Gallup: Global warming least concern of least concern for voters

posted at 1:36 pm on March 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In its last survey of voter priorities, Gallup found that the least pressing issue on the mind of the electorate was the environment, scoring below race relations in a race for last place.  Now, with the Obama administration and Democrats on the Hill preparing to do battle over carbon emissions, Gallup’s latest poll of environmental issues shows global warming coming in last among environmental priorities:

With Earth Day about a month away, Americans tell Gallup they worry the most about several water-related risks and issues among nine major environmental issues. They worry least about global warming and loss of open spaces.

At least three in four Americans surveyed in Gallup’s 2011 Environment poll say they worry a great deal or a fair amount about contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, pollution of drinking water, and the maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs.

Air pollution is nearly as high a concern for Americans, with 72% worried a great deal or a fair amount about it.

A little more than 6 in 10 worry about the related problems of extinction of plant and animal species and the loss of tropical rain forests. Slightly fewer worry about urban sprawl and loss of open spaces, while barely half, 51%, worry about global warming.

In fact, it only gets a 51/48, with almost as many Americans saying that they don’t worry about it much or at all.  Global warming concern has dropped twelve points since 2001, the same amount as for the loss of open spaces and just one point less than the decline in worry for the loss of tropical rain forests.  In fact, all of these issues suffered decline in concern over the past decade, with only three issues avoiding double-digit drops: water pollution, soil contamination, and species extinction.

Into this ennui charge the Democratic environmental light brigade, which seems to have lost its enthusiasm:

The Environmental Protection Agency debate lands in the Senate this week, amid the makings of a left-right coalition to mitigate the agency’s abuses. Few other votes this year could do more to help the private economy—but only if enough Democrats are willing to buck the White House.

This moment arrived unexpectedly, with Majority Leader Harry Reid opening a small business bill to amendments. Republican leader Mitch McConnell promptly introduced a rider to strip the EPA of the carbon regulation authority that the Obama Administration has given itself. Two weeks ago, Mr. Reid pulled the bill from the floor once it became clear Mr. McConnell might have the 13 Democrats he needs to clear 60.

The votes are now due as soon as tomorrow, and Mr. Reid is trying to attract 41 Democrats with a rival amendment from Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus. The Baucus plan is a political veneer that would exempt some farms and businesses from the EPA maw but at the cost of endorsing everything else. The question for Democrats is whether their loyalties to President Obama and EPA chief Lisa Jackson trump the larger economic good, not to mention constituents already facing far higher energy costs.

Republicans see this as a big opportunity, even if they lack the votes to stop the EPA:

The Republican proposal is unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to become part of pending small-business legislation. But Democratic leaders are also expected to fall short with two competing proposals, aimed at allowing more than a dozen politically vulnerable Democrats to take a milder slap at the EPA without altogether rebuking the White House.

Either way, Republicans are eager to get Democrats on the record opposing the administration’s climate policies.

“What is clear is that Democrats themselves are looking for ways to be on the opposite side of the administration’s agenda,” said Matt Dempsey, a spokesman for Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe.

Inhofe and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have offered a proposal that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

As alternatives, Democrats are offering an amendment from Montana Sen. Max Baucus that would exempt agriculture and small industrial facilities from climate rules, and another from West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller that would impose a two-year timeout on regulations of stationary sources.

The Baucus and Rockefeller alternatives “are being used by Democrats as political cover,” Dempsey said. “So the question will eventually become, ‘Do these Democrats actually want to stop the [Obama] agenda, or do they just want to talk about it?’”

With climate change the least possible worry on the least concerning issue for American voters, it’s difficult to see exactly what Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress hope to win from this debate, or from Obama’s determination to allow Jackson and the EPA to conduct more regulatory adventurism at the expense of the economy.  It looks like Obama may be losing some cover on this in Capitol Hill, and he may be forced into issuing a veto to protect his end-run around the legislative branch.  If he does, voters may well wonder why Obama’s picking a fight on an issue literally at the bottom of the bottom of the list.


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Double down dear leader, you won’t face the true worries of this nation, rather fight with the gop instead

cmsinaz on March 28, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Either way, Republicans are eager to get Democrats on the record opposing the administration’s climate policies.

Like they can’t change positions tomorrow and pretend they never really took the original position.

Happens on a daily basis.

mankai on March 28, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Temps of Lake Erie are supposed to reach a high of 31 degrees today…

mjbrooks3 on March 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Not an AGW issue, but Sen. Reid is off his rocker. He is urging Rep. Boehner to “ditch the TEA party” influence in order to reach an agreement on fiscal responsibility.
http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/appropriations/152161–reid-urges-gop-to-ditch-tea-party-cut-budget-deal

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Lets hope an EU idea to ban cars in cities by 2050 does not catch on here.

Blue Collar Todd on March 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

The people just haven’t been educated on the threat of nonexistent global warming.

