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Only 12% of Americans in a new survey are "very worried" about global warming

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My friend Peggy over at Tree Hugging Family just posted the results of a new scientific survey from researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities and the results show that public belief in climate change is declining which is odd considering that scientific support is rising.

According to the report - Climate Change in the American Mind in 2008 71% of people asked thought global warming was a real event, but this year only 57% of Americans surveyed said they believed in global warming and only 35% of those people were "very sure" that global warming is a reality. When asked how worried they were about global warming only 12% of the survey participants said they were "very worried" and 38% were "somewhat worried."

There's a lot more to see in the survey but mainly I was surprised that global warming concerns have fallen so sharply over the last two years. The report had a very small survey sample in my opinion which is something to consider but still it's surprising that so few people are thinking about global warming - only 5% said that global warming was "extremely important" to them personally and only 15% said it was "very important" to them personally. Even with a small survey, I'd have expected more concerned folks.
post #2 of 19
So much of any poll is how the questions are phrased, where it is done, is the sample representative and on and on.

İ don't know if this poll was of any account or not. İt seems to be the opposite of the last post on the topic. 

When people keep getting beat on about something where they only have a vague idea of what it really concerns they may be saying they are sick of hearing about the topic more than anything else.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
That's a good point - when you ask stuff over and over people just answer to answer and be done. I have no clue how the survey was run. Who took it, etc. It still surprised me that concern was so low though. Of course I'd be surprised to see such little concern if I asked a roomful of just 50 people so...
post #4 of 19
When people are worried about short-term issues (currently the state of the economy), long-term concerns like global warming tend to be less on their minds.  As the economy rebounds, expect these numbers to go back up.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Man, it seems like this economy has been a long term deal though. No end in sight.... sigh. Everyone I know is still worried and has been for years now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981 View Post

When people are worried about short-term issues (currently the state of the economy), long-term concerns like global warming tend to be less on their minds.  As the economy rebounds, expect these numbers to go back up.
post #6 of 19
I'm no expert in statistics, but looking closely at the poll it seems to hold up to scrutiny.  The questions are pretty detailed and the sample size is relevant.  It looks like a better study than you normally find in the headlines.
post #7 of 19
More depressing news!
Quote:
When asked how worried they were about global warming only 12% of the survey participants said they were "very worried"
I'm not surprised, though. In a recent survey by Yale University's Project on Climate Change of 1,001 American adults, a majority of adults (>50%) in the nation understand that many activities commonly considered "environmentally friendly" ( recycling, re-use shopping bags, biking/walking ect.) are actions that are somehow important. However, very few follow through on a majority of the activities included in the survey. 

This shows that a majority of Americans don't care about protecting the environment. (It also shows that we are very lazy!) 
Edited by QTgogreen - 3/30/10 at 6:37pm
post #8 of 19
The whole "environmentally friendly" thing is so overblown. I hate it. Every news story about a Prius or solar panels or a dishwasher starts and ends with the primary benefit being that it is "environmentally friendly".It's not. It's just less-polluting.

What the green marketing movement, dominated by hippie pandering to the choir SHOULD be doing is talking up the minimum 5% equivalent interest one earns doing energy saving/making things rather than letting their money rot in a savings account or risk crashing in a stock for 8%.

It's time to have that conversation in the messaging about money in a guilt free, non environmental manner.

The rest of the world that doesn't care about the environment does not know the financial advantages of doing the right thing because WE HIPPIE STEREOTYPES (perceived or real) aren't telling them about them in marketing or correcting the press when they misreport.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heretic View Post

The whole "environmentally friendly" thing is so overblown. I hate it. Every news story about a Prius or solar panels or a dishwasher starts and ends with the primary benefit being that it is "environmentally friendly".It's not. It's just less-polluting.

What the green marketing movement, dominated by hippie pandering to the choir SHOULD be doing is talking up the minimum 5% equivalent interest one earns doing energy saving/making things rather than letting their money rot in a savings account or risk crashing in a stock for 8%.
 

Plenty of green people I know and read do advocate the major eco-issue - less stuff which yeah saves money and resources at the same time. Any eco-friendly person worth their salt talks about the consequences of too much stuff vs. less stuff. Not everyone interested in green is ONLY suggesting things like a Prius or solar panels.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferChait View Post

Plenty of green people I know and read do advocate the major eco-issue - less stuff which yeah saves money and resources at the same time. Any eco-friendly person worth their salt talks about the consequences of too much stuff vs. less stuff. Not everyone interested in green is ONLY suggesting things like a Prius or solar panels.
 

