Gallup poll shows global-warming fears losing steam

posted at 10:12 am on March 14, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Or maybe the results from Gallup’s latest poll are all part of a natural cycle.  Every seven years or so, the bottom appears to fall out of the global-warming market.  In 2000, for instance, 72% of Gallup responders said they worried a great deal or fair amount about global warming, a peak result over the last 22 years Gallup has polled on the question.  In 2004, that number plunged to 51%, after a relatively mild recession had people worrying more about their pocketbooks.  In 2008, the number rose again to a decade-long peak of 66% as America searched for a President whose mere visage would force the oceans to retreat and the Earth to cool.

Three years later, after America’s worst post-war recession, we’re suddenly back to being practical:

Americans continue to express less concern about global warming than they have in the past, with 51% saying they worry a great deal or fair amount about the problem — although attitudes appear to have stabilized compared with last year. That current level of worry compares with 66% just three years ago, and is only one percentage point higher than the low Gallup measured in 1997. ….

While Americans’ self-professed understanding of global warming has increased over time — from 69% saying they understand the issue “very well” or “fairly well” in 2001, to 74% in 2006 and 80% in the current poll — their concern about global warming across several measures is generally in the lower range of what Gallup has found historically.

Its other measures in the poll show a rather nuanced picture.  The number of people who believe the global warming issue has been exaggerated actually declined since last year, from 48% to 43% this year, which is still higher than any other time in the past ten years.  The number of people saying that AGW has been underestimated rose from 25% to 29%, still well below the 38% in 2006.

However, the number of people who believe that AGW has already begun fell to 49%, the first time since 1998 that it has gone below a majority level.  Absolute skepticism — those who say AGW will never happen — has risen over the last few years, coming in at 18%, slightly down from last year’s 19%.  A majority still believe that pollution is the major cause of higher temperatures, but at 52% that’s just slightly higher than last year’s series low of 50%, and well below the 58%-61% range that Gallup found from 2003 through 2009.  Those who believe that higher temperatures come from natural cycles peaked last year at 46% and fell back a bit this year to 43%, still well above the 33%-38% range of 2003-2008.

The cycle shows that global-warming hysteria is a hobby for those enjoying a fat economy.  When times get lean, people want energy at low cost and a focus on jobs rather than expanded regulation.  Voters tend to discover their inner skeptics when the bills mount and the revenue drops.

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Hee hee hee…

At least AlGore and Olby have each others’ shoulders to cry on…

Khun Joe on March 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The science is as settled as the ocean bottom East of Japan.

J_Crater on March 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Why should Gore worry? He already made a hundred million off this scam.

Blake on March 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Al, just sit down and shut up. You’ve had your 15 minutes of fame. You have your Nobel prize and your millions. Now just shut up and go away. Can’t even stand to look at you, you looser.

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 14, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Mother Gaia will not be pleased. Quick! We must cleanse this thread immediately with patchouli and carbon credits.

trubble on March 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Why should Gore worry? He already made a hundred million off this scam.

Blake on March 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Wonder how much Tipper got?

wi farmgirl on March 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM

A majority still believe that pollution is the major cause of higher temperatures, but at 52% that’s just slightly higher than last year’s series low of 50%, and well below the 58%-61% range that Gallup found from 2003 through 2009. Those who believe that higher temperatures come from natural cycles peaked last year at 46% and fell back a bit this year to 43%, still well above the 33%-38% range of 2003-2008.

Which proves that the 43% need more effort to educate the 52%, and use the 4-letter S-word: SNOW…

If $5/gallon gasoline doesn’t change minds, wait til they see $1.00 per kilowatthour…

Steve Z on March 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

The cycle shows that global-warming hysteria is a hobby for those enjoying a fat economy.

…yet Gore still seems to be fat in a thin economy. He must have stored up carbon credits so he could live of them while in hibernation, since the only Gore media presence as of late was to announce Keith Olbermann is now the modern-day Edward R. Murrow on his cable network, Test Pattern HD, or whatever Al’s calling it.

jon1979 on March 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Why should Gore worry? He already made a hundred million off this scam.

Blake on March 14, 2011 at 10:18 AM

He also got rid of that boat anchor of an aging wife so he can pursue glottony in all areas of life without even a vestige of a conscience nagging him.

SKYFOX on March 14, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Is this a poll of likely voters? Because people who don’t vote don’t really exist. Their views and concerns are irrelivent. I have a hard time believing that likely voters are still over 50% on this question.

NotCoach on March 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Best. Caption. Ever.

exlibris on March 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Gore is so weird.

Paul-Cincy on March 14, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Space reserved for (insert bastion of J-Tards here) to publish article about Anti-Science posters at Hor Air, and their inability to realize that the proponents of AGW really need the biggest houses, boats, cars, ect. to help everybody else.

