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American Skepticism Over Man-Made Climate Change Growing

December 8, 2009

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll on Monday showed that Americans who think global warming is caused by human activity, including vehicle and industrial emissions, are now a minority for the first time in nearly two years, AFP reported.

The survey found that now only 45 percent of the 1,041 adults surveyed on December 2-3 believed global warming is a proven fact and mostly caused by human activity. That number is down from 56 percent in October 2007.

The number of Americans who believe global warming is caused by natural changes unrelated to man has now increased to 22 percent from 20 percent two years ago, and those who believe global warming is a yet unproven theory grew to 31 percent from 23 percent.

Among those polled, 58 percent said the U.S. should cut carbon dioxide emissions unilaterally. That percentage is down from 66 percent in October 2007.

However, staying mostly unchanged at 17 percent, from 16 percent two years ago, was the number of people who thought the United States should cut CO2 emissions only if other countries do so as well.

Meanwhile, those who said carbon emissions should not be cut regardless of what the rest of the world does jumped to 24 percent, from 15 percent two years ago.

The survey coincided with the start of a landmark, 12-day conference on tackling climate change opened in Copenhagen attended by more than 110 heads of state or government.

In recent weeks before the summit, several e-mails exposing a row between top climate scientists were stolen, giving many climate change skeptics the notion that global warming science had been compromised.

However, the White House on Monday dismissed such feelings as  “silly”.

Climate skeptics, particularly in the United States, have gone on to suggest that the scientific community is hyping the threat from carbon dioxide emissions ahead of the Copenhagen climate conference.

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