43 5 Region SF Bay Area 38% Los Angeles 41% 55 52 77 Other Southern California 47% Latino 43% 46 52 75 Reducing your taxes Conservation trust fund Don’t know Party Registration Democrats 35% 56 9 Republicans 55% 37 8 Other Voters 46% 49 5 Not Registered to Vote 43% 51 6 - 18 - Public Policy Local Bond Measure to Purchase Open Space When asked if they would approve a local bond measure that might require raising property taxes, support for using taxpayer funds to buy land to preserve it from development shrinks even further. Most Californians (52%) would vote “no” on a local bond measure to purchase open space, even though 57 percent had earlier supported the principle of using taxpayer money for this same purpose. Apparently, the government funding many had in mind would come at no additional cost to taxpayers like themselves. Democrats (51%) only narrowly favor a local bond measure to purchase land, while Republicans (59%) and independent voters (53%) would vote against it. San Francisco Bay Area residents give a bare majority of support to a local bond measure to purchase open space (51%), while those living in Los Angeles (53%) and the rest of Southern California (52%) are narrowly opposed. The largest majority who would vote against such a measure (57%) is found in the Central Valley. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (47% to 42%) to support a local bond measure to purchase open space. Support rises with affluence and education, but only 50 percent of college graduates and 52 percent of those earning $80,000 or more would vote yes. Support falls below a majority for both men (43%) and women (44%), and in all age groups. Renters are more likely than homeowners (48% to 40%) to support a local bond measure that would result in higher property taxes to help buy and preserve undeveloped land. "If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local bond measure that would allow local government to buy undeveloped land and keep it free from development, even if this meant paying higher property taxes?” Yes No Don’t know All Adults 43% 52 5 Democrats 51% 45 4 Party Registration Republicans 36% 59 5 Other Voters 44% 53 3 Not Registered to Vote 40% 53 7 Latino 42% 53 5 Yes No Don’t know Central Valley 38% 57 5 Region SF Bay Area 51% 44 5 Los Angeles 43% 53 4 Other Southern California 44% 52 4 - 19 - Public Policy Oil Drilling Off the California Coast Most Californians (54%) oppose more offshore oil drilling, even if it results in higher prices for gasoline, while 43 percent say that more oil drilling should be allowed if it means lower gasoline prices. Democrats (60%) and independent voters (58%) are more likely than Republicans (50%) to say they oppose more drilling off the California coast. Those living in the San Francisco Bay area (63%)—where drivers face the highest gasoline prices in the state today—are more opposed to having more offshore oil drilling than those living in Los Angeles (58%), the rest of Southern California (47%), and the Central Valley (50%). Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos (57% to 48%) to oppose more drilling. Opposition to more offshore oil drilling increases with education (43% for no college versus 52% for some college and 65% for college graduates) and income (48% for under $40,000 and 60% for $40,000 or more). Younger adults are a little less likely than those 55 and older (50% to 54%), and women are slightly more likely than men (56% to 52%) to oppose more oil drilling off the coast. "Is the first statement or the second statement closer to your views ..." Party Registration More oil drilling off the California coast should be allowed if this means lower gasoline prices for California drivers More oil drilling off the California coast should not be allowed, even if this means higher gasoline prices for California drivers Don't know All Adults Democrats Republicans 43% 36% 47% 54 60 34 50 3 Other Voters 40% 58 2 Not Registered to Vote Latino 50% 49% 46 48 43 Should allow oil drilling Should not allow oil drilling Don’t know Central Valley 47% 50 3 Region SF Bay Area 34% 63 3 Los Angeles 39% 58 3 Other Southern California 49% 47 4 - 20 - Public Policy Building New Housing in California Consistent with their pro-environmental stands on regulations, most Californians (59%) oppose building new housing that threatens endangered species, even if this will make housing more expensive. Six in 10 Democrats (63%) and independent voters (61%) oppose building new housing that threatens endangered species. While Republicans (53%) are also opposed, it is by a narrower margin. Residents of the San Francisco Bay area—usually more inclined to favor the environmentalist position but also living in the most expensive housing market in the state—are indistinguishable from Central Valley residents on this issue, with 55 percent saying new housing should not be built if it threatens endangered species. Six in 10 living in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern Californians, on the other hand, would oppose new housing to save endangered species, even if it meant higher housing costs. A majority in all demographic groups are opposed to building new housing that threatens endangered species. However, men are more likely than women (42% to 33%) and residents 55 and older are more likely than younger adults (46% to 34%) to say that new housing should be built even if it threatens endangered species. There are no differences between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, across education or income groups or, perhaps most surprisingly, between homeowners and renters. