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Poll: One In Four Americans Still Don’t Believe In Global Warming

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Poll: One In Four Americans Still Don’t Believe In Global Warming

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Global Warming, Climate Change

Just in time for the arrival of an El Niño that could make 2014 the hottest year on record, Gallup has released a new poll revealing how Americans feel about the changing climate. Despite countless scientific reports regarding the dangers and immediacy of global warming, a quarter of Americans remain “solidly skeptical” of the phenomenon.

According to the poll, “Concerned Believers” — those who attribute global warming to human actions, and are wary of its effects — make up the largest portion of those surveyed, at 39 percent. The “Mixed Middle” is the second largest group with 36 percent, and the “Cool Skeptics” make up the last 25 percent of respondents.

The “Cool Skeptics” have nearly doubled in number from 2001, when they made up only 12 percent of Americans. The “Concerned Believers” have maintained their numbers for the past 13 years, while those in the middle have become increasingly skeptical. In 2001, nearly half of those surveyed qualified as “Mixed Middle,” 10 percent above today’s levels.

The major difference between “Cool Skeptics” and “Concerned Believers” lies with the source of global warming — 100 percent of the former believe that rises in global temperatures are due to natural cycles and phenomena, while 100 percent of the latter believe that human activity is to blame. The skeptics also believe that media reports are exaggerated, and none of them believe climate change will pose a threat to their lifestyle or that of their progeny. The “Mixed Middle” holds a combination of these views, with some unsure of the cause of global warming and others unclear as to the immediacy of its effects.

Those who do not believe in global warming are overwhelmingly male, comprising 66 percent of the group. On the other hand, those who are concerned are largely female, with women making up 60 percent of those surveyed. Age and political affiliation are major indicators of global warming opinions — the majority of “Cool Skeptics” are over 50 and two-thirds identify as conservative, whereas those who are under 50 and call themselves liberals make up the majority of the “Concerned Believers.” Education does not appear to have an effect on opinions regarding global warming.

The effect of party identification on global warming beliefs is certainly in line with the GOP’s increasing disdain for environmental debate. With the growing prominence of the Tea Party, climate change has become more and more of a myth in Republicans’ eyes, with a Pew Research Poll showing that a mere 25 percent of Tea Party Republicans believe there is evidence of global warming — 41 percent of them say that global warming just isn’t happening. In fact, the words “Earth Day” have not passed Republican lips in Congress since 2010, when Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made a speech in support of nuclear power. By contrast, Democrats have mentioned Earth Day 57 times since 2010.

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47 Comments

  1. TZToronto April 22, 2014

    Ask the people who are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Katrina whether or not there’s climate change. And anyone who thinks that a cold winter means global cooling just doesn’t get it. The temperature or number of inches of snow in your town have nothing to do with what’s happening to the planet’s climate.

    Reply
    1. Steve Daily April 22, 2014

      Right, because I forgot, there were never storms before people had SUVs. Moron.

      Reply
      1. TZToronto April 23, 2014

        As Charlie Chan used to say, “Thank you so much.” We’re not going to see big changes immediately. In fact, we’ll see periods when there appears to be nothing like climate change happening. In the long term, however, the average global temperature (and ocean temperature) will rise, and major ice formations will melt and will raise the ocean level to the point where low-lying islands will disappear and previously habitable areas (e.g., south Florida) will become uninhabitable. We probably won’t be around to see it happen, but it will happen. If you don’t believe it, well, let’s just say that you seem to disagree with 97% of what climate scientists say is going to happen.

        Reply
      2. Paul Bass April 23, 2014

        “storms” Are individual events, i.e. weather. Climate is the sum total of all these events.

        Stop being so low intelligence as to confuse the two….

        Reply
    2. Adam L April 23, 2014

      This year’s tornado season has been the least eventful in US history. But wait, extreme weather is supposed to increase with climate change… except when it doesn’t.

      A theory that predicts everything as the outcome is worthless and is bad science.

      If it’s 70 degrees and slightly breezy… CLIMATE CHANGE.
      If it’s 28 degrees and snowing … CLIMATE CHANGE.
      If there are tornadoes CLIMATE CHANGE.
      It there are NOT tornadoes (like this year so far) CLIMATE CHANGE.

      Worthless theory.

      Reply
      1. Paul Bass April 23, 2014

        All these events cited are “Weather” (individual events). Again Climate is the sum of ALL events.

        Your ignorance is showing when you use “weather” events to justify your opposition to “climate change”.

