Poll: Global Warming Ranks Last in Public Concern

Published April 1, 2009

Global warming ranks dead last among U.S. voters’ priorities, according to a Pew Research Center Poll showing Americans are relatively unconcerned about global warming and are becoming less concerned each year.

The Pew Research Center telephoned 1,503 American adults for the poll, whose results were released January 22. Respondents were presented with 20 issues and asked one by one whether they considered each issue a top priority.

Strengthening the economy ranked most important, with 85 percent of respondents saying it should be a top priority. Addressing global warming ranked dead last, with 30 percent assigning it a top priority.

Since 2007, when addressing global warming was added as one of the options in the organization’s annual poll, the perceived importance has declined each year. Addressing global warming was seen as a top priority by 38 percent of adults in 2007, 35 percent in 2008, and now 30 percent.

Analysts Not Surprised

Although global warming alarmists, including former Vice President Al Gore’s “WE” campaign, have spent vast amounts of public relations money on the issue, many analysts were unsurprised by the poll results.

“What struck me, apart from global warming ranking dead last, was that it was one of 20 concerns pre-selected for the poll by Pew,” said Jon Sanders, a policy analyst at the John Locke Foundation. “Would people have even thought to mention it were they not required to find a place to rank it?”

Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent British global warming skeptic who served as a policy advisor to former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was not at all surprised by the results. “Americans are not buying the global warming hype for one reason, above all: It is not true,” Monckton said.

“There was no climate crisis; there is no climate crisis; there will be no climate crisis,” Monckton added. “The U.N. says global temperatures will rise by 7 degrees F this century, yet since 1980 global temperatures have been rising at little more than a third of this rate, and since late 2001 temperatures have been falling at a rate of 3.5 degrees F per century.

“A growing band of determined scientists and researchers are exposing the lies being profitably peddled by the surprisingly small clique that drives the scare,” Monckton explained. “The truth always prevails in the end.”

Caring for the Poor

Cal Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, thinks Americans are right to be more concerned about the problems affecting the poor than about a speculated single-digit increase in the world’s temperature.

“Most Americans have a great deal more common sense than to think a minute change in atmospheric chemistry could cause enough temperature increase to justify spending scores of trillions of dollars over the next century to fight it,” Beisner said.

“There are much more pressing problems facing Americans and, especially, the world’s poor,” Beisner explained.

Thomas Cheplick ([email protected]) writes from Cambridge, Massachusetts.