Pew Poll: Belief in global warming as a serious problem continues to decline

From the Pew Research Center:

Views about the existence and causes of global warming have changed little over the past year. A new Pew Research Center poll finds that 59% of adults say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades. In October 2009, 57% said this.

Roughly a third (34%) say that global warming is occurring mostly because of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, which also is little changed from last year (36%).

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 13-18 among 2,251 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, finds that 32% say global warming is a very serious problem while 31% think it is somewhat serious. A year ago, 35% described global warming as a very serious problem and 30% said it was somewhat serious.

In 2006, far more Americans said there was solid evidence that the average temperature has been rising over the past few decades. In July of that year, 79% believed there was evidence of global warming, and half (50%) said it was mostly caused by human activity. Much of the change in attitudes about global warming occurred between April 2008 and last fall, with the decline coming mostly, though not entirely, among Republicans and independents. (See “Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming,” Oct. 22, 2009).

Two other indicators of opinion on the issue were not included in the October 2009 survey, and both show significant changes from earlier polls. Currently, 46% of the public says global warming is a problem that requires immediate government action. In July 2006, 61% said the issue needed immediate action. This decline is mostly a consequence of the fact that fewer now say global warming is a problem.

The public is divided on the question of whether scientists themselves agree that the earth is warming because of human activity: 44% say scientists agree, and 44% say they do not. In July 2006, when a much higher percentage of the public said there was solid evidence of global warming, 59% said that scientists agree that global warming is caused by humans, while just 29% said scientists do not agree.

The new survey finds continuing support for a range of policies to address the nation’s energy supply, including requiring improved vehicle fuel efficiency and increasing federal funding for research on wind, solar and hydrogen technology. Support for allowing more offshore oil and gas drilling – which declined during the Gulf of Mexico oil leak – has rebounded modestly. Currently, 51% favor allowing more offshore oil and gas drilling, up from 44% in June.

======================================================

Read the complete report here

Caveat: some of the usual suspects will complain that the graph I presented has “bias” due to it showing only the range of change in the data on the Y axis, and not the full possible range.

If lodging such a complaint, please consider lodging a complaint about the Y axis of these graphs also:

Sea Ice, Sea Level, Temperature rise

Thank you for your consideration – Anthony

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R. Gates

Interesting to see these kinds of polls. It should be remembered that public opinion is as fickle as the weather, and of course, everyone is happy and optimistic and “bullish” just at the height before a stock market crash, just as everyone is down and negative, at the stock market bottom. Best to stick with science, and realize that public perception means very little…

Enginear

Funny but the first thing I thought about when looking at the graph was you were going to get complaints about the restrained Y axis. Being an engineer I try to look at graphs I make in various ways to see if I can justify a smaller dependant variable axis range. I have no issue with your presentation.
Barry S.

vboring

This is bad news for contrarians.
We may need to switch sides if belief in AGW stays low for much longer.
Anyone know some good arguments for why AGW is real and dangeresque? I’d hate to have to rely solely on the uncertainty principle and black box computer models.

Oh my! How will they “hide the decline” ?

Interesting times….
As the great George Carlin said:
Pack your sh**s folks….we are leaving!

One thing the chart does NOT show is that the remaining believers are increasingly from the left hand side of the IQ bell curve. Every day, it gets more difficult for any sane person with an IQ much over a hundred can believe ANY of this climate alarmism.
The first people with the intellectual ability to see through the fraud, on the other hand, are from the far right side of the same bell curve. There seems to be a clear, positive correlation between increased name calling and the dwindling intellectual abilities among believers.

Evan Jones

Interesting that most of the drop occurred during the 2008 La Nina and not after climategate.

TJA

I kind of miss the true believers…. kind of.

It is nice to see that the belief is dropping, but there are still so many misconceptions about climate that another series of hot summers or winters could swing the belief back to believing in it.
That is why it is important to make sure that people understand the actual climate of the Earth and not the garbage that is spewed out by so many. Teach the science, that is the key and that is the direction I am trying to take.
John Kehr
The Inconvenient Skeptic

Am I right to thing that the answer to “is it a problem requiring immediate government action” a very slim majority of 51% against (No+Not a problem/dk)?

simpleseekeraftertruth

The Scientific American poll, the carbon exchange flatline & now this. What next: Hell freezes over?