        Also it is extremely condescending to think you know more than 98% of the scientist who study this and your PROOF is a few lines about weather?

        Reply
        1. Adam L April 24, 2014

          No, entire weather ‘SEASONS’ can be related to the climate as they are NOT isolated events.

          It is the aggregate of associated weather events, taken over an extended period of time.

          Reply
          1. Paul Bass April 24, 2014

            YES, the AGGREGATE of ALL weather events.

            “SEASONS” ONLY refer to weather events over 3 months in one PARTICULAR area. Again, you are trying to “disprove” climate by using single events (though they do last 3 months). NOT SCIENTIFIC!

            Reply
    3. itsfun April 23, 2014

      No question about it, people freezing to death, and huge amounts of snow definitely prove it is getting warmer. Any more of this warming and I will need to purchase 2 furnaces for my home and heat my garage so my car will start.

      Reply
      1. Paul Bass April 23, 2014

        Weather is different then climate! What a totally non-scientific statement!
        Did you not even read the article? The TEN hottest years IN OUR HISTORY has occurred in the last 14 years! DUH!
        Take your head out of the sand and be quiet, if all you can add is right wing lies.

        Reply
        1. itsfun April 23, 2014

          You are free to believe in what ever the left tells you to believe. You are not free to tell me to be quite if I don’t agree with you. Are you a obama plant?

          Reply
          1. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

            “Quite” what?

            Reply
        2. itsfun April 23, 2014

          Global Warming Facts versus Claims

          April 23, 2014

          Claims that tackling climate change would be cost-effective are
          nonsense, says Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus
          Center.

          Politicians routinely point to global warming as the world’s greatest
          challenge, simultaneously promising that they can solve it with
          low-cost solutions.

          U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently called climate change
          the “greatest challenge of our generation,” with catastrophe sure to
          ensue if the world fails to address the problem.

          In Europe, a 2006 report commissioned by the British government,
          the Stern Review, insisted that global warming damage was the equivalent
          of 5 percent to 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), but
          promised cures that would cost just 1 percent of GDP.

          And politicians have promised not just low costs to fix the problem, but an abundance of green jobs and energy security.

          Unfortunately, this narrative is mostly wrong.

          The latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel
          on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that global warming has slowed, even
          stopped, over the last 15 years, and that climate models far exaggerate
          temperature trends.

          The IPCC puts its latest temperature rise cost estimates at just 0.2 to 2 percent of GDP.

          Notably, governments tried to strike this finding from the report,
          with British, Belgian, Norwegian, Japanese and American politicians
          wanting it rewritten or deleted altogether.

          Officials had similar reactions to the IPCC’s admission that
          climate policies would actually be more expensive than previously
          claimed (costing up to 11 percent of GDP by 2100), again seeking
          deletion.

          Experts have known these truths, but politicians and the media have
          used exaggerated warming claims to promote poor policies, subsidizing
          green power with little actual benefit.

          Source: Bjørn Lomborg, “Global Warming’s Upside-Down Narrative,” Project Syndicate, April 17, 2014.

          Reply
          1. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

            Liar.

            Reply
          2. itsfun April 23, 2014

            Just send you liar comment to Bjorn Lomborg. He wrote the article. A typical response from you though. Anything that disagrees with you is automatically a liar. As I have said before, anyone that uses the word liar as much as you do, must be an expert in lying.

            Reply
          3. Sand_Cat April 24, 2014

            I reserve it mostly for you, because pretty much everything you write is a lie. You’re also far better at projection than I, so don’t attribute your faults to me. So, how are your kids doing at their Madrassa? I notice you didn’t respond to the request for facts there, likely because you have none.
            You also – like most anti-intellectual science deniers – don’t know the difference between climate and weather, or between scientists who are prominent because they are good scientists and operate on evidence from “scientists” who gain prominence and funding far beyond that given real scientists because they say what wealthy industrialists and “conservative” morons want to hear.

            Reply
          4. itsfun April 25, 2014

            You are the north end of a south bound horse. I apologize to all horses for that.

            Reply
          5. Sand_Cat April 28, 2014

            Now that’s clever, especially coming from someone who wrote at length to defend religion-based discrimination, then shortly thereafter wrote to whine that his kids are the victims of religion-based discrimination. Stew in your own hypocrisy; your insults are meaningless when one considers the source.

            Reply
          6. awakenaustin April 23, 2014

            Bjorn Lomborg is a writer and political scientist by training, an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. (He is not a climate scientist.) He also believes global warming is real and man made. He merely thinks there are other more serious world problems which need to be dealt with prior to global warming. He also believes the consequences of global warming, which he believes are real are overstated.
            You may need to seek succor from some other source. Google him before you out of hand reject what I say.

