Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

by Paul D. Dail

According to a recent survey at, 77 percent of Utahns believe climate change is occurring. Over 57 percent of those polled said humans are at least partly responsible for this change. Only 17 percent said they didn’t believe the climate was getting warmer.

The survey was conducted in December of 2014 by Dan Jones and Associates, a public opinion and market research firm with over 30 years in the field serving such well-known clients as Intermountain Healthcare, KSL News, Deseret Morning News, Utah Jazz, and the Utah Education Association among others.

The respondents were asked to say which of the following statements best represented their feelings regarding climate change (the percentage of respondents is listed after each statement):

         I believe the climate is becoming warmer, and human use of carbon fuels is primarily responsible. (21.84 percent)

         I believe the climate is getting warmer, and humans are partly responsible. (35.47 percent)

         I believe the climate is getting warmer, but it is a natural change, and humans are not responsible (19.70 percent)

         I do not believe the climate is getting warmer (17.41 percent)

         Other (3.45 percent)

         No opinion (2.13 percent)

The survey had a margin of error of +/- 3.97 percent.

According to the “About” section of, their mission is “to help leaders in the Utah Public Policy Industry obtain those skills and insights [that are required to be successful], save time and perform their jobs better.”

The site is published by LaVarr Webb, a Republican political consultant and lobbyist and founder of the Exoro Group, a public relations, advertising, and consulting firm. With over 30 years working in communications, government, and political arenas, Webb has written for The Spectrum as well as been an editor for Salt Lake City’s Deseret Morning News. In addition, in a weekly column for Deseret News, he faces off with Democrat Frank Pignanelli, a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist, and political adviser on various topics.

According to Webb, the group that conducted the survey used a sample size of 400-600 people reached by landline, cellphone, or online panels, monitoring demographics to ensure accuracy. In addition, they followed all accepted standards of the survey research industry.

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Paul D. Dail is a freelance writer and managing editor of The Independent. He received his BFA in English with a creative writing emphasis from the University of Montana, Missoula. In addition to his contributions to The Independent, he also enjoys writing both creative nonfiction and fiction (with a penchant for the darker side of the page). Paul's first novel, a supernatural thriller entitled “The Imaginings,” is available wherever ebooks are sold, and his collection of flash fiction, “Free Five,” has spent over two years in the top 50 Kindle Horror Short Stories since its publication in 2012.