Survey Says: Americans Not Worried About Global Warming

From the Wall Street Journal.

Related: European views on global warming higher than USA.

A new poll out today on Americans’ attitudes about climate change presents sobering findings for those that favor aggressive action to curb U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases.

pew_poll_graph_102109

The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who see solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. According to the survey, conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, fewer respondents also see global warming as a very serious problem; 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.

The survey also points to a decline in the proportion of Americans who say global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity. Just 36% say that currently, down from 47% last year.

Not everything in the poll is bad news for those that favor capping U.S. emissions. According to the survey, a majority (56%) of Americans think the United States should join other countries in setting standards to address global climate change, while 32% say that the United States should set its own standards. And half of Americans favor setting limits on carbon emissions and making companies pay for their emissions, even if this may lead to higher energy prices.

On the other hand, more than half (55%) say they haven’t heard about so-called “cap and trade” legislation being considered in Congress. (Then again, Sen. John Kerry says he doesn’t know what “cap and trade” means, either.)

The poll’s findings come just days before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is scheduled to hold hearings on legislation that calls for cutting U.S. emissions 20 percent beneath 2005 levels by 2020.

They also coincide with the release of a new Government Accountability Office study that says most federal, state and local officials have not yet taken steps to adapt to the impacts of global warming that America can expect.

Not surprisingly, opponents and supporters of carbon caps have very different takes on the poll’s findings.

“Perhaps the most interesting finding in this poll, aside from the precipitous drop in the number of Independents who believe global warming is a problem, is that the more Americans learn about cap-and-trade, the more they oppose cap-and-trade,” says Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), a longtime skeptic of climate-change warnings.

Daniel Weiss at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, says the findings point to the effectiveness of “right-wing media personalities” in “distorting science while the mainstream media remains trapped in its ‘he said, she said’ narrative” about the science.

Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, says he’s a little surprised by the decline in the percentage of respondents who see solid evidence of global warming. On the other hand, Mr. Kohut said, “we have since the onset of the recession seen people giving lower priority to environmental issues” in polls.

Overall, Mr. Kohut says the disposition of most Americans appears to be “to want to do something” about climate change, “but it’s not as sharp as it would be in a different economic climate.”

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65 thoughts on “Survey Says: Americans Not Worried About Global Warming

  1. Real Climate is gonna do an “Inverse Correlation” and use this chart to PROVE that “The Science Truly is Settled!!!!”

    Flip this chart, and just look at that beautiful hockeystick!! It’s Robust, I tell ya, Robust!!!

  2. Yeah, you highlighted the important part–more than 50 percent of all surveyed know NOTHING about Waxman-Markey, Kerry-Boxer Thermageddon legislation.
    The pols don’t care about the science and the people don’t care what the pols have planned–perfect.

  3. The Team’s propaganda machine is starting to fail them. If people experience a colder winter than normal in the NH this season then its likely the drop in support for cap and trade may be quite dramatic.

  4. So, the Dems (largest group polled) lowered their concerns by 17.6% (91-75, the smallest percentage drop); yet 92% of them have heard little or nothing about Cap & Trade (the largest percentage of all groups polled). As a percentage of the total, Conservatives and Independents are more than twice as aware as Liberals about the subject. (17% and 20% heard a lot compared with 8%) Do you suppose that if the Dems became more aware of the subject they too would see less evidence?

  5. Just a guess, but it would appear that the slopes of the graph above, and the graphs of the temperature metrics over the same period, have similar slopes.

  6. I predict that after the exceptionally harsh winter that we are going to be in for this year, the figures will drop like a stone. This is going to be the hyper-Gore effect.

  7. While I am chatting about Yes Minister:

    BTW the Lowy Institute found CC rated 7 out of 10 on the list of concerns in Australia, and the number of people believing action is needed now was dropping too:

    http://www.lowyinstitute.org/

    PS> Will find the link for the poll later… off to work.

