October 24, 2009

Americans More Skeptical About Global Warming

A new poll released this week shows that Americans are becoming more skeptical about global warming.

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press polled 1,500 US adults from September 30 to October 4.

The new poll found that only 57 percent of Americans believe there is "solid evidence" for the existence of global warming, compared to 71 percent in April 2008.

Additionally, the poll shows that the percentage of Americans who believe global warming is caused by human activity has dropped from 47 percent last year to 36 percent today.

"The decline in the belief in solid evidence of global warming has come across the political spectrum, but has been particularly pronounced among independents," the report said, noting that 53 percent of independents believe in solid evidence of global warming, compared to 75 percent in April 2008.

What's more, already skeptical Republicans became more skeptical with only 35 percent of Republicans confirming evidence of global warming, down from 49 percent in 2008 and 62 percent in 2007.

However, the poll shows that half of Americans favor a plan to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions, even if it leads to higher energy costs; 39 percent are opposed to such measures.

Researchers found that just 14 percent of those polled said they have heard about cap and trade policies, while an additional 30 percent say they have heard a little about the policies and 55 percent said they have heard nothing at all.

"The priority that people give to pollution and environmental concerns and a whole host of other issues is down because of the economy and because of the focus on other things," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center.

"When the focus is on other things, people forget and see these issues as less grave."


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