That's not what I meant, although I agree with you. What I'm saying is the conversation needs to move away from virtue to something evil - money. Those who don't know or care need something evil to get them to absorb virtue.

Less stuff might seem like common sense, because who wants clutter right? But plenty of people ACCEPT clutter because sloth and laziness are the evil lures. Money, as energy payback compared to a less evil savings account or CD is the evil lure that shows people "see how easy it is to be virtuous? I just made more doing this insulation project than my retirement account made".
post #11 of 19

First of all, when you see the words "the latest poll" always ask who paid for and carried out the poll.

 

We will have to change our entire consumerist way of life, or the Earth will change it for us.

 

Kitty Beer

author of the novels on climate change: What Love Can't Do and Human Scale

kittybeer.net

planetprospect.blogspot.com

post #12 of 19

Be wary of any environmental information, especially global warming, coming out of George Mason University, as David Koch of Koch Industries and other conservatives wield undue influences there. Koch is on the Board of Directors and is a known polluter who has killed more people than the current wars.

G., Thomas Farmer, Ph.D.

post #13 of 19

As mentioned above polls are easily swayed by wording. This is something they even teach in marketing classes! Although I must say, if this poll is accurate that it is shocking to say the least that less people would believe in global warming. Makes you wonder what changed?

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTgogreen View Post

More depressing news!

I'm not surprised, though. In a recent survey by Yale University's Project on Climate Change of 1,001 American adults, a majority of adults (>50%) in the nation understand that many activities commonly considered "environmentally friendly" ( recycling, re-use shopping bags, biking/walking ect.) are actions that are somehow important. However, very few follow through on a majority of the activities included in the survey. 

This shows that a majority of Americans don't care about protecting the environment. (It also shows that we are very lazy!) 


Whoa - just because people don't agree that climate change is man made, doesn't mean they don't carry about the environment or are lazy. Quite a number of people I know have put their money where their mouth is in the building industry and have done great practical thing to move the industry into a less consumptive  place yet totally deny climate change as the media sees it. Granted many of them are older and have a longer perspective on life. My point is that doing great things for the environment is more important than agreeing with one philosophy. 

post #15 of 19

I'd say that this isn't a serious issue though.  The reason I say this is that the Growth of China, India, Pakistan, Brazil etc has pretty much put pay to any changes we've made.  However, as an Environmentalist, I'd say the glass is half full and the changes we've made have off-set environmental damage caused by the Growth of the aforementioned Countries.

 

As for the changes in people's perception of Global Warming, I would also put this down to the recent spat in the Sun's activity, which has resulted in short term global cooling and as a result, some short term stabilizing of the world's weather (amazingly coincided with Global Economic downturn).  Believe that this is now over and we should see a return to wild weather patterns and higher temperatures (no more snow in the UK this year).  Interestingly, the global outlook has revealed no correlation between energy consumption and economic downturn (something that was previously directly linked in prior recessions)- hence the continual hike in global fuel prices. 

post #16 of 19

I would just add that people also are motivated to worry about things that they cannot deny - it's human nature.  So for some, if it's possible to deny the existance of global warming - especially when mountains of cash are pouring in from those who want to promote this denial - denial it will be.  Other things are more obvious and less deniable. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My blog - Renewable Home Energy Options

 

 

post #17 of 19

Part of the issue is that too many people have proclaimed that global warming has caused every weather ill recently experienced (too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, etc.).  Also, after every weather episode, like hurricane Katrina, come forcasts that this is "the new normal" and to expect conditions to resemble this every year.  The problem with these proclamations is that these are rare occurrance, and when the "new normals" fail to materialize, people lose confidence in these and other predictions.  When Barack Obama campaigned in 2007, he said that global warming was causing states like New Hampshire to lose jobs due to a shorter ski season.  Amazing what just a few winters have done.  The problem is that global warming was oversold.  Global warming does not cause every weather ill, and many of the proclamations will not occur for a century or more, if ever.

post #18 of 19

If anyone do "not worried" global warming, please visit Hong Kong in summer.  Face it directly...air pollution, green house effect, very hot... we are losing winter hissyfit.gif

post #19 of 19

That's why no progress is being made to curb emissions; not enough people believe the facts.

Maybe when half the planet is in drought or burning, and the other half is under water, they might get a clue.

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