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." Party Registration New housing should be built to make housing more affordable for Californians, even if it threatens some endangered species New housing should not be built if it threatens endangered species, even if it makes housing more expensive for Californians Don't know All Adults 37% 59 4 Democrats 33% 63 4 Republicans 43% 53 4 Other Voters 37% 61 2 Not Registered to Vote Latino 37% 37% 59 59 44 Housing should be built Housing should not be built Don’t know Central Valley 41% 55 4 Region SF Bay Area 40% 55 5 Los Angeles 34% 63 3 Other Southern California 35% 61 4 - 21 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Importance of Candidate Positions Most Californians (84%) say the presidential candidates’ positions on growth, land use, and environmental issues are important to them, and 41 percent say that they are “very important.” Democrats (46%) are more likely than Republicans (30%) and independent voters (38%) to say environmental positions are very important. Those living in the San Francisco Bay area (42%) and Los Angeles (43%) are a little more likely than those living elsewhere in Southern California (38%) and the Central Valley (38%) to say that the presidential candidates’ positions on environmental issues are very important to them. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (54% to 37%) to rate growth, land use, and environmental issues as very important in thinking about the presidential election. Those with lower incomes and less education are also more likely to say that the candidates' positions on environmental issues are very important—49% of those with incomes below $40,000 versus 37% with incomes from $40,000 to $80,000 and 33% with incomes of $80,000 or more; 48% of those with no college education versus 39% of those with some college and 35% of those with a college degree. There are no age or gender differences. "In thinking about the presidential election this year, how important are the candidates’ positions on population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Very important Somewhat important Not important Don’t know All Adults 41% 43 14 2 Democrat 46% 43 9 2 Party Registration Republican 30% 48 21 1 Other Voters 38% 45 16 1 Not Registered to Vote 47% 35 14 4 Latino 54% 34 9 3 - 23 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Interest in Environmental News More than eight in 10 Californians say they are interested in news and information about growth, land use, and environmental issues, while more than one in three are “very interested.” Very few express little or no interest in growth, land use, and environmental news. Strong interest in environmental news is a little more common in the Los Angeles (38%) and San Francisco Bay (36%) areas than in the Central Valley (31%) and the rest of Southern California (31%). Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say they are very interested in environmental news (41% to 34%). "How interested are you in news and information about population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Very interested Somewhat interested Not too interested Not at all interested Don’t know All Adults 35% 48 12 4 1 Central Valley 31% 48 14 6 1 Region SF Bay Area 36% 49 12 3 0 Los Angeles 38% 46 12 4 0 Other Southern California 31% 53 12 3 1 Latino 41% 43 12 3 1 News and Information Sources When it comes to growth, land use, and environmental issues, Californians are equally likely to turn to newspapers as to television for news (37% to 36%). In looking at regional differences, newspapers take precedence over television for environmental news only in the San Francisco Bay Area (38% to 28%). Among Latinos, television leads newspapers by a wide margin (50% to 30%), while non-Hispanic whites favor newspapers over television by a narrower margin (40% to 32%). Californians with a high school education or less are much more likely to receive their environmental news by television than by newspapers (52% to 31%), as are people with incomes below $40,000 (52% to 26%). All other education and income levels rely more on newspapers for environmental news. "Where do you get most of your news about population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Television Newspapers Magazines and newsletters The Internet Radio Talking to people Other, don't know All Adults 37% 36 8 7 5 5 2 Central Valley 44% 32 6 5 5 6 2 Region SF Bay Area 28% 38 12 7 6 5 4 Los Angeles 37% 37 7 8 6 3 2 Other Southern California 43% 35 6 7 3 4 2 Latino 50% 30 4 4 5 6 1 - 24 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Environmental News Ratings Two in thee Californians are at least somewhat satisfied with the amount of news they receive on growth, land use, and environmental issues. However, only 13 percent report being “very satisfied” with regard to the quantity of this type of news. Central Valley residents are the most likely to say they are very satisfied with the amount of