  8. My problem is, when I talk about what they are doing over AGW/ACC I get the response that there’s nothing they can do about it, the powers that be will do what they want anyway! This isn’t apathy, it’s resignation.

    DaveE.

  9. “If Copenhagen gets signed it wont matter what the opinion polls say”

    The most likely outcome if it is signed is for no-one to take any action to comply. See Kyoto.

  10. Les Johnson (16:32:42) :
    Les Johnson (16:33:28) :

    Just a guess, but it would appear that the slopes of the graph above, and the graphs of the temperature metrics over the same period, have similar slopes.

    In this case, correlation probably does equal causation…

    I was thinking the same thing. (leaving out GISTemp of course)

  11. @ twawki (16:53:10) :

    One faith to rule them all

    http://twawki.wordpress.com/

    If Copenhagen gets signed it wont matter what the opinion polls say ”

    ———————————————————-

    Correct. The objective is absolute control of people, not control of the climate. Copenhagen and related is simply another brick in the wall in addition to the financial controls, food controls, fuel controls, health controls, birth controls, media controls, gun controls, ad nauseum. It’s in the news every single day, but nobody really believes it ————– yet.

  12. If you look at the Pew link you will find that the spread in opinion is partisan. There is very little difference in opinion based on education.

    But there definitely seems to be an upside-down hockey stick developing among Independents!

  13. The drop in belief of evidence of Global Warming is in direct proportion the the overbearing and naueseating daily slop of “faster than previously thought”.
    Self-feeding, self-deprecating.
    Add colder weather year on year and stir.
    Pass the brown bag when you’re done, dear, they just declared our area was abnormally warm when our heating bill just went through the roof.

  14. Reality is a dish best served cold across party lines.
    Give it another winter, the desertion rate will double. Panic strikes deep and their hand is forced. Call.

  15. twawki (16:53:10) :

    Perused your site. You get it…on so many levels.

    And there are others of us….many of us, actually.

    How do we….band together?

    There is strength in numbers. I have some ideas.

    Thank you for your efforts. I agree with 100% of what you are saying on your blog.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  16. Anthony,

    You might find this NY Times headline rewrite interesting: the first is Mercury News’ reprint of an article by writer John M. Broder:

    “Hopes Fade for Comprehensive Climate Treaty”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_13604047?source=rss

    But now on the Times’ web site the same story is titled:

    “As Time Runs Short for Global Climate Treaty, Nations May Settle for Interim Steps”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/science/earth/21treaty.html?_r=2&8au&emc=au

    Apparently the Editors at the Gray Lady suddenly changed their mind about softening readers for the Copenhagen collapse. More evidence of skeptic efficacy.

  17. Christopher Chantrill (18:36:56) :

    But there definitely seems to be an upside-down hockey stick developing among Independents!

    Well, let’s just look through the data. I’m sure we can find a sample of the data that will make an upward trend. ;-)

  18. Mr. Moderator, I left tip on an very good article on the tip thread at 20:00:28 tonight. It is by Tim Coleman PhD.

    Bill Derryberry

  19. Ron de Haan (16:02:16) :

    “American are not worried about Global Warming:”

    A picture is worth a thousand words:

    The blues and dark blues across the heart of the country are mute testimony.

  20. Just The Facts (18:55:04) :

    They don’t want you to have a dog to warn you about strangers approaching.
    They don’t wnat you to have a mouser to keep down the vermin.
    Into the future without either man’s best friend or the rat trap mobile.
    Radical Environism sucks.

  21. Would AGWers perk up knowing the 750,000 km2 DECREASE in the Arctic sea ice extent today as compared to 2008 ?

  22. tokyoboy (20:30:38) :

    Is that before or after all the dogs & cats are outlawed and confiscated by those claiming to save the Planet?
    My parents taught me a long time ago never to trust people who don’t like animals.

