Polls: Concern about Global Warming is Waning

Published March 8, 2010

A trio of new polls shows the public does not believe alarmist assertions that people are causing a global warming crisis. The new polls reinforce stinging public criticisms of alarmist science in the wake of a growing Climatgate scandal involving numerous false claims relied on by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its call for government limits on carbon-dioxide emissions.

BBC Reports ‘Dramatic Shift’
A February 7 BBC poll found only 26 percent of the British public believes “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade.” The remaining 74 percent believes either climate change is not happening or there is insufficient evidence to link ongoing climate change to human activities.

Strikingly, 41 percent of respondents to the same BBC poll question in February 2009 stated climate change is happening and had been established as largely manmade.

“It is very unusual indeed to see such a dramatic shift in opinion such a short period,” Michael Simmonds, managing director of the poll, reported on the BBC news Web site.

Pew: Warming Ranks Last
A January 25 Pew Research Center poll found only 28 percent of Americans consider global warming a “top priority” for the President and Congress. This ranked dead last among 21 options, falling four points below the next-lowest priority, trade policy.

Pew has been conducting the same poll since January 2001, adding global warming to the available options in 2007. In 2007, 38 percent of Americans called global warming a top priority. Public concern about warming has been slipping steadily since then.

Yale: Minority Blame Humans
A January Yale University/George Mason University poll found fewer than half of Americans believe global warming is occurring and is primarily the result of human activity.

When told to “Assum[e] global warming is happening” and asked to identify the most likely cause, 47 percent attributed the assumed global warming primarily to human activities.

However, only 34 percent of respondents agreed most scientists think global warming is happening at all.

Just 12 percent of respondents said they are very worried about global warming, and another 38 percent said they are somewhat worried.

Grassroots Opposition to Laws
In Kentucky, where state Rep. Jim Gooch (D-Providence) is at the forefront of legislative action to combat global warming alarmism, these poll numbers reflect growing public frustration with environmental activists’ overreaching regarding the global warming issue, says Bluegrass Institute Director of Policy and Communications Jim Waters.

“This is a unique concern to Kentucky because of our dependence on coal for energy. Here, we have a real concern that the general claims of global warming will be used to destroy our coal industry, which would decimate our economy,” said Waters.

“Look at the winter we have had, and any commonsense perspective comes to the conclusion that we should not destroy an entire coal industry based on the whims of a bunch of environmental extremists.”

Krystle Russin ([email protected]) writes from Texas.