Crispin in Waterloo

R. Gates says:
Interesting to see these kinds of polls
++++++++++++++
Seeing as poll results are all about consensus, this is an important (inevitable, given the facts) change. If science doesn’t run on consensus, as Dr Judith says http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/25/heresy-and-the-creation-of-monsters/ and politics does, we know how to interpret AGW arguments at places like RC that rely completely on ‘the consensus’.
I will not be shy to mention that public consensus on AGW is becoming settled as the public become more informed than previously. It seems that the CAGW promoters were short on scientific proof and long on political consensus. Interesting. The problem was the Team proclaiming that political consensus = scientific fact and therefore there was no need to look further into it. It seems the realities of life have not fully sunk in yet though:
“An emerging consensus that the globe either is not warming or if there it is there is no urgency about doing something about it, as if we could affect in the first place…..hmmm…. [thinks]….. sounds like…a fascist idea. Yeah! Fascist! That’s a good emotive word! Sort of reminiscent of Holocause denial – and that worked pretty well before :~)
“We need a new Team word for ‘climate denier’ to go with ‘climate disruption’….. How about a press release that claims, ‘widespread fascist manipulation of the main stream media creating distortions in the science’. Oh wait, that’s us.
“Hmmm…. [thinks]….”

Adam

Why do 46% say it requires government action where only 34% believe in AGW?

BS Footprint says: “Oh my! How will they “hide the decline” ?
I love a challenge:
Eco-alarmist press release:
Latest poll shows increasing numbers of people accept solid evidence for catastrophic mannmade global warming
A recent opinion poll showed a dramatic increase from 57% to 59% of those who accept the solid evidence of catastrophic mannmade global warming, and a reduction in those who believe it is due to natural causes from 18 to 16%, the number of people who rejected the idea that global was not a problem also rose from 69% to 71%.
I.A.midiot the smokesperson for eco-fascists united said: “this is tremendous news and just shows that more and more people are coming to accept the need for government action to fight mannmade global warming”
etc.

jack mosevich

I often ask belivers if they have personally been affected by global warming and the best they can do is mention polar bears and arctic ice. but i point out that they dont live there and they are stumped as to how to respond. yet they often babble on about its effects being all around us

Richard Sharpe

I would think that a big objection from AGW supporters would be that the sum of Very Serious and Somewhat Serious is still 63% …

Bruce Cobb

We live during very interesting times. We have witnessed the greatest, and most damaging hoax of all time being perpetrated, and now coming apart. It will be something to tell the Grandchildren.

Doug

R. Gates says: October 27, 2010 at 9:36 am
Interesting to see these kinds of polls. It should be remembered that public opinion is as fickle as the weather. Best to stick with science, and realize that public perception means very little…
=========================================================
R Gates. The climate ‘Science’ is shonky and the general public has realised this. It means a lot Mr. Gates. The politicians depend upon public opinion. The pack of cards is falling.
You better get over it.
Doug

Proving you can’t fix stupid …

I have found a site with a new product that makes me feel like changing my light bulbs. http://www.odorkillingbulb.com has compact fluorescent bulbs that not only save energy, they also kill odors, kill bacteria, kill viruses including MRSA, and it kills germs. Now my bathroom never has unpleasant smells. I have them in the whole house and never get dog smell now. Try them and you will love them like I do.
REPLY: Besides being totally off topic, this post violates site policy by placing a link advertising a product at another website. I followed the link, because I was curious. My impression after visiting the website is that this is a SCAM of the highest order. Note for example one of the supposed byproducts of the SaniBulb:
Sanibulb
But then in another part of the website you say:
http://www.sanibulb.com/p/Air-Sanitizing-Purifying-Deodorizing-CFL-Bulbs.html
SaniBulb™ Helps Fight Global Warming
Light is powered mainly by coal burning power plants and natural gas, both of which create greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause global warming. The EPA estimates that 1.535 lbs of greenhouse gases are released into the a™osphere for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated by a coal-fired plant.
Replacing a single 100 watt conventional incandescent light bulb with a 25 watt SaniBulb™ can prevent more than 169 pounds of coal from being burned and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 814 pounds over the lifetime of the bulb. This is over 4,000 times SaniBulbs™ own weight in greenhouse gases!!
Yeah, right. No mention of how much CO2 byproduct the SaniBulb produces. And, I’m not so sure that I want hydroxl free radicals floating around in the air that “destroy cell walls and DNA in germs”. I take it then you’ve found a way to make those free radical molecules follow your wishes and only target germs, but not throats or nasal passages?
Sorry, color me unimpressed, I think this is a product with oversold claims. Though I do applaud you for saying “carbon dioxide is harmless” in the image above.
– Anthony

