EXCERPTS FROM GALLUP – complete poll story here
PRINCETON, NJ — Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated. This represents the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade of Gallup polling on the subject.
As recently as 2006, significantly more Americans thought the news underestimated the seriousness of global warming than said it exaggerated it, 38% vs. 30%. Now, according to Gallup’s 2009 Environment survey, more Americans say the problem is exaggerated rather than underestimated, 41% vs. 28%.
The trend in the “exaggerated” response has been somewhat volatile since 2001, and the previous high point, 38%, came in 2004. Over the next two years, “exaggerated” sentiment fell to 31% and 30%. Still, as noted, the current 41% is the highest since Gallup’s trend on this measure began in 1997.
Notably, all of the past year’s uptick in cynicism about the seriousness of global warming coverage occurred among Americans 30 and older. The views of 18- to 29-year-olds, the age group generally most concerned about global warming and most likely to say the problem is underestimated, didn’t change.