news coverage on these issues (16%), while San Francisco Bay area residents are the least likely (11%). Latinos and non-Hispanic whites (69% to 68%) are equally likely to say they are at least somewhat satisfied with the amount of news. Seven in 10 Californians have at least some trust in the news they are receiving on growth, land use, and environmental issues. However, only one in eight has “a great deal “ of trust in the news coverage on these topics. There are no differences across regions, between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, and across demographic groups. When asked to choose which sources about growth, land use, and environmental issues reported in the news media are most believable, Californians say that colleges and universities have the most credibility (33%), followed by nonprofit organizations (20%), environmental groups (18%), government (8%), business and industry (8%), and civic groups (7%). "How satisfied are you with the amount of news coverage on population growth, land use, and environmental issues?” Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Don’t know All Adults 13% 55 23 7 2 Central Valley 16% 55 23 5 1 Region SF Bay Area 11% 56 24 8 1 Los Angeles 12% 55 25 7 1 Other Southern California 14% 57 22 4 3 Latino 15% 54 23 5 3 Membership in Environmental Groups The importance and interest that individuals attach to environmental issues does not, in most cases, translate into membership in environmental groups. One in nine Californians belongs to an environmental group. Participation is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (14%) and lowest in the Central Valley (7%). Democrats (14%) have only slightly higher rates of membership than Republicans (11%). Latinos (9%) are only slightly less likely than non-Hispanic whites (12%) to say they belong to environmental groups. College graduates (18%) and those with average incomes of $40,000 or more (15%) are more likely than others to belong to environmental groups. "Do you belong to any environmental groups?" All Adults Central Valley Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino Yes 11% 7% 14% 13% 10% 9% No 89 93 86 87 90 91 - 25 - Personal Interests and Household Activities Outdoor Leisure Activities Californians’ appreciation of the environment is evident in their leisure pursuits. Nearly four in five spend at least some of their leisure time at local parks, recreation areas, or beaches, and more than one in three do so on a regular basis. Two in three Californians say they at least sometimes take a trip to a national park or other scenic destination, while one on four does so on a frequent basis. More than four in 10 residents sometimes take day trips that involve hiking or mountain biking on unpaved trails (43%) or go on overnight backpacking or camping trips (38%). About one in seven regularly rough it on unpaved trails (15%) or overnight camping trips (12%). San Francisco Bay Area residents are the most likely to spend their leisure time at local parks, recreation areas, or beaches and to take day trips that involve hiking and biking on unpaved trails. Los Angeles residents are the least likely to regularly take trips to national parks and scenic areas. Central Valley residents are the most likely to at least sometimes go on overnight camping and backpacking trips. Latinos and non-Hispanic whites report similar levels of recreational activity when it comes to visiting local parks and beaches, taking trips to national parks and scenic areas, going on day trips that involve hiking or biking, or going on overnight trips that include camping or backpacking. Men and women are equally likely to at least sometimes visit local parks and beaches (78% to 75%) and take trips to scenic areas (69% to 64%). However, women are more likely than men to say they “never” hike or bike on unpaved trails (39% to 26%) or go camping or backpacking (40% to 28%). People under 55 are more likely than older adults to regularly go to local parks and beaches (42% to 25%), to take trips to national parks and scenic destinations (25% to 18%), to hike and bike on unpaved trails (17% to 9%), and to go camping or backpacking (15% to 6%). Income and education also play a role in many of these outdoor recreational activities. People with incomes over $80,000 and college graduates are the most likely to visit parks, take trips to scenic destinations, and go on day trips that involve hiking or biking on unpaved trails. However, there are no differences across income or education groups when it comes to overnight camping or backpacking. "How often do you ..." Region Spend your leisure time at local parks, recreation areas, or beaches Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Take a trip to a national park or other scenic destination Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never All Adults 37% 39 20 4 23% 44 25 8 Central Valley 31% 44 21 4 23% 46 23 8 SF Bay Area 41% 39 16 4 25% 46 22 7 Los Angeles 35% 40 20 5 18% 44 29 9 - 26 - Other Southern California Latino 39% 36 21 4 39% 39 19 3 25% 40 26 9 24% 40 27 9 Personal Interests and Household Activities "How often do you ..." Region Go on day trips that involve hiking or mountain biking on unpaved trails Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Go on overnight trips