  23. Ron de Haan (16:02:16) :
    James F. Evans (20:18:01) :

    So is the question is not if the October anomaly will be negative but by how much will it be negative?

  24. it is interestimg to note, that the only political group with an increase in worries are the liberal democrats.

    even if you believe in agw, weather and climate have not been supportive to that view recently. therefore a decline in worries is what you would expect anywhere.

    an increase in worries, however, demontrates that liberal democrats views are particulalry disconnected from facts.

  25. “If Copenhagen gets signed it wont matter what the opinion polls say”

    The most likely outcome if it is signed is for no-one to take any action to comply. See Kyoto.

    Unfortunately, the frickin’ greenies will pull out all the stops and sue the government until we all give up.

  26. “James F. Evans (20:18:01) :

    Ron de Haan (16:02:16) :

    “American are not worried about Global Warming:”

    A picture is worth a thousand words:

    The blues and dark blues across the heart of the country are mute testimony.”

    That’s easily fixed. Filnet will use the orange thermometers to fill in the 1200km radius.

    Hey presto new record heat.

  27. “Unfortunately, the frickin’ greenies will pull out all the stops and sue the government until we all give up.”

    This of course requires permission. From the government. Who made the mess in the first place.

    T-Reason gets hung.

  28. Daniel Weiss at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, says the findings point to the effectiveness of “right-wing media personalities” in “distorting science while the mainstream media remains trapped in its ‘he said, she said’ narrative” about the science.
    Give that man the Cognitive Dissonance award.

  29. It’s always the media’s fault isn’t it. It seems that when the left gets backed into a corner they start pointing fingers, blaming and name calling. None of that changes the fact that this cap and trade legislation is not the way to affect a positive change on the environment. It won’t do anything towards that end, but one thing we do know is that it will devastate the US economy. Write your Senators at http://tiny.cc/pxIgi. Let them know you do know what cap and trade is and that you do not support the job killing, tax raising, environmentally ineffective legislation.

  30. Rob Vermeulen (23:21:22) :

    Gene, ron and others: there’s so to say no chance the october anomaly could be negative. Check this out:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    channel 5 it is.
    The question is rather: is it going to be above 2007 or not?

    Rob,
    In my opinion it’s not about having a monthly anomaly hitting positive or negative territory.
    It’s about the following:
    1. are anthropogenic CO2 emissions screwing up our climate by causing a thermogeddon?

    2. Is it justified and effective to shut down our economies, even from a “precautionary principle” view? (As is written down in the Lisbon Treaty of the EU)

    3. Do we need a totalitarian World Government to enforce the draconian measures and payments?

    The answer to these three questions is No.

    Why?
    1. If we look a the temperature extremes of the past 1000 years, Medieval Warmth Period (High) and the Maunder Minimum (Low) we can safely conclude thet the temperatures of the past Century until today are well within the the “upper and lower” temperature band.

    2. The claim that CO2 is a dangerous climate driver is now completely debunked by
    Prof Richard Lindzen: Carbon Dioxide irrelevant in climate debate.
    This conclusion is based on measured data over a period of twenty years and the conclusion is irrefutable.
    see: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7715-Portland-Civil-Rights-Examiner~y2009m8d18-Carbon-Dioxide-irrelevant-in-climate-debate-says-MIT-Scientist

    3. This means that Copenhagen lacks the scientific basis to come to any agreement about CO2 emission reductions.
    There is no reason whatsoever to shut down our economies and there is no reason whatsoever to reduce CO2 emissions.

    This brings us to the true objectives of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, the UN, the IPCC and our world leaders.

    But that is an entire different story but it has to do with Marxism, Fascism, Population Control and Rent Seekers.

    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/10/rent-seekers-green-corporations.html

  31. We are near december. What will it be after Copenhagen, once it has been signed by the majority of countries?, it will be signed by third world countries because of the benefits they are supposed to receive from the developed world, and, for sure, it will be signed also by those countries who wish the occidental countries a premature fall. What will follow then?