MNHawk on March 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Absolute skepticism — those who say AGW will never happen — has risen over the last few years, coming in at 18%, slightly down from last year’s 19%.

Absolute skepticism does NOT mean never. That is a mischaracterization and quite insulting. It means that true believers have not made their case. Make a real scientific argument with real data and I’ll be less of a skeptic.

NotCoach on March 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I liked the Global Cooling myth of the 70′s better, it was far more terrifying.

batterup on March 14, 2011 at 10:32 AM

A majority still believe that pollution is the major cause of higher temperatures,

I can’t believe 52% are still buying this bs. How can that be?

mbs on March 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM

The Goracle isn’t worried, he’s already cashed out.

GarandFan on March 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM

We all laugh at Gore but he’s the one laughing all the way to the bank.

And look around you. Every business has bought into the garbage. Everywhere you look, it’s green this, green that. We have $4 a gallon because of the greens, when we could have $1 a gallon by accessing our own oil.

The left has won this war even if they lose a couple of skirmishes every now and then.

angryed on March 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM

What it comes down to is the best way to demonstrate AGW is a way for government to tell you what to do is to get a Democratic President in place who wants your energy costs to ‘necessarily skyrocket’. This is not part of the ‘natural cycle’ and do note the coincidence of the election cycle with the AGW numbers… and as those who don’t know decrease the skepticism increases. Its almost as this were all a political ploy to play up some future disaster to make us poor now. And people are catching on to that.

ajacksonian on March 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Personally, I think we have just a few more immediate issues to occupy our efforts these days…perhaps that’s just me.

Bob's Kid on March 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM

This entire scam has destroyed my faith in science/scientist and that entire industry. Bought and paid for at the expense of the working person.

Keemo on March 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I can’t believe 52% are still buying this bs. How can that be?

mbs on March 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Public schools

darwin-t on March 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Globl warming is caused by the excessive hot air put forth by the liberal tranzi politicians who stand to make a buck from it or gain some sort of power. Even lately, when the hot air has tapered off, the flatulence from those selfsame con artists and criminals is still polluting the atmosphere. As Diplomad used to say “Fight global warming. Turn on your air conditioner and open all the windows and doors.”

Old Country Boy on March 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM

But…but…but, you don’t UNDERSTAND! GlowBull warming causes earthquakes AND volcanoes!

oldleprechaun on March 14, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Wonder how much Tipper got?

wi farmgirl on March 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM

She got out. Isn’t that priceless all by itself?

NotCoach on March 14, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Have we forgotten the charge against Fat Al for sexual assault? Didn’t the release of the Second Chakra kind of deflate the status of the Grand Ayatollah of the ‘global warming’ religion?

slickwillie2001 on March 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Wonder how much Tipper got?

wi farmgirl on March 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Hopefully as much as she can from the sex poodle.

Blake on March 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM

52% still believe, which means, people are either extremely gullible, stupid and naive, or…….well let’s face it. They’re extremely gullible, stupid and naive.

capejasmine on March 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM

On November 8 we got at 15 dumper of snow. Right now we’re closing in on the record for most snow evah.

This morning it was 15 degrees outside (it’s supposed to be 40).

Even the Global Warming Hoaxers in Minneapolis are cold and cranky after 4 1/2 months of misery.

(BTW, this explains Franken, Ellison & Ventura. When you spend 6 months freezing your ass off it affects your brain.)

Bruno Strozek on March 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM

So people are now dumbed down enough by the union teacher schools that they know little science.

Like, hey, why not measure Al Gore’s warm blanket encircling the equator … which doesn’t exist.

tarpon on March 14, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Perhaps someone stuck a pin in Gore and the bloat leaked out taking global warming with it.

rplat on March 14, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Gallup poll shows global-warming fears losing steam

An unfortunate choice of metaphor given the situation in Japan.

hillbillyjim on March 14, 2011 at 10:56 AM

oldleprechaun on March 14, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Yep that nasty carbon dioxide molecule has so much mass that it is squeezing the crust causing faults to rupture and forcing magma out of gaia’s pimples.

//s

chemman on March 14, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Don’t count losing fear steam before Congress achieves the agenda instituting State’s Rights to drill and refine oil, and to build clean nuclear power plants.

Veto? OVER RIDE!

maverick muse on March 14, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Here’s something I read recently: GoreBull Warming
.
Like it? I think it’s so apropos of the AGW mythology that I am going to continue to use it!