that involve camping or backpacking Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never All Adults 15% 28 24 33 12% 26 28 34 Central Valley 11% 19 29 41 19% 30 20 31 SF Bay Area 21% 32 23 24 9% 28 32 31 Los Angeles 10% 27 24 39 8% 24 27 41 Other Southern California Latino 16% 31 25 28 15% 26 29 30 13% 23 30 34 13% 26 39 32 Environmentally-Friendly Practices Californians have a mixed record when it comes to environmentally-friendly practices in their daily lives. An overwhelming majority regularly recycle their newspapers, aluminum cans, or glass (78%). One in two routinely purchase recycled paper or plastic goods. However, only one in five regularly buy organic or pesticide-free foods or carpool on a regular basis. When we compare the findings of our California survey with those of a national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 1997, we find that Californians are more likely than Americans as a whole to regularly recycle (78% to 69%), purchase recycled paper and plastics (49% to 40%), buy organic foods (22% to 17%), and carpool (21% to 16%). There are few differences across regions of the state. San Francisco Bay area residents are the most likely to recycle regularly (90%). Central Valley residents—living in the agricultural heartland—are the least likely to buy organic foods at least some of the time (51%). About half of the residents in all regions say they regularly purchase recycled products. About half in all regions say they never carpool. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos to say they regularly recycle (83% to 69%). Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to say they routinely buy recycled paper and plastics (55% to 47%) and carpool (34% to 16%). Both groups are equally likely to buy organic and pesticide-free foods. There are a few important differences in other demographic groups. People over the age of 55 (86%) are the most likely to regularly recycle, while those under 35 are the most likely to regularly carpool (29%). Women are a little more likely than men to routinely recycle (80% to 76%), buy recycled paper and plastic (53% to 45%), and carpool (23% to 18%). Recycling tends to increase with higher income and education, while carpooling declines with higher education and income. - 27 - Personal Interests and Household Activities "In your household, how often do you ..." Region Recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, or glass Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Purchase recycled products when buying paper or plastic goods Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Buy organic or pesticide-free foods Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never Carpool Regularly Sometimes Hardly ever Never All Adults 78% 10 5 7 49% 40 7 4 22% 35 23 20 21% 16 11 52 Central Valley 75% 12 6 7 48% 41 6 5 19% 32 27 22 23% 13 10 54 SF Bay Area 90% 4 1 5 47% 41 8 4 21% 40 21 18 19% 16 13 52 Los Angeles 73% 11 7 9 50% 39 8 3 25% 33 24 18 21% 19 10 50 Other Southern California Latino 74% 13 4 9 69% 15 6 10 49% 41 7 4 20% 37 21 22 20% 17 12 51 55% 34 9 3 22% 35 25 18 34% 18 13 35 - 28 - Survey Methodology The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research assistance from Eric McGhee and Christopher Hoene. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; however, the survey methodology and questions and the content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare. The survey benefited from consultation with Michael Teitz at PPIC and Michael Mantell, Mark Valentine, and others who offered their expertise on behalf of the Packard Foundation. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,001 California adult residents interviewed from May 22 to May 30, 2000. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers, ensuring that both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in California were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to five times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Each interview took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Maria Tello translated the survey into Spanish. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California's adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to U.S. Census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,001 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. Sampling error is just one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to four geographic regions. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “SF Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and "Other Southern California" includes the mostly suburban regions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. These four regions were chosen for analysis because they are the major population centers of the state, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population; moreover, the growth of the Central Valley and “Other Southern California” regions have given them increasing political significance. