The Poll Archive RSS

climate_change
(12/22/08) -

Fewer Americans Worried About Climate Change

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – While still high, the proportion of people in the United States who are concerned about climate change has dropped this year, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 65 per cent of respondents believe global warming is a very or somewhat serious problem, down eight points since April.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – While still high, the proportion of people in the United States who are concerned about climate change has dropped this year, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 65 per cent of respondents believe global warming is a very or somewhat serious problem, down eight points since April.

In addition, 43 per cent of respondents believe global warming is primarily caused by human activity, while 43 per cent blame long term planetary trends.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. In 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which states that global warming has been "very likely"—or 90 per cent certain—caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. has not ratified the treaty, which is due to expire in 2012.

In October 2007, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore and the IPCC were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

On Dec. 20, U.S. president-elect Barack Obama—who will take over as head of state on Jan. 20, 2009—named John Holdren as his chief science adviser, declaring, "The truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources. It’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say—even when it’s inconvenient."

Polling Data

How serious a problem is global warming?

 

Dec. 2008

Apr. 2008

Very serious

41%

47%

Somewhat serious

24%

26%

Not very serious

17%

16%

Not at all serious

16%

8%

Not sure

3%

4%

Is global warming caused primarily by human activity or by long term planetary trends?

 

Dec. 2008

Apr. 2008

Human activity

43%

47%

Long term planetary trends

43%

34%

Some other reason

6%

8%

Not sure

8%

11%

Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14, 2008. Margin of error is 3 per cent.