American Opinion Cools on Global Warming, New Study Shows
Public concern about global warming has dropped sharply since the fall of 2008, according to the results of a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities. Only 50 percent of Americans now say they are “somewhat” or “very worried” about global warming, a 13-point decrease.
Edward Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, and his colleague Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change, attribute several reasons for this decline.
“Over the past year the United States has experienced rising unemployment, public frustration with Washington and a divisive health care debate, largely pushing climate change out of the news. Meanwhile, a set of emails stolen from climate scientists and used by critics to allege scientific misconduct may have contributed to an erosion of public trust in climate science,” said Leiserowitz.
The survey also showed that people are now less likely to trust the media, weather reporters and scientists about climate change.
“The scientific evidence is clear that climate change is real, human-caused and a serious threat to communities across America,” said Maibach. “The erosion in both public concern and public trust about global warming should be a clarion call for people and organizations trying to educate the public about this important issue.”
The full press release can be read on the Mason press release site.
A copy of the report can be downloaded from: http://climatechange.gmu.edu.