Interesting, I suppose. In general though people seem to have short memories. I wonder what poll result differences there would be if they asked these questions twice a year – dead-of-winter February and high-summer August.
By the way, are we coming on to the one-year birthday of Climategate yet or did that already happen?

Starwatcher

A pity the poll data does not go further back. It would be interesting to see what kind of correlation there is between the average temperature of the mainland and the people who believe in AGW.

fredb

Fortunately beliefs have no bearing on truth.

John Whitman

R. Gates says:
October 27, 2010 at 9:36 am
Interesting to see these kinds of polls. It should be remembered that public opinion is as fickle as the weather, and of course, everyone is happy and optimistic and “bullish” just at the height before a stock market crash, just as everyone is down and negative, at the stock market bottom. Best to stick with science, and realize that public perception means very little…

————–
R. Gates,
The exception being that on Nov 2 in the USA, while the voting places are open, public opinion will be definitive over what science/scientist is funded to do for several years or so. : ) All that gov’t money has strings attached ultimately to the voting dudes/dudettes.
Lets see what happens in that public opinion poll on Nov 2 in the USA.
John

Alan

“Immediate government action”? Yea right, is there anything governments can’t do now… They’re so powerful they can rule out a planet’s climate.

Fred

My personal experience says it is not happening.
The screaming, fear mongering IPCC AGW Hysterics say it is.
Gradually, hysteria and fear are replaced by common sense and reality.
or this might have something to do with it . . .
“It is claimed that GCMs provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. Examining the local performance of the models at 55 points, we found that local projections do not correlate well with observed measurements. Furthermore, we found that the correlation at a large spatial scale, i.e. the contiguous USA, is worse than at the local scale.”
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/02626667.2010.513518

George E. Smith

As a somewhat related aside to this poll story about our views on what causes global warming; the recent Lacis/Schmidt SCIENCE paper; and Dr Spencer’s critique of ti that became a long thread. The paper was published in the October 15 issue of SCIENCE, which is published weekly.
I searched through the mountain of magazines on my desk looking for the Oct 15 issue; and couldn’t find it so I went and got the paper from the web.
Well no wonder I couldn’t find it. The Oct 15 issue of the magazine was in this morning’s mail; and likely hit the company in mail yesterday Oct 26.
So that is a week and a half delay to deliver a weekly Journal. Something is rotten in Denmark; and I’m not talking DMI either.
It’s hard to stay on top of this stuff or any new discoveries; when the news is delayed that long. I simply cannot read science papers on line; i always have to print them, so I can scribble on them.
I wonder what opinion polls on science news timeliness would reveal. Of course since climate happens every 30 years; I guess we really don’t need to know in a hurry.

R. Shearer

“You can’t fool all of the people, all of the time.”

bob paglee

As a practical realist, I believe we are experiencing a slight warming trend in urban areas, particularly in the big cities and the suburbs like the one where I live. This is caused mostly by human actions, but not by their carbon dioxide emissions. The main reason is the building of more homes, offices, shopping centers, schools, etc., all involving new roofs and asphalt roads, asphalt parking lots, etc., where solar radiation is stored, reradiated and convected into the atmosphere.
There may also be some other odd activity going on with our Sun that affects cloud formation, ocean currents and temperatures, etc., and many other unknown effects that have caused Earth’s temperature to vary considerably over hundreds, even thousands, if not millions of years.
When I visually inspect the chart of global average tropospheric temperatures produced from trustworthy UAH satellite measurements, it does appear that from 2002 until Sept., 2010, there has been a small upward shift of perhaps 0.3 Celsius, but with wide variations during the last two years (from zero in 2008 to around 0.6 Celsius as measured in September). And the total apparent rise since the satellite measurementw were started in 1979 happens also to be 0.6 Celsius.
There is surely no cause to panic, unless one is created artificially by our idio — oops, I mean our idiological, brainwashed EPA.
However, lately the data appears to be extremely noisy, perhaps due to El Nino or La Nina effects of variable ocean temperatures, so a valid conclusion about a rising trend is not possible at this time. In any case, the change is still trivial, just as is the greenhouse effect of more CO 2 when it is already at the current level, and as more is added, its effect, being logarithmic, is still trivial.

