GALLUP: Most Americans Taking Global Warming In Stride

By: E&P Staff

A new Gallup Poll reveals an “inconvenient truth” for advocates of taking a strong immediate position to halt global warming: Most of the American public is in no rush. While they are concerned, they see the problems a long way off — and few place global warming near the top of environmental priorities.

There is a partisan divide, however: More Democrats want faster action than most Republicans.

Gallup reports today that “only a small fraction of the public names global warming in unaided measures of perceived problems facing the nation or as a top government priority. Although a majority of Americans say they are at least fairly worried about global warming, the issue ranks near the bottom of other environmental issues rated.

“One answer could be that, while Americans say they are worried about global warming, they also believe the worst manifestations of the problem are a long way off.”

Gallup asked respondents to rate how much they worry about seven different possible effects of global warming, and now relates: “Generally speaking, not much more than one-third of Americans are ‘very worried’ about any of the seven effects of global warming measured in the survey; however, a solid majority are at least ‘somewhat worried’ about nearly all of them.”

At the bottom of the list: 2 out of 3 are not very worried that human life will cease.

The most common concerns: the worsening of weather events such as hurricanes, flooding, and droughts, as well as rising ocean levels swamping coastal areas.

A solid majority of Democrats say they are very, or somewhat, worried about all seven items. At least half of independents worry about six of the seven. No more than 49% of Republicans are worried about ANY of them.

The national poll of 1,018 adults was carried out in late February.

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