Many Americans Still Refuse To Accept Global Warming As A Real Concern

A joint report from Yale University and George Mason University, has shown that there is still significant resistance to the issue of global warming. The report (PDF) was recently highlighted on the website of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

Slightly more than half (51%, to be exact) of American adults fall into the categories of alarmed and concerned about global warming. A further 19% are cautious about the issue.

The alarmed segment is, not surprisingly, the most active in trying to reverse global warming. They act as opinion leaders, trying to spread the word about the issue and attempting to get others to change their behaviors. The concerned and cautious segments see global warming as a problem, but fewer members of these segments choose to act in accordance with their beliefs.

Beyond the cautious segment, the numbers begin to get a bit frightening. The next 12% of Americans are disengaged, meaning that they don't currently have an opinion about global warming abut may form one in the future. Next, there's the doubtful segment (11%), made up of those who aren't necessarily inclined to believe that global warming is a real problem (and some who admit that it's happening but believe that it's the result of natural causes and not human behavior). Finally, there is the dismissive segment (7%), which believes that global warming is a hoax. Like the alarmed segment, this group seeks to raise awareness of their position.

It's important to note that there will probably always be a segment of people who refuse to accept facts, even in light of overwhelming evidence. Their divergent beliefs are often paired with wild conspiracy theories (such as those who deny that we ever visited the moon). However, the number of people who are still unwilling to embrace the idea that humans are damaging the earth by causing it to warm up is much larger than is normally the case.

Despite the large number of Americans who still doubt that global warming is a serious issue, though, the good news is that there is now a majority of Americans who fall into the segments alarmed, concerned of cautious. The report speculates that, assuming these people continue to speak out against global warming, we could be nearing a tipping point with regards to public action

7 comments
Posted by Stuart Blaber on May 28,2009 at 8:55 AM

Owl905:  Too late is when the system reaches the point where human survival is no longer possible.  Climate change is well on it's way to this point and even if we stopped our own contribution to the problem it will take 100's if not 1000's of years to get back to a safe environment.  James Lovelock's book says it all.  He says, for various reasons, billions of people wil die.  This is the stuff that we don't want to deal with.  It's what makes us throw up our hands in dispair.  

Posted by Owl905 on May 27,2009 at 3:06 AM

To Stuart Blaber:- "Actually I think it is already too late."  There is no such thing.  This isn't a movie or a book.  The issues on the table are how bad it will get, how quickly it will get bad, and how long it will be bad.  The human response will affect all of those issues.  There is no too late but there is a how deep.

Posted by Owl905 on May 27,2009 at 3:02 AM

The poll shows the success of the pro-pollution lobby.  Let's have a poll, a public debate, a proxy campaign - as if the nature of the problem had jack to do with anyone's opinion.  To Ron, there is no scientific evidence to the contrary, and virtually every scientific organization on the planet has audited the case, signed up for it, and tried to get the message out.  To Antonio Sosa - regurgitating nonsense doesn't make it true.   For starters, your claim that AR4 was the product of 52 scientists is fiction (2300 to 4000 depending on the counting method), as is your claim that the OISM petition represents 30k American scientists.  Ludicrous is the word for your 700 skeptical scientists - that's a Heartland Institute quote-collection on behalf of Imhoffe, not an organization.  The hoax is your attempt to avoid the evidence, the observations, the properties, and the trend-lines.  

Posted by Stuart Blaber on May 26,2009 at 2:37 PM

Global Warming/Climate Change first became apparent over 30 years ago to anyone who was looking.  Many of us were looking.  Unfortunately humans are not equiped to plan for anything that is not immediately visible and hence trying to fight against climate change will not be possible until we can see it coming down our street.  It will be too late.  The disbelievers will win the day.  So much for the human race, the only species on the planet that dares to fight with mother nature.

Actually I think it is already too late.

Posted by AntonioSosa on May 26,2009 at 2:20 PM

No patriotic and informed American can support the global warming/cap and trade scam, more fraudulent than any Nigerian scam.

Cap and trade represents huge taxes and cost increases, which will hurt mostly the poor and the middle class. Cap and trade will give dictatorial powers to Obama and will further enrich his billionaire friends (Gore, Soros, Goldman Sachs, Obama's  Chicago Climate Exchange friends, GE, etc.) -- all at our expense and at the expense of our children and grandchildren.

Cap and Trade "would be the equivalent of an atomic bomb directed at the U.S. economy—all without any scientific justification," said famed climatologist Dr. S. Fred Singer. It would significantly increase taxes and the cost of energy, forcing many companies to close, thus increasing unemployment, poverty and dependence.

Those brainwashed to the point of wanting to destroy the economy to "prevent global warming" are behaving like the most primitive human beings who were duped into believing that human sacrifices would ensure them good weather. Human beings don't have the power to control climate! And killing the economy will not help the environment. Poor countries can't protect the environment. Just look at Haiti!

More and more scientists and thinking people all over the world are realizing that man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. More than 700 international scientists dissent over man-made global warming claims. They are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. http://www.climatechangefraud.com/content/view/3562/218/

Additionally, more than 30,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate." http://www.petitionproject.org

We pray that honest leaders – both Democrat and Republican - are able to save us from Obama's criminal global warming/cap-and-trade scam.  

Posted by Ben Dover on May 26,2009 at 12:00 AM

I love your classifcation for the "non-believers"   the "dismissive" segment implying unthinking and simply rejecting out of hand.  I am a thinking greeny.  I believe in saving the rain forests, the whales you name it.  I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING as it's currently being sold.  Not because I am dismissive but because I have a reasonable education and a thinking mind.  I have read all the so called theories and anlaysed the arguments.  I concluded it that it is all garbage, snake oil. What alarms me the most is how any thinking person can believe all this nonsense.  The science is simply not there.  It's at best conjecture.  A word of caution for all you rabid greenies out there.  The road to hell IS paved with good intentions.  There are lunatic scientists out there and some of them advise Obama who feel that pumpimg pollution into our stratosphere to refflect sun light is a great idea to keep the planet cool!!   At least one side effect of this....  No blue sky    Still fervently a believer?

Posted by Ron on May 25,2009 at 10:07 PM

The overwhelming evidence is only the fact you idiots keep saying "the overwhelming evidence".

How about you get some data rather than than hype.

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