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 24 percent of the state's adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. The sample sizes for the African American and Asian subgroups are not large enough for separate statistical analysis. We contrast the opinions of Democrats and Republicans with "other voters." This third category includes those who are registered to vote as “decline to state” or independents as well as a fewer number who say they are members of other political parties. In some cases, we compare PPIC Statewide Survey responses to responses recorded in national surveys conducted in 1997 and 1999 by the Pew Research Center, and 1999 national surveys by Hart and Teeter, and Yankelovich Partners. We used earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys to analyze trends over time in California. - 29 - STATEWIDE SURVEY: SPECIAL SURVEY ON THE ENVIRONMENT MAY 22 – MAY 30, 2000 2,001 CALIFORNIA ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/- 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. Which of the following best describes the place where you now live: Is it a large city, suburb, small city or town, or rural area? 30% large city 21 suburb 40 small city or town 9 rural area 2. Overall, how would you rate your city or community as a place to live? Would you say it is excellent, good, fair, or poor? 32% excellent 45 good 18 fair 5 poor 3. In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining? 58% growing rapidly 23 growing slowly 15 staying about the same 1 declining 3 don’t know 4. In the next 10 years, do you think that the population of your city or community will grow rapidly, grow slowly, stay about the same, or decline? 54% grow rapidly 25 grow slowly 18 stay about the same 1 decline 2 don't know 5. Do you think that government regulations in your city or community aimed at controlling growth are too strict, about right, or not strict enough? 10% 48 31 11 too strict about right not strict enough don’t know 6. How much of a problem is traffic congestion in your region today: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 44% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 24 not a problem 7. How much of a problem is population growth and development in your region today: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 27% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 33 not a problem 1 don't know 8. How much of a problem is air pollution in your region today: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 28% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 32 not a problem 1 don't know 9. Thinking about the quality of life in your region, how do you think things are going—very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly? 29% very well 56 somewhat well 10 somewhat badly 4 very badly 1 don't know 10. Thinking about the next 10 years, do you think that the population in your region will grow rapidly, grow slowly, stay about the same, or decline? 59% grow rapidly 24 grow slowly 14 stay about the same 2 decline 1 don't know 11. Overall, do you think that in 2010 your region will be a better place to live than it is now, a worse place to live than it is now, or will there be no change? 28% better place 36 worse place 32 no change 4 don't know I’d like to ask you about ways to improve the quality of life in your region over the next 10 years. How effective do you think the following actions would be—very effective, somewhat effective or not effective? (rotate q. 12-14) - 31 - 12. Establishing growth boundaries around cities beyond which new development would not be permitted. Do you think this would be very effective, somewhat effective, or not effective at improving the quality of life in your region? 33% very effective 42 somewhat effective 22 not effective 3 don't know 13. Encouraging the development of job centers near existing housing to reduce commute times for workers. Do you think this would be very effective, somewhat effective, or not very effective? 41% very effective 38 somewhat effective 19 not effective 2 don't know 14. Restricting development in order to preserve wetlands, rivers, and other environmentally sensitive areas. Do you think this would be very effective, somewhat effective, or not very effective? 41% very effective 35 somewhat effective 21 not effective 3 don't know 15. What do you think is the most important environmental issue facing California today? (open-ended) 33% air pollution 12 growth, overpopulation 9 pollution in general 7 traffic congestion 6 water supply 6 water pollution of rivers, lakes, streams 2 ocean and beach pollution 1 protecting wildlife, endangered species 1 preserving wetlands, sensitive areas 1 loss of farmlands, agriculture 1 loss of wilderness, open space 1 sprawl, too much development 1 toxic wastes, contamination of the land 1 logging, loss of redwoods, protecting forests 1 pesticides 1 MTBE, gas in water supply 1 landfills, garbage, sewage, waste 6 other (specify) 1 nothing, there is none 8 don't know Now, I am going to read you a list of environmental issues. Please tell me if you think each of the following is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in California today. (rotate q. 1622 ) 16. How much of a problem is urban and agricultural runoff polluting lakes, rivers, and streams: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 47% big problem 37 somewhat of a problem 12 not a problem 4 don't know 17. How much of a problem is MTBE and other toxic substances contaminating soil and groundwater: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 48% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 8 not a problem 12 don't know 18. How much of a problem is ocean and beach pollution along the California coast: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 53% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 7 not a problem 4 don't know 19. How much of a problem is the logging of oldgrowth redwoods in Northern California: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 34% big problem 33 somewhat of a problem 19 not a problem 14 don't know 20. How much of a problem is urban sprawl taking over farmlands in the Central Valley: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 39% big problem 35 somewhat of a problem 16 not a problem 10 don't know 21. How much of a problem is suburban development harming wildlife habitats and endangered species: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 39% big problem 40 somewhat of a problem 18 not a problem 3 don't know - 32 - 22. How much of a problem is urban growth and air pollution damaging the forests in the Sierra Mountains: Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem? 45% big problem 37 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 7 don't know 23. Overall, how serious a threat to your own health and well-being are environmental problems in California today—very serious, somewhat serious, or not too serious? 25% very serious 45 somewhat serious 29 not too serious 1 don’t know 24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Gray Davis is handling environmental issues in California? 36% approve 28 disapprove 36 don’t know 25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Gray Davis is handling economic issues in California? 49% approve 29 disapprove 22 don’t know 26. Overall, do you think the state government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to protect the environment in California? 9% more than enough 37 just enough 50 not enough 4 don’t know Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement in the following questions comes closer to your views—even if neither is exactly right. (rotate q. 27 to 31 and rotate a and b in each question) 27. (a) stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, (b) stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. 37% stricter environmental laws cost jobs 57 stricter environmental laws worth the cost 6 don't know 28. (a) more oil drilling off the California coast should be allowed if this means lower gasoline prices for California drivers, (b) more oil drilling off the California coast should not be allowed, even if this means higher gasoline prices for California drivers. 43% oil drilling should be allowed 54 oil drilling should not be allowed 3 don't know 29. (a) new housing should be built to make housing more affordable for Californians, even if it threatens some endangered species, (b) new housing should not be built if it threatens endangered species, even if it makes housing more expensive for Californians. 37% new housing should be built 59 new housing should not be built 4 don't know 30. The state budget surplus may reach $5 billion for the current year and $8 billion for the next year. Most of the surplus funds will go to education and other state programs. Assuming that about $1 billion is left, would you most prefer to use the remaining surplus on (a) reducing your taxes or (b) creating a conservation trust fund to purchase lands for parks and open space. 44% reducing taxes 49 creating conservation trust fund 7 both 31. If you had to choose, which is more important. (rotate a and b): (a) the ability of individuals to do what they want with the land they own or (b) the ability of government to regulate residential and commercial development for the common good. 54% individuals do what they want 42 government regulate development 4 don't know 32. Do you favor or oppose using taxpayer money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from commercial and residential development? 57% favor 37 oppose 6 don't know 33. Do you favor or oppose nonprofit organizations using their money to buy undeveloped land to keep it free from development? 71% favor 24 oppose 5 don't know - 33 - 34. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local initiative that would slow down the pace of development in your city or community, even if this meant having less economic growth? 58% yes 37 no 5 don't know 35. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on a local bond measure allowing local government to buy undeveloped land and keep it free from development, even if this meant paying higher local property taxes? 43% yes 52 no 5 don't know 36. From what you know about global climate change or global warming, which of the following four statements comes closest to your views? (rotate responses a, b, c, d). 22% a) global climate change has been established as a serious problem and immediate action is necessary 35 b) there is enough evidence that climate change is taking place and some action should be taken 33 c) we don’t know enough about global climate change, and more research is necessary before we take any actions 7 d) concern about global climate change is unwarranted 3 other, don't know 37. In thinking about the presidential election this year, how important are the candidates’ positions on population growth, land use, and environmental issues in determining your vote? Are they very important, somewhat important, or not important to you? 41% very important 43 somewhat important 14 not important 2 don't know 38. How interested are you in news and information about population growth, land use, and environmental issues—very interested, somewhat interested, not too interested, or not at all interested? 