L.A. County Residents Report Worries About Climate Change in USC Survey

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Nearly 70% of Los Angeles County residents who responded to USC survey results released today indicated that climate change is caused by human activity and poses a threat to their well-being.

A slightly smaller amount -- 64% -- of the survey's respondents believe their actions can make a difference in fighting climate change, yet less than half were aware of tax credits and cash rebates for owning or leasing an electric car, installing solar power or improving home energy efficiency and only a minority own energy-efficient systems, according to the USC Dornsife-Union Bank LABarometer.

“The majority of Angelenos want to help fight climate change, but many of them are not adopting greener practices and are unaware of the support that would allow them to do so,'' said Marco Angrisani, an economist with the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, which prepared the report. “This presents a tremendous opportunity to make progress against climate change by ensuring that more people know about the options they have for leading a more sustainable life.''

The survey also found that:

-- nearly one in three believe that their drinking water is somewhat to very unsafe, with about the same percentage believing that the air in their neighborhoods is somewhat to very unsafe to breathe before a series of recent fires broke out;

-- just 8.5% of respondents reported that they are very or extremely prepared for a disaster, and that less than a third have developed an emergency response plan;

-- the proportion of people working from home four to five days a week jumped to 38% in June, up from 21% in February. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported that they would prefer to continue to work from home at least two to three days a week, although less than 40% said they expected to be able to continue working from home in the long term;

--- 67% of respondents reported using their personal vehicles at least once a week between April 1 and mid-July, down from 75% in December andJanuary before the coronavirus pandemic;

-- about 7% of people reported using the bus at least once a week, compared to double the same amount during the prior period. Respondents' use of light rail ridership at least once a week was also down from 9.4% in the prior period to 3.6%;

-- up to 30% of respondents reported suffering symptoms related to heat exposure, including headaches, tiredness/weakness and heavy sweating;

-- three out of four respondents reported that they recycle, with more than half saying that they limit food waste and more than a third saying they limit car use; and

-- 19% of respondents reported eating sustainable food and 12% reporting that they compost food.

More than 1,400 people participated in the Sustainability and Resiliency Survey between June 3 and July 13.

Photo: Getty Images

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