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Pew Research poll finds modest rise in number of Americans saying there is “solid evidence” of global warming; 38% attribute to human activity

A Pew Research poll finds that the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence of global warming has increased modestly over the past two years. Currently, 63% say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades. In October 2009, 57% expressed this view.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted 9-14 Nov. among 2,001 adults, finds that nearly four-in-ten (38%) say that global warming is occurring mostly because of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, which also is slightly higher than last year (34%). From 2006-2008, 47% said global warming was mostly caused by human activity.

The number saying global warming is a very serious problem also has risen to 38% currently from 32% last year; 35% said this in 2009. A majority of Americans (65%) say that global warming is either a very serious (38%) or somewhat serious (27%) problem. A third (33%) views global warming as not too serious a problem (16%) or not a problem (17%).

Nonetheless, substantially fewer Americans say there is solid evidence of global warming than did so from 2006 to 2008. And in those years, higher percentages viewed global warming as a very serious problem than do so today.

Gallup

The survey finds a continuing partisan divide in opinions about global warming: 77% of Democrats and 63% of independents say there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades. Just 43% of Republicans agree.

There also is a large partisan gap in views about the causes of global warming: 51% of Democrats and 40% of independents say the earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity. Just 19% of Republicans say rising temperatures are mostly attributable to human activity.

The large partisan and ideological gap over the existence of global warming is reflected in opinions about whether it represents a serious problem. Nine-in-ten (90%) liberal Democrats say global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem, with 64% calling it very serious. Nearly three-quarters of conservative Republicans (73%) say global warming either is not too serious a problem or not a problem; 44% say it is not a problem.

Both parties are internally divided, though the differences are more pronounced among Republicans. While 73% of conservatives say global warming is not much of a problem, only 34% of moderates and conservatives agree. Liberal Democrats are more likely than the party’s conservatives and moderates to view global warming as a very serious problem (64% vs. 50%). And about twice as many conservative and moderate Democrats as liberals say it is little or no problem (21% vs. 9%).

The GOP’s divisions over global warming also are seen in how Tea Party Republicans and non-Tea Party Republicans view the issue. Among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who agree with the Tea Party, 30% say there is solid evidence of global warming and 11% say it is mostly caused by human activity. A majority (56%) of Republicans and GOP leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party see solid evidence of global warming, and 28% say it is mostly caused by human activity.

And while more than half (55%) of Republicans and leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party view global warming as at least a somewhat serious problem, just 27% of Tea Party Republicans agree.

Comments

HarveyD

Deniers, people with amnesia and/or vested interests will always have difficulties admitting that it is much warmer than it used to be. When I was born xx years ago today, it was extremely cold at -30C with lots of ice and snow. Winter had been around for more than a month. Today it is +10C and the flowers are still in bloom on the balcony. I can't deny that it is much warmer. It is so evident.

Treehugger

Harvey

It is bit more complicated than that, but anyway more than 150 years after it was discovered, more than 50% of american don't believe in evolution theory, so to ask them to understand global warming is just too much to ask them. More than any other country america has it phenomenal ability to deny facts when it clashes with their values or culture.

ejj

***** sigh ***** Where is TheGoracle when you need him?


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Praise Be To AlGore!


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danm

"More than any other country America has phenomenal ability to deny..."
Well, no other country has more to lose if AGW is true. Or more changes to make.
For one hundred years Americans have lived as though fossil fuels are endless and good to burn. It's not that surprising there's a lot of denial.
It's like telling the plains Indians that the buffalo are going to disappear soon. Who could believe it?

HarveyD

Can we conclude that we have not evolved as much as we think we have?

Evolution being often slow, we may need a few more decades if not centuries.

Yes, he who has risen the most will have the highest fall.

Reel$$

"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it's at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely."

CRU's cozy partnering with the likes of Wall Street's Goldman Sachs is just one reason for the fail.

HarveyD

After being had so many times by banks, insurances, speculators, lobbyists, and politicians, one cannot blame Americans with more and more difficulties to separate scams from truth. The majority is mixed up and do not know who to believe any more. Unfortunately, too many are willing to believe deniers, right wing extremists and creationists like our ancestors did 500+ years ago. My newspaper writer neighbor calls it de-civilization and compares it with what happened in Afghanistan and with what will soon happen in North African countries under different leading forces. History seems to be repeating itself one more time.

Reel$$

Harv... good news is we are breaking out of the mist of ignorance. We can see the solipsistic forces running the show, we know their faces, and where they live. Their fiefdoms are being dismantled. Light is streaming in and those behind the banking, pharma, energy and climate scams - are being exposed, illuminated. Blinded by the light... Their days are numbered.

"Dark days are gone, bright days are here..."

ai_vin

Oh, the irony.

Reel$$

Oh the light!!

HarveyD

No major bank CEOs (who have swindled the public out of $$$B) have been brought to court, declared guilty or jailed. Many continue to cash in $100M/year.

That's what I would call 'their fiefdoms are being dismantled' Is this suppose to be a joke...Reel$$?.

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