35% very interested 48 somewhat interested 12 not too interested 4 not at all interested 1 don't know 39. Where do you get most of your news and information about population growth, land use, and environmental issues? (rotate) 37% television 36 newspapers 8 magazines and newsletters 7 the Internet 5 radio 5 talking to people 2 other, don't know 40. Overall, how satisfied are you with the amount of news coverage on population growth, land use and environmental issues: Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? 13% very satisfied 55 somewhat satisfied 23 somewhat dissatisfied 7 very dissatisfied 2 don't know 41. Overall, how much do you trust the news coverage on population growth, land use and environmental issues—a great deal, some, very little, or not at all? 12% a great deal 58 some 22 very little 7 not at all 1 don't know 42. Which of the following sources of information on population growth, land use, and environmental issues do you find the most believable? (rotate) 33% colleges and universities 20 nonprofit organizations 17 environmental groups 8 government 8 business and industry 7 civic groups 7 other (specify), don't know - 34 - 43. Do you yourself belong to any environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, or a state or local environmental organization? 11% yes 89 no 44. How often do you spend your leisure time at local public parks, recreation areas, or beaches—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 37% regularly 39 sometimes 20 hardly ever 4 never 45. How often do you take a trip to a national park or other scenic destination—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 23% regularly 44 sometimes 25 hardly ever 8 never 46. How often do you go on day trips that involve hiking or mountain biking on unpaved trails— regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 15% regularly 28 sometimes 24 hardly ever 33 never 47. How often do you go on overnight trips that involve camping or backpacking—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 12% regularly 26 sometimes 28 hardly ever 34 never 48. In your household, how often do you recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, or glass— regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 78% regularly 10 sometimes 5 hardly ever 7 never 49. In your household, how often do you carpool— regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 21% regularly 16 sometimes 11 hardly ever 52 never 50. In your household, how often do you purchase recycled products when buying paper or plastic goods—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 49% regularly 40 sometimes 7 hardly ever 4 never 51. In your household, how often do you buy organic or pesticide-free foods—regularly, sometimes, hardly ever, or never? 22% regularly 35 sometimes 23 hardly ever 20 never 52. Some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain you are registered to vote? (if yes: Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent or decline-to-state?) 32% yes, Democrat 25 yes, Republican 3 yes, other party 17 yes, independent or "decline-to-state" 23 no, not registered 53. Would you consider yourself to be politically very liberal, somewhat liberal, middle-of-theroad, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? 10% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 33 middle-of-the-road 25 somewhat conservative 10 very conservative 54. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 19% a great deal 43 fair amount 30 only a little 8 none 55. Would you say you follow what's going on in government and public affairs most of the time, some of the time, hardly ever, or never? 40% most of the time 44 some of the time 13 hardly ever 3 never 56. How often would you say you vote—always, nearly always, part of the time, seldom or never? 50% always 19 nearly always 11 part of the time 6 seldom 14 never [Questions 57 – 64: Demographic Questions] - 35 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Ruben Barrales President Joint Venture–Silicon Valley Network Angela Blackwell President Policy Link Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley Dennis A. Collins President The James Irvine Foundation Matt Fong Attorney Sheppard Mullin William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Associate Claremont Graduate University Monica Lozano Associate Publisher and Executive Editor La Opinión Donna Lucas President NCG Porter Novelli Max Neiman Director Center for Social and Behavioral Research University of California, Riverside Jerry Roberts Managing Editor San Francisco Chronicle Dan Rosenheim News Director KRON-TV Richard Schlosberg President The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Carol Stogsdill Senior Vice President APCO Associates Cathy Taylor Editorial Page Editor Orange County Register Raymond L. 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