Concern about global warming among U.S. adults has dropped significantly, a new poll says, with fewer than 50 percent of Americans saying they are “somewhat” or “very worried” — a 13 percent decrease from a poll taken in October 2008.
The percentage of Americans who believe global warming is occurring fell 14 percent to 57 percent, and the percentage who think global warming is caused primarily by human activities fell 10 percent to 47 percent, according to the poll funded by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
The poll also found that 40 percent of the public now believes there is a lot of disagreement among scientists over whether global warming is occurring. Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change, suggested that rising unemployment, frustration with Washington, and the divisive health care debate have pushed climate change out of the news.
And the recent controversy over e-mails hacked from a U.K.-based institution, he said, had eroded public trust in climate science.
“Despite growing scientific evidence that global warming will have serious impacts worldwide, public opinion is moving in the opposite direction,” he said. Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that global warming ranked at the bottom of public concerns, with only 28 percent of adults calling it a top priority and just 36 percent calling it an “important but lower priority.”
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.
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