Poll Shows Americans More Concerned About Climate Change

It is often frustrating to see public opinion lag behind what all the facts show to be true. In 2004 a narrow majority of Americans reelected George Bush. Now the polls show approval for Bush in the upper 20’s to low 30’s. Similarly, while it took longer than we would like (for some politicians as well as the public), most now agree that the Iraq war was a terrible mistake. This year we are probably seeing the tipping point on public understanding of global warming.

The global warming deniers have been incredibly effective at creating a false impression that there is some scientific controversy over the issue. The release of An Inconvenient Truth, followed by the IPCC consensus statements, helped get the truth out. The Nobel Peace Prize further demonstrated their credibility. Global warming deniers continue to make a tremendous amount of noise and distort the facts, such as with the recent distortion of a decision of a British court, still creating confusion in the minds of many.

Public opinion is gradually changing. This is seen in a CNN poll which shows that an increased number understand the scientific consensus on global warming:

Most Americans blame emissions from cars and industrial plants as the primary cause of global warming and believe the United States should reduce levels even if other countries don’t, a survey shows.

Fifty-six percent of poll respondents said the phenomenon of global warming has been proven, and can be largely blamed on human endeavors, such as power plants and factories, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.

In comparison, 21 percent of those surveyed claimed global warming problems are caused either by natural changes or are unproven.

Sixty-six percent of Americans believe the United States should do what it can to reduce global warming, even if other nations ignore it. This compares with 52 percent of respondents who believed that way in 2001.

In that year, 34 percent thought the United States needed to reduce harmful gases only if other nations did. A much smaller proportion, 16 percent, responded that way in 2007.

There is little doubt that the 21 percent who accept the claims of the global warming deniers overlap tremendously with those who still approve of George Bush. Most likely those who accept the scientific findings will continue to increase over time. It is also a safe bet that there will continue to be conservatives who deny the science, just as many of them deny evolution, still claim that there was WMD in Iraq before the war, or deny our heritage of separation of church and state.

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    Sarge says:

    Why Do Liberal Left-Wing Democrats Constantly Insult and Disparage Our Military?
    It is no secret how Democrats consistently insult, disrespect, disparage, condem, discriminate against, and NOW stats show … 1 out of every 5 Registered Dempcrats poled actually “WANT” to see the miltary LOOSE in Iraq !!

    From John Murtha to Hillary Clinton, calling General Petreaus a “Liar” a liar, mind you, in spite of her own Hubby’s Impeachment and Perjury charges, her remarks were an abomination!

    Especially in light of her own husband beating the Draft in England and her own Anti-American Hippie … days!

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Besides the examples in the post of how the conservatives are out of touch with reality, the comment above provides yet another example.

    No wonder the Republicans are doing so poorly. They convince themselves of these ideas which are counter to reality in their echo chambers, and then don’t understand why fewer and fewer people will vote for them or even take them seriously.

  3. 3
    Lev says:

    Speaking of polls, the latest Zogby poll shows a majority of Americans want a new (read: REAL) investigation into 9/11, one that investigates Bush and Cheney for complicity.
    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1354

  4. 4
    Lev says:

    Even the N.I.S.T. admitted that the Twin Towers “collapsed” at freefall rate. People in the reality-based community should have no problem whatsoever in realizing that the uppermost portion of a skyscraper is not going to be able to “fall” into and THROUGH the remaining vast majority of solid building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly as falling through air without something else (i.e. explosives) reducing said majority of building to such a state of offering no more resistance than air. Can we all agree on that? Sounds pretty straightforward; solid things offer vastly more resistance than air. Anyone who graduated elementary school SHOULD be able to grasp this, and SHOULD be able to therefore grasp that the Twin Towers and WTC # 7 building had to have been controlled demolitions. It is literally COMMON SENSE.

    Add to that the fact that “Al Qaeda” isn’t in control of the U.S. Air Force so they certainly wouldn’t be able to make it stand down while they reach their targets. Add to that the “hijackers” (patsies) not being able to even fly small propellor planes worth a damn, yet we are supposed to believe they jumped in the cockpit of these Boeing 757s and -767s and flew them like pro pilots? Come on. These guys also weren’t Muslim enough to sacrifice their own lives; they drank liquor like fish, snorted cocaine, got lapdances at strip clubs, some lived with their girlfriends; what they sound more like are C.I.A. assets who thought they were in training to become drug pilots. Remember all that time they spent in Florida? Then consider the people like Willie Brown, some DoD generals etc. who were warned in advance to not fly that day. Then consider that SOMEBODY placed record amounts of “put” options on the stocks of companies that would be directly affected by 9/11, and placed the “put” options on the stock in the week BEFORE 9/11, meaning they knew what was about to happen. Then consider Bush’s Secret Service allowing him to remain in Booker Elementary school for at least 35 minutes after Andy Card told him that there had been a second crash at the Twin Towers, that “we’re under attack”. They SHOULD have IMMEDIATELY whisked Bush out of there to a safer location. Instead they let him remain there and even to carry out his pre-announced press conference! The only way they could have been so confident to assume that Bush wasn’t even a POSSIBLE target would be if they knew the target list beforehand, meaning 9/11 had to have been an inside job. These and many more pieces of evidence all point to one inescapable conclusion: 9/11 was a false flag attack done by the U.S. against its own people, to provide a pretext for their resource wars, commonly called the “war on terror”. Wake up from your slumber America, before it’s too late. Many already are waking up. Don’t be the last ones on the school bus to figure out that Santa Claus isn’t real.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ok, before anyone else raises the charge, I must concede that bizarre views are not limited to the right wing.

  6. 6
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    Poll respondents give themselves far too much credit for being well-informed or magnanimous, relative to what they actually know or what will they will do when making real decisions that really affect them. Accordingly, it’s folly to use poll results as a basis for what public policy ought to be.

    For example, check out the New Scientist’s article Exclusive global warming poll: The buck stops here: The reported highlights of the survey were that there was substantial public support in the U.S. for carbon limitations, that the public preferred outright standards to cap-and-trade or carbon taxes, and that the desired focus of carbon reductions should be on the electric power sector than on vehicles (don’t tread on SUV!).

    The most illuminating finding, however, was the weakness of support for carbon limitations if they induced any significant economic pain. In other words, respondents were fine with climate legislation — as long as it really didn’t cost much. On the other hand, when asked if they would support carbon emission requirements that would increase energy prices significantly — which is likely to be the case to achieve the magnitudes of emission reductions that are widely viewed necessary to have meaningful impact in protecting the planet — support evaporated.

    As MR. DELANO, an attorney and managing director of Meyer Darragh Buckler Bebenek & Eck, teaches public policy at Carnegie Mellon University writes in the June 2000 Pittsburgh Business Times, The problems plaguing polls are plentiful.

    However, if you still want to have faith in these polls, consider this CNN poll: Majority believes government doing too much. This poll actually agrees with the poll reported in the New Scientist’s article — yeah, the earth is warming, but few are really so alarmed about it that they’re willing to turn the economy, their lives and finanical well-being on it’s head to “stop” global warming.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Nobody is advising using “poll results as a basis for what public policy ought to be.” What is significant is that despite all the efforts of conservatives to deny reality, more and more people are seeing through this. It comes as no surprise that acceptance of the science is coming ahead of acceptance of making life style changes. First people need to understand the problem.

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