Thursday, January 22, 2009

With Apologies to Al Gore

President Obama has made it clear that climate change is one of his top priorities. Recent polls show that he is out of step with the American people.

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, out of 20 "top priority" issues, human-caused global warming ranked dead last. Crime, moral decline, and lobbyists (siblings, those three) outranked global warming. Moreover, a Rasmussen poll found that 44% of the public believes warming is due to long term planetary trends, 7% attribute it to some other reason, and 9% are unsure. Adding them up, it turns out that only 40% believe global warming is a result of human activities. In 2006, 46% of the people believed global warming was caused by humans, while 35% thought it was caused by natural phenomena. The trend has been favoring skepticism.

Sorry, Mr. Gore.

Unremarkably, 51% of Republicans believe planetary trends are the cause of global warming. Conversely, 44% of Democrats did not believe humans are causing global warming. Doesn't that seem a bit high? I figured that number would be below 10%.

It's clear that there is a healthy amount of skepticism out there. Is this a push back from the apocalyptic sirens of the media and the moral haranguing of politicians (like the aforementioned Al)?

[HT: Andrew Revkin]