R. Gates

Doug says:
October 27, 2010 at 10:35 am
R. Gates says: October 27, 2010 at 9:36 am
Interesting to see these kinds of polls. It should be remembered that public opinion is as fickle as the weather. Best to stick with science, and realize that public perception means very little…
=========================================================
R Gates. The climate ‘Science’ is shonky and the general public has realised this. It means a lot Mr. Gates. The politicians depend upon public opinion. The pack of cards is falling.
You better get over it.
Doug
_____
You are so right that politician depend on public opinion…and thus, one of the reasons they (the politicians) are such loathesome creatures. Another reason is of course their complete reliance on selling their souls to whatever organization, group, corporation, etc. will give them money for their campaigns…but alas, that is a different topic. Back to public opinion and AGW. The truly average person on the street could really care less one way or another about the topic. It doesn’t impact their daily life (as far as they know, at least not yet) and so the average person has no real opinion. Whatever opinion they do have is likely to have been formed by their watching whatever major “news” channel they watch and so their opinion is just a regurgitation of the viewpoint spewed out by their favorite “news” anchor or whatever the general attitutude or position issued forth from their particular political party. In short, the average person really knows nothing about the science or the deeper issues involved in the AGW “debate”.

Polar Ice Cap says: “By the way, are we coming on to the one-year birthday of Climategate yet or did that already happen?”
It’s 1119 (911 in reverse dialled with an added 1 … presumably because this bomb was ignited via some mobile phone …. oops, there goes the keys word that’ll get the internet secret service in a buzz and they’ll be done on wattsuplikethat like a global temperature graph)

George E. Smith

Well there is another side to this poll of course.
You ask people in early 2006 if they think global warming is a problem; and that it before the 2007 ice vanish and the 2008 ice reappear; and they will think; well life is great; I don’t have a care in the world so the polar bears look like they are bein ill used to me; I might as well complain.
So now we have an election less than a week away (in USA) and we had one a bit over two years ago.
WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND, would think climate change is even a problem TODAY.
If you follow such pundits as Gerald Celente, and his “Trends Research” and a handful of other knowledgeable folks; you would be praying on your hands and knees; that Climate change is by far the biggest problem we have. We should be so lucky , as to have global climate disruption as the # 1 issue for humanity.

R. Gates

R. Shearer says:
October 27, 2010 at 11:15 am
“You can’t fool all of the people, all of the time.”
_____
To keep control of power, all you have to do is fool enough of the people enough of the time. 100% deception 100% of the time is not required.

RACookPE1978

I note with interest that the high-efficiency natural gas-fired heat-recovery steam generated power plant I recently visited also ONLY emits the “Water we drink every day” and the “The CO2 we exhale naturally.”
See? Perfectly natural, 100% available, recyclable electricity. Just like the expensive light bulb. Emits only safe by-products.
But unlike the enviro-safe light bulb – no mercury and no BS!

Douglas DC

I am but a simple layman with enough life experience and training in the science to
be questioning the dogma of the Church of Global Warming. I see that “wapper” of
a La Nina in the Pacific and the rapidly cooling southern seas, and the North Pacific
following.
As I see it: It is the start of a major loss of heat, and a cooling, not warming planet.
I fear that polar jet. and this winter that is about to come…

R. Gates

John Whitman said:
R. Gates,
The exception being that on Nov 2 in the USA, while the voting places are open, public opinion will be definitive over what science/scientist is funded to do for several years or so. : ) All that gov’t money has strings attached ultimately to the voting dudes/dudettes.
Lets see what happens in that public opinion poll on Nov 2 in the USA.
John
____
Simply more of the same for Washington. Gridlock. Doesn’t really matter which “party” is in charge, as American Democracy has simply become a proxy war between large financial interests. Those who have more of their “own” in power in Washington get extra money this time around. Until we have true meaningful campaign finance reform in this nation and break the umbilical cord between big money and Washington, we’ll continue in this gridlock.

hunter

Has anyone else noticed that the decline of AGW looks a lot like an upside down hockey stick?

