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Just 51% of Americans Believe in Global Warming, Down from 71% in 2007

belief in global warmingThe percentage of Americans who believe in global warming continues to decline, after reaching a peak of 75 percent in 2001.

Since 2007, when 71 percent of Americans believed in global warming, the percentage has taken a precipitous fall, to just 51 percent, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll.

About 29 percent of Americans don’t believe in global warming, while 21 percent are unsure, according to the survey “Big Drop in Those Who Believe that Global Warming is Coming” (PDF).

The “unsure” category has grown from 6 percent in 2007, and is now nearly double the percentage from 1997, when 12 percent were unsure.

The belief patterns tend to fall along party lines, with 73 percent of Democrats believing in global warming, compared to just 28 percent of Republicans.

The new research falls in line with an October consumer survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. In that poll, about 35 percent of Americans said they see global warming as a very serious problem, down from about 44 percent in April of 2008.

In the nation’s heartland, residents are unconvinced that human activities are the cause of global warming, according to anecdotal information from a Reuters article.

“There have been times in the past when there was global warming in the absence of man. It is all part of a natural cycle. I think it is a little vain to think man could destroy this great planet,” said Sharon Byers, a Lees Summit, Mo., resident, in the article.

Beliefs may be influenced by the fact that about 25 percent of the U.S. population are evangelical Christian, who generally believe in a cataclysmic end to life on Earth, according to the article.

“If you are an evangelical Christian in the American vein then you believe it is our responsibility to look after the planet but it will be ultimately destroyed no matter what we do,” Bart Barber, a Southern Baptist preacher in Farmersville, Texas, told Reuters.

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9 thoughts on “Just 51% of Americans Believe in Global Warming, Down from 71% in 2007

  1. If there were even a little serious reporting done regarding real questions about the science of man-made global warming in the mainstream press, there would be even less people convinced of its certainty. AGW is a scientific theory being sold as a scientific fact. The lack of questioning or the more damning, in my opinion,”scientists” saying the questioning of the issue should end makes me highly skeptical.

  2. From this article: “I think it is a little vain to think man could destroy this great planet…”

    The insertion of the word “belief” in this conversation is an incredible misnomer and travesty. Global Warming, Weirding, or Climate Change is not Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. It’s like asking the question of these people, “do you believe in gravity?”

    A better question would be if these people understand climate change.

    Humans don’t have an effect on climate or the environment? Yeah, tell that people who witnessed the Cuyahoga river catching fire, Ecuador being a dumping ground for Texaco/Chevron, the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, etc. Better yet tell it to that to the residents of Tuvalu, the Maldives, Louisiana.

    The point is that we’re poisoning and drowning each other and we refuse to acknowledge it.

  3. It is awakening that is necessary to begin to accept climate change. Whether human or natural, the climate is changing. The significant changes going on all around the planet support that things are not quite the same. Whether human or natural, the climate is changing. Permafrost is no longer so permanent. Glaciers are no longer so glacial. The temperatures are no longer so temperate. Whether human or natural, the climate is changing.
    Acceptance of change is one of the most difficult we creatures of habit must endure. “Beliefs may be influenced by the fact that about 25 percent of the U.S. population are evangelical Christian”. If 25% of a country is so intensely avoiding truth, this same 25% is not taking any responsibility for their own actions and influences.
    Let’s put some perspective to this. “evangelical christians” are stating science in their defence of climate change. It strikes me that any religous person who uses science in their favour is really at a disadvantage credibility-wise, both to their “faith” and those who they influence. Science is not flexible last I read.

  4. Amen, Brother Bryant! Aoufhe heufhw oshf yaway. [That was me speaking in tongues]

    Another anti-science denier showing his ignorance. Its not just about AGW or ACC. Look at ocean acidification, glacial melt, and desertification. Do you really think man can just continue to double its population every couple of generations and it not affect the Earth?

  5. Newton was still trying to alchemize gold when he died but that didn’t minimize his thinking or contributions to science. We need to continue paying attention to those with solid evidence and rationale before we start mis-theorizing based on an uninformed and unqualified journalistic or religious sources. While Gore is the marketing guy, there are others like Hansen et al, that bring serious credibility to the issue and we ought to pay close attention to their findings and opinions.

  6. The events ‘david harvison’ describes have nothing to do with global warming. Bizarre that david leads logically, making the point that the causes of global warming should not be based on ‘belief’, but on science. david then uses the weakest of rhetoric to jar the reader into suspending his/her rational thought process in favor of images of burning rivers and scores dead from a chemical gas cloud.

  7. Haha. I love how Global wafrming is still a debatable issue in the states. Where in Canada its known fact just ask any 5 year old. Sadly ironic that you suffer from the effects of Global warming far more than we Canadians do, yet you still need convincing while youre fishing for your homes and possesions under 10 ft of water.

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