Public Sees “Global Warming” As Biggest Long-Term Problem

P3 contributor Scott Brophy is quoted on Huffington Post, and provides an interesting gloss here.

Crucial point to note. We are not doing as badly as we thought. It was arguably just bad polling.

Gallup and Pew polls show that the percentage of Americans that believe in climate change now hovers around 50 percent, but Krosnick’s latest poll — which asked the question in a more detailed way — suggests the figure is 83 percent — up from 79 percent in 1997. Of the global warming believers, the majority also reported thinking that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities play a role. The trend held after the researchers broke the data down by political party: 66 percent of Republicans said climate change is happening.

Krosnick and his colleagues also looked at two ways of framing a question about the public’s ranking of issues. In response to “What is the most important problem facing this country today?,” the economy ranked at the top with global warming dead last. When this question was reworded to ask, “What will be the most important problem facing the world in the future if nothing is done to stop it?,” the results were reversed: Global warming ranked No. 1.

“This message is not getting across to Washington,” said Krosnick.

(The message that seems to get across to nobody, alas, is that “global warming” is the most predictable symptom, not the problem. The problem is climate disruption.)


(borehole item(s))


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