Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Global Warming Becomes a Political Issue

Concern over global warming peaked in 2007, but has dropped as an item of concern, including a five percent drop just in the last year (41% in 2007; 33% in 2009; down to 28% in 2010). There are many reasons for the drop, including a sense the environment has improved in recent years and a growing view that, while the economy is vulnerable, environmental protection is less important. In addition, global warming has become a polarizing political issue regularly attacked by talk radio and suffering from credibility issues due to controversies around the scientists and politicians who promote it.

New Gallup polls describe some of the reasons for the drop in concern as:

• Growing number of Americans believe the “seriousness of global warming is exaggerated by the news.”

• The issue has taken on a political context, and conservatives and moderates are more inclined to say the news exaggerates the seriousness of global warming.

• The credibility of global warming has even dropped with people who say they understand the issue very well and who claim to be active or sympathetic to the environmental movement.

(See Gallup polls on global warming: 126560, 126563 and 126788)

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