Thursday, April 2, 2009

Global Warming Still Lacks Major Constituency

General public concern about environmental issues has fallen since recent high points in 2000. Currently, top environmental issues for the public are water pollution and water shortages.

Surprisingly, although global warming now dominates Washington media and liberal interest groups’ environmental agenda, it has thus far failed to attract a major constituency among the public.

In addition, there has been an up-tick in people who believe “global warming is exaggerated” by the media. A record high of 41 percent believe it’s “exaggerated,” up from 31 percent in 2000. Only 28 percent believe the issue is underestimated. About one-half of the public (57%) believes the issue is either reported correctly (29%) or underestimated (28%). The recent highest year for the public belief global warming was not exaggerated was 2005. Since then, increasing percentages of people have become skeptical of political and media claims about the issue’s seriousness. Both Republicans and Independents are now much more likely to believe the issue is being exaggerated than in 2005.

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