Only one-third of U.S. adults believe global warming is occurring and humans are the primary driver, reports a newly released poll from the Pew Research Center. The 34 percent of respondents saying global warming is occurring and humans are the primary reason is the lowest number yet recorded in Pew’s annual poll.
Large Variety of Views
Fully 32 percent of respondents said the planet is not warming, 9 percent said they don’t know whether the planet is warming or not, 18 percent said the planet is warming but is doing so primarily because of natural patterns, and 6 percent believe the planet is warming but don’t know whether human activity or natural forces are the primary factor.
Minority Want Immediate Action
The Pew poll also found a record-low 32 percent of U.S. adults believe global warming is a very serious problem. Less than half of the respondents—46 percent—agreed global warming is a problem requiring immediate government action.
Majority Supports Offshore Drilling
Among related issues polled, 51 percent favor more offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, while 41 percent are opposed. Among Independents, 48 percent favor more offshore drilling and 41 percent oppose.
By a narrow 45 percent to 44 percent, the public favors the increased use of nuclear power.
James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.