Concerns About Warming Near Record Low in the U.S., Poll Shows

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The number of U.S. adults concerned about global warming has reached a near-historic low, according to Gallup’s latest environmental poll.

Just 51 percent of respondents said they worry a “great deal” or a “fair amount” about climate change, down from 66 percent in 2008, a year after Al Gore and the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change received a Nobel Peace Prize for their work on the issue.

The 51 percent of Americans concerned about climate change is just a percentage point higher than the all-time low recorded in a 1997 poll. Only 49 percent of respondents believe that the effects of global warming are already being felt, down from about 60 percent three years ago. And 43 percent said they think the media exaggerates the seriousness of global warming, while 26 percent said the coverage is generally correct, and 29 percent said the media underestimates the seriousness.

While Gallup pollsters said the reasons for the decline are not obvious, they suggested the economic downturn is a possible factor.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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