            Reply
          7. itsfun April 24, 2014

            Why would I reject what you say? I am simply trying to show there can be more than one side to issues.

            Reply
      2. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

        Idiot.

        Reply
      3. mah101 April 23, 2014

        I am always amused at people who proudly display their ignorance as a badge of honor. Well played, indeed.

        Reply
    4. marriea April 24, 2014

      Storms have always and probably will always be a part of our atmosphere. I’m sure that it was some sort of ‘storm’ that caused Mt Everest to be Mt Everest and the Ocean depths to have the ocean depths. Let’s just say that we are responsible for many of what I call the earth’s woes, which to a large extent we are. We human are responsible for there not being enough fertile ground in which to plant food for the people of the world in big part because of the chemicals we put into the soil. As I speak (type) a big debate is being wedged over some pipe line that is supposed be built from Canada to to the Gulf Coast under the guise of creating jobs. We constantly want to build homes (because it offers a great view, or it’s quieter, or I can get away from folks I don’t like) but in building these things we fail to understand that we are also digging up foundations like the trees that support these foundations. We want to produce oil because we want to have heat ( a necessary evil), or have access to the latest project (cars) that is available, and bla, bla, bla. But most of these things produce money for the rich. So is the problem really global warming or just plain old GREED. There will always be snow, rain, storms, some of them very severe by human standards. These storms will destroy property, claim lives and cause delays in things we as mortals want. It affects us, no doubt. But Mother Nature, like Old Man River just keeps rolling along. We who are on this earth right now probably won’t be around to experience the change. But because we have to feel that we have to experience things NOW, while we’re alive, if we don’t, it’s a catastrophe. There were natural disasters that occurred before this country was even founded. Nature rebounded. The people of that time did not. Life goes on. Do I believe in Global Warming. What do I think WE can do about it. Probably not a damned thing.

      Reply
  2. Lynda Groom April 22, 2014

    One in four is still a horrible number in denial, however it is better than it used to be. Humans are afraid of things they don’t understand, and sometimes even when they do it is easier to stick their heads in the sand and say coming generations will deal with it.

    Reply
    1. Paul Bass April 23, 2014

      Too bad coming generations will have to deal with a bigger mess because WE didn’t address it sooner….

      Reply
  3. Sand_Cat April 22, 2014

    Of course it’s cast as “believers” vs “non-believers” in an attempt to lower those who trust evidence-based science to the level of religious fundamentalists.
    The scientific consensus is that the climate is warming and that human activities are driving it, based on evidence. No man is perfect, and the climate scientists may be wrong, but lowering them to the plane of those who have convinced themselves this is some plot by the UN or some other allegedly-nefarious group seems to be the level to which a good bit of our country – and our pollsters – have sunk.

    Reply
    1. Steve Daily April 22, 2014

      Not sure where you got the idea that there’s a “consensus” but it’s a lie. Stop believing your TV and do your own research. Your TV is not your friend. Pull your head out.

      Reply
      1. Paul Bass April 23, 2014

        Again, Steve, “weather” is NOT “climate”.

        Please, we don’t believe your lies and propaganda, and based not on a shred of evidence, we are NEVER going to believe you, so go away and spread your slop on Fox…

        Reply
      2. realthog April 23, 2014

        “Not sure where you got the idea that there’s a “consensus” but it’s a lie.”

        What complete and absolute bullshit. Where the hell do you get your misinformation from? Conspiracy sites?

        Reply
      3. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

        Maybe you should try reality; you might have a clue then.

        Reply
      4. mah101 April 23, 2014

        The idea that there is a consensus comes from the consensus of scientist who rely on data.

        Moynihan said it best: everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts.

        Reply
      5. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

        And you know this because…

        Reply
  4. Steve Daily April 22, 2014

    Only 1 in 4 are informed about the real facts of the climate tax hoax? Wow, that says a lot for the propaganda power of the lying media. 3 out of 4 Americans are lobotomized baboons.

    Reply
    1. realthog April 23, 2014

      Do you think Obama was born in Kenya, too?

      Reply
      1. Janet Noll July 12, 2014

        I believe he is an Islamic muslim infiltrating the US

        Reply
    2. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

      Are you 1,2,or 3?

