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global_warming
(04/22/09) -

Fewer in U.S. Blame Humans for Global Warming

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Only a third of adults in the United States believe global warming is caused primarily by human activity, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 34 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale, while 48 per cent blame long term planetary trends.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Only a third of adults in the United States believe global warming is caused primarily by human activity, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 34 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale, while 48 per cent blame long term planetary trends.

In addition, 62 per cent of respondents say global warming is a very or somewhat serious problem.

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."

Earlier this month, Democratic Massachusetts congressman Edward Markey called for the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), saying, "The Environmental Protection Agency concluded that our health and our planet are in danger. Now it is time for Congress to create a clean energy cure."

The draft version of the proposed legislation sets the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 20 per cent below 2005 levels in 2020, 40 per cent below 2005 in 2030, and 83 per cent below 2005 in 2050.

Polling Data

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

 

Apr. 2009

Jan. 2009

Dec. 2008

Human activity

34%

41%

43%

Long term planetary trends

48%

44%

43%

Some other reason

7%

7%

6%

Not sure

11%

9%

8%

How serious a problem is global warming?

 

Apr. 2009

Jan. 2009

Dec. 2008

Very serious

33%

41%

41%

Somewhat serious

29%

23%

24%

Not very serious

23%

18%

17%

Not at all serious

12%

15%

16%

Not sure

3%

2%

3%

Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 likely voters, conducted on Apr. 15 and Apr. 16, 2009. Margin of error is 3 per cent.