  32. Adolfo Giurfa (08:55:28) :

    “We are near December. What will it be after Copenhagen, once it has been signed by the majority of countries?, it will be signed by third world countries because of the benefits they are supposed to receive from the developed world, and, for sure, it will be signed also by those countries who wish the occidental countries a premature fall. What will follow then?”

    Hi Adolfo,
    1. China and India are not going to sign
    They closed an agreement yesterday to oppose any sanctions.

    2. As Moncton stated during his interview with Glenn Beck he will do anything to rail road the American participation of the Copenhagen bill.

    He is in Washington now to speak to Congress, he will have a meeting with John Bolton en develops a strategy which includes a possible law suit to because the IPCC findings are based on incorrect science.
    He will use the findings of Prof Richard Lindzen for this.

    3. We have to call those Senators and do anything we can to clear up people up about the tru intentions behind the Copenhagen Treaty and prevent it.
    If a Senator or a Congressman is pro AGW, open a blog that bears his name and publish everything he says including the debunked information and the links.
    I am sure they don’t like that.

    4. Boycott any company that jumped on the AGW gravy train, from GE, Apple Computers, Levis and Royal Dutch Shell etc, etc and tell them why you boycott their products and services.
    Open blogs and spread the information of all the Green rentseekers

    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/10/rent-seekers-green-corporations.html.

    5. Stop any support to organizations like WWF and Greenpeace.

    6. If the Copenhagen Treaty becomes a success we have to get organized.

    I think the best way is to boycott Government, don’t pay the taxes, don’t accept any of the restrictions and build an organized opposition with a strong legal support.

    On the other hand, I think you have more experience with totalitarian aspects of Government than I have.

  33. Polls or no polls , the Senate is going to take up Cap & Trade for real next week . Apparently John Kerry wants to ram it through ala waxman in the House . Time to saddle up !

  34. Ron de Haan (12:45:05) :I think you have more experience with totalitarian aspects of Government than I have.
    One of these experiences tells how fast disappear followers and believers once their master falls down.

  35. michel (17:50:36) :

    “If Copenhagen gets signed it wont matter what the opinion polls say”

    “The most likely outcome if it is signed is for no-one to take any action to comply. See Kyoto”.

    I don’t think so.
    Have you already forgot about the World Government scenario with full power to go over the heads of National Governments?
    Have a look at the Moncton video and think twice.
    This is a bloody coup.

  36. Back again – regarding the Lowy Poll carried out in Australia earlier this year, the poll publication can be found linked at this page:

    http://www.lowyinstitute.org/Publication.asp?pid=1148

    Key to the CC debate we find on page 6 that CC has dropped steadily in the public’s eye as a matter for foreign policy concern over the last 2 years, to now rank 7th down from equal 1st two years ago.

    Also when questioned specifically about global warming people have showed a declining support for policy action over the last two years (page 12), such that the majority now favour no action (13%) or gradual action (39%), versus the 48% that opine that action should be immediate. The latter dropped from 68% two years ago.

    While this says nothing about CC or the science around it, it does speak volumes about the fickle attention span of the average voter.

  37. US President Barack Obama on Friday hit out at naysayers he blamed for peddling “cynical” claims that global warming is a myth to derail a landmark climate change bill in Congress.

    Obama warned that the closer the Senate came to passing legislation which has already cleared the House of Representatives, the more opponents would resort to underhand tactics.

    “The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized,” Obama warned in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    “But I think it’s important to understand that the closer we get, the harder the opposition will fight and the more we’ll hear from those whose interest or ideology run counter to the much needed action that we’re engaged in.

    “There are those who will suggest that moving toward clean energy will destroy our economy,” Obama said, a day after the release of a poll showing fewer Americans see solid evidence of global warming.

  38. “The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized,” Obama warned

    Anybody here pretending ? Thought not.

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