ExpressoBold on March 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Which proves that the 43% need more effort to educate the 52%, and use the 4-letter S-word: SNOW…

If $5/gallon gasoline doesn’t change minds, wait til they see $1.00 per kilowatthour…

Steve Z on March 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I’VE TRIED! These people think SUV’s cause earthquakes off the coast of Japan and that gasoline prices have something to do with nefarious oil company plots to suppress the electric car. (Supply and demand? What’s that?) I am sure that $1/kilowatthour electricity will be all the fault of Sarah Palin’s violent rhetoric. There is no amount of education that will fix insane.

bitsy on March 14, 2011 at 11:07 AM

That’s an old photo of him. He’s put on at least another 100 lbs. He’d be quite a catch for a young lady in that he looks like he is ready to keel over from a massive heart attack all the time.

Blake on March 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM

52% still believe, which means, people are either extremely gullible, stupid and naive, or…….well let’s face it. They’re extremely gullible, stupid and naive.

capejasmine on March 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Flyover versus the Coasts.
In flyover country we drive and pay the high gas prices.
On the Coasts, they use a lot of public transportation which is subsidized.

The coast people don’t see the true cost of fuel like the rest of us do.

barnone on March 14, 2011 at 11:20 AM

I’m sure there is currently fierce debate on the left as to whether the disaster in Japan was caused by (choose only one):
a) Global Warming/Climate Change
b) Sarah Palin
c) The Koch Brothers
d) George W. Bush

Hoof Hearted on March 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Three years later, after America’s worst post-war recession, we’re suddenly back to being practical

Since when are we post-war?

LeeSeneca on March 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Well, about 50% of people believe in ghosts.
so, any poll taken will include morons.

esnap on March 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Third Japanese reactor goes critical

This is notably bad title. In the context of nuclear reactors the meaning is that a chain reaction is starting, i.e. the safeing actions of three days ago have been reversed.

burt on March 14, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Sorry about the misplaced comment.

burt on March 14, 2011 at 11:54 AM

More people believe in UFOs than in AGW…and have better evidence for it, too! Yeah, I expect the numbers are inflated for both of them… makes them look more respectable, doing that.

Just on evidence alone, though, UFO folks are doing way better than the AGW cultists.

ajacksonian on March 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I hate to say “I told you so” but – no, wait, nix that. I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!

Global warming is a HOAX – the science has been cooked to
justify a wealth transfer scheme. In turn, that scheme is a SCAM that was guaranteed to generate extensive opposition from the population.

Even if a cap and trade bill passed Congress, overrode vetoes and the Supreme Court, as soon as it failed to meet expectations Congress would vote to repeal it.

KillerKane on March 14, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Let me tell you a secret: It’s all a cycle.
Let me tell you a second secret: you can’t make any money saying “it’s all a cycle.”

Fred 2 on March 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I think “Global Idiots” should be much more of a concern.

royzer on March 14, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Gore is a charlatan.

He is taking a worthy goal (less pollution) and turning it into a religious cult.

Shameful.

scotash on March 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I’m old enough to remember, sometime in the ’70s, the global COOLING and coming ice age tripe. I also remember my geology and science from college.

Between the two, global warming (or whatever they are calling it these days)would look pretty silly, except it influences policies on the ground. Here in CA, GW policies impact my life every single day.

jodetoad on March 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I’m sure there is currently fierce debate on the left as to whether the disaster in Japan was caused by (choose only one):
a) Global Warming/Climate Change
b) Sarah Palin
c) The Koch Brothers
d) George W. Bush

Hoof Hearted on March 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Hey, leftists have already blamed it on all of the above. Why are you limiting me to just one??? You’re anti-liberty!!!

runawayyyy on March 14, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Their fear tactics are wearing thin.

CWforFreedom on March 14, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Voters tend to discover their inner skeptics when the bills mount and the revenue drops.

So very true. Crises are always relative.

Potential crises are very often downplayed. For example, the mortgage crisis was a crisis that almost nobody with a brain couldn’t seen coming. Yet, people kept signing on the bottom lines of those ridiculous terms, and banks kept bundling them as securities, and AIG kept insuring them….and so on.

Also, much of the country has seen a cold and snowy winter; and concern for AGW always takes a dip the the temperatures do so. Look for concern to rise as the mercury climbs again.

What you can always bet on is that the public, as an average, has a very short memory.

oakland on March 14, 2011 at 10:01 PM

I’m old enough to remember, sometime in the ’70s, the global COOLING and coming ice age tripe.

The cooler temperatures during that time, helped on by popular publications, gave the impression that scientists were concerned about this. I am old enough to remember that the main concern of the scientific community was not global “cooling”. From the mid-seventies, there has been an increasingly stronger consensus among scientists that humans are the primary cause of the observed global average increases in temperature and climate change.

oakland on March 14, 2011 at 10:04 PM