      Reply
  5. realthog April 23, 2014

    “Some of this skepticism could be attributed to the “Climategate” scandal
    of 2009, in which a series of leaked emails from leading scientists in
    the climate change arena suggested that they had overstated the severity
    of the issue as well as the role humans played in furthering global
    warming.”

    The emails showed nothing of the sort. They were dishonestly cherrypicked to make them *appear* to show this.

    Reply
  6. stan0301 April 23, 2014

    The question isn’t so much is it getting warmer–it almost certainly is–but are humans causing it–any more than, say, the warming our space probes are measuring at Mars and Jupiter–Google it, it is a fact–geologically speaking, the Earth we have personal knowledge of is colder than the Earth science knows has normally been.
    Stan

    Reply
    1. Sand_Cat April 23, 2014

      What “normally” happened during those times are not what normal people would like to see. The evidence shows that human activity is driving the current warming of the earth.

      Reply
      1. stan0301 April 23, 2014

        Well,–when you consider that of all the CO2 that happens each year, that produced by humans amounts to less than 3%–so were we to, say, cut our production by 20%– civilization would probably collapse–but that 20% would be 20% of less than 3%–it couldn’t even be measured–check my facts on Google. The Earth’s temperature is, and always has been very cyclic–150,000 years ago it was warmer than today–during the Eocene it was 9 degrees warmer than now, plants and animals did so well that it is referred to as the Eocene Optimum–and I think we both will agree that humans are not causing the warming our space probes measure at Mars and Jupiter.

        Stan

        Reply
    2. mah101 April 23, 2014

      Gee, nobody EVER thought to look at insolation, or solar variability, or orbital periodicity, or any other factors! Brilliant! We certainly should tell science to stop determining the answer and then building their support for it by cherry picking data… oh, wait…

      Reply
  7. ps0rjl April 23, 2014

    First of all ITSFUN is nothing more than a rightwing troll. Please ignore him. Second I am surprised that non-believers in climate change are as small as 25% when about 49% don’t believe in evolution or the big bang theory. I look on climate change just as I do seat belts in cars. I don’t put one on because I will get into an accident but rather because I might get in an accident. The repercussions if climate change is true and we do nothing, can be serious so we should try to take actions now just because it might be true.

    Reply
  8. jointerjohn April 23, 2014

    On this issue and many others we are not going to make much progress until we, (meaning society in general), learn to calmly and rationally accept facts and evidence as our primary bases for actions. Faith may be fun and it might make some of us feel good but it is no substitute for real evidence. The earth’s climate does not change course based on what we do or do not believe. The scientific evidence clearly indicates that our climate is being effected by our burning of fossil fuels. Face the facts and respond accordingly, then you can go believe all the wacky stuff you like where no harm will come.

    Reply
  9. stan0301 April 23, 2014

    What we are seeing are “computer models” illustrated with rather vague physical data–for instance, they rather assume that little if any CO2 gets into the ocean, when in fact, CO2 is quite soluble in water. Then, a warmer earth is also a wetter earth–and CO2 + water + warmth = voluminous plant growth–which is why periods in the Earth’s history that have had high CO2 levels are called “optimums”–abundant plant and animal life. I would be willing to bet that the majority of our “less than 3% CO2 contribution” is ending up in plants already–remember it came from plants in the first place. None of us will live long enough to be bothered by it–but eventual the blogs are going to be discussing the onset of “Global Cooling”–indeed our CO2 contribution today may be throwing sand in the Global Cooling gears–there is (the Little Ice Age) evidence that natures pendulum may be about to swing toward ice two miles deep where Chicago used to be. In any event at the start of the Middle Ages it was warm enough that Vikings lived by farming in Greenland–the Little Ice Age killed them all–and to what ever extent Global Warming may have happened, it is still to cold to live by farming in Greenland.
    Stan

    Reply
  10. marriea April 24, 2014

    Do I believe in global warming. Maybe. Do I believe that humans have been responsible for it. Probably. But I also believe in the power of Mother Nature’s ability to overcome or counteract anything that we mere mortal might do. I mean Mother Nature has been at this for eons. Longer than any mortal has been on this earth and beyond. Do I think things we put in the air and surrounding affect the earth, yes, but only to the degree that it affect mortals. Should I be concerned about it? Only to extent of how it will/might affect my descendants and their off springs

    Reply
  11. ghhshirley May 22, 2014

    Republicans, with the Tea Party in the lead, are the party of Stupid.

    Reply
  12. Janet Noll July 12, 2014

    Global warming is a complete lie just like the global cooling of the 1970s. It is a scam to put forth a carbon tax. We should call it the idiots tax.

    Reply

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