Henry chance

After Joe Romm called for a surge in “messaging” It appears to have lost traction.
Permanent droughts Joe??

William

As the science does not support the extreme AGW case (IPCC case), there is no driver to overcome the very real political issue of a massive increase in taxes. In addition the massive increase in taxes is to fund projects and changes that do not make sense from either an environmental or an economic standpoint. (i.e. We are not addressing the real problems which is population and consumption per person, and practical environmental issues such as rainforest preservation.) The science indicates increased CO2 and minor warming is beneficial to the biosphere.
There are practical policy changes that can be made that all or most will support (energy conserveration, and so on). We do not need an incorrect the sky is fall AWG scenario as a driver.

Pascvaks

A while back in the history of Western Civilization there was something called “The Reformation”. Please don’t get excited, I just want you to remember why it happened and what the impact was (as best you can). Anyway, we’re at a similiar “crossroads” so to speak, where the claim of “supreme authority” rings hollow and folks appear to be deciding to turn off to the claims of a special group of infallibalists and to start doing their own thinking. I may be a little off in my analogy and timing, but there are close similarities, and the impact of such a revolution –excuse me, Reformation– today may be just as historic as the last time; indeed, maybe more so. Science in general –my contention– is walking a tightrope without a net. (Just because it’s crazy doesn’t mean it’s not true.)

Jeremy

@Grant Lockwood…
Wait, there’s a CFL that gives off water? Wouldn’t this solve the problem of drinking water for the worlds poor? I like this idea, how can I be a part of it? Also, what have you done to mitigate the increased ocean levels and desalinization from mass use of your product? Thanks!

James Allison

R. Gates says:
October 27, 2010 at 9:36 am
You are completely wrong Mr Gates. Public perception is everything. Exemplified by the 100 billion dollar AGW industry that has spent the last 20 years attempting to sway the public’s perception about global warming, climate change, er….. climate disruption.

Olen

As kehr and waterloo said education and information is key. The decline in public education in science, critical thinking, and common sense, and the increase in education in social and environmental science and the emphasis on the group rather than the individual is a great boost for fraud to succeed.
It is odd to believe in something that is only happening in the news and movies and scientific claims with hidden proof. A news report is not the event. No one ever got wet from a rainstorm in a movie, although I did get wet watching an outdoor movie in the Philippines during a real rain storm. Kirk Douglas was the star and it was 10 years later before I finally saw the entire movie. Where was I, oh yah, And no law in physics has ever been accepted without proof. Yet there are people who will jump on it.

L

Dear Anthony,
I didn’t think you could be flim-flammed, but Grant Lockwood just did it! His post and link were a deep deception play, like an “end around” in football, but his purpose was to point out the absolute absurdity of the entire AGW hoax. So, not off topic, really. His sin was forgetting to hit the “sarc” button in the process. Regards, L

m white

So looking at the graph percentage of respondents believing human activity is the cause.
Percentage should fall to zero around 2020.

Ben D.

Speaking of climate-gate, are we taking bets on whether volume two will be released on the anniversary?

ShrNfr

@Grant Lockwood I agree with Anthony. Go with LEDS. It’s amazing how much light 6W of LEDS will give you.

BTW:
The Earth Charter was established in 1996 under the leadership of Gorbachev with various members of religious. The Commission has appointed Steven Rockefeller (Professor of Religion and Ethics) to chair the drafting committee. In 1999, consultations were held on the Earth Charter at the Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town, South Africa and in 2000 the final version was released after a meeting at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. “The protection of the vitality of the earth, the diversity and beauty is a Holy Faith. … The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being.
http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html

StormnNormn

Looking at the analysis suggests that ‘Warmists’ should proceed carefully, although 50% of the sample seems to support efforts such as ‘cap and trade’, the percent drops significantly among that portion of th sample that has heard ‘a lot’ about the subject. This suggests that as the public becomes better informed (i.e. examines evidence and facts), it becomes more sceptical.

Phil's Dad

Have the poll figures been adjusted for UHI (Undeclared Highvalue Investments in green technology – e.g. the BBC Pension Funds)