JammieWearingFool on March 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

The EPA can’t regulate anything if they don’t get funds.

Mord on March 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Frankly I think the greatest threat to the environment is that godawful annoying Rebecca Black song “FRIDAY!” they’ve been playing on the web!

However, in the hands of U.S. Intelligence and the CIA, it could possibly be the ULTIMATE interrogation tool in the War on Terror!

Play it once for any bloodthirsty terrorist and watch him turn into a snivelling little girl willing to spill his guts on anything, just as long as you DON’T PLAY THAT SONG AGAIN!!!!

pilamaye on March 28, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Be sure to read Noel Sheppard’s entertaining piece today at Newsbusters, as he describes Paul Kruhman’s Ratheresque meltdown over the Climategate brouhaha. Krugman basically says the e-mails were Fake but Accurate.

Noel concludes:

The entire global warming myth depends on tree-ring data that was grossly errant for forty years in the last century. This makes the decline ClimateGate scientists were trying to hide FAR MORE serious than most people believe.

I guess we can now include Krugman on this list.

That folks care what this man has to say about anything is astounding.

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/03/28/krugman-no-scientific-impropriety-climategate-hide-decline-effective-#ixzz1Hv1gtssR

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Why is it if you are opposed to the theory of man-made global warming, you “hate the environment”?

I bet if there were a study done….you’d find that conservatives are more apt to conserve energy and recycle than liberals (not to mention charity)

The community I live in is mostly conservative (based on yard signs during last election) Very neat yards, no trash, cars in garages, recycle bins out on trash day, etc..

Community on other side of town, very liberal, still Obama stickers on cars and democrats signs during last election. Trash everywhere, non-working cars in yards, paint peeling, etc..

Now I realize it is a much a economic issue as it is political but you can’t ignore the stark differences

Ditkaca on March 28, 2011 at 1:58 PM

With Earth Day about a month away…

I hopeI’mnot the only one who was thinking: Didn’t we just have that?

Then it hit me, Earth Hour it was, Earth Day is April. I’m confused.

JetBoy on March 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Time for Hollywood to roll out yet another global cooling global warming climate change yarn. I am hoping for Waterworld II: Electric Bugaloo.

cyclown on March 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

It may be on the bottom of the list, but there are still more than half who are worried about this garbage.

Alana on March 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Time for Hollywood to roll out yet another global cooling global warming climate change yarn. I am hoping for Waterworld II: Electric Bugaloo.

cyclown on March 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

The SyFy Channel should have something along these lines rolling out on a Saturday night anytime now.

pilamaye on March 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Right where it belongs.

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

With Earth Day about a month away…

Do you mean V.I. Lenin’s birthday?

Just like Kwanzaa, Earth Day is another communist holiday.

onlineanalyst on March 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

JetBoy on March 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

And World Water Day was on the 22nd. I’m sure World Air Day will be coming soon as well.

strictnein on March 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

The Cooling Effect Global Warming Global Climate Change Anthropomorphic Climate Change Kill Capitalism.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

coldwarrior on March 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM

JetBoy on March 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

And World Water Day was on the 22nd. I’m sure World Air Day will be coming soon as well.

strictnein on March 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Dave Drywall’s country of Canada created a variant, Clean Air Day, in 1997.

And believe it or not Iran has a Clean Air Day too.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Cap and trade is THE MOST IMPORTANT issue to Obama. It enriches some corporate backers who give him cover and contributions. It’s an excuse for every type of government control that can be imagined. It’s why the Dems brought this issue up FIRST, before doing Obamacare.

theCork on March 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

William D. Ruckelshaus and and Christine Todd Whitman beclown themselves to the level of current EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Today the agency President Richard Nixon created in response to the public outcry over visible air pollution and flammable rivers is under siege. The Senate is poised to vote on a bill that would, for the first time, “disapprove” of a scientifically based finding, in this case that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. This finding was extensively reviewed by officials in the administrations of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. It was finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency in response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants.

What they left off is that it is the best science that billions of dollars could buy .. that is to say, it is really bad. If it had real validity, they could have gotten it much more cheaply.

J_Crater on March 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I hopeI’mnot the only one who was thinking: Didn’t we just have that?

Then it hit me, Earth Hour it was, Earth Day is April. I’m confused.

JetBoy on March 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

I work at a university… everyday is Earth Day.

mankai on March 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Hmmmm . . . if AGW is of least concern, does it then follow that the citizenry just won’t care which way a vote goes?

BLOC on March 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I work at a university… everyday is Earth Day.

mankai on March 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I live a couple blocks from a rather large university, and lately (on just about any university campus) it is looking more and more as if every day is “Put Some James Taylor on the Stereo and Put a Gun to Your Head Day.”

What have these kids (and faculty, too) been doing for the past 18-20 years?

coldwarrior on March 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Anyone seen Gore, or heard of him, lately?

Schadenfreude on March 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

At least three in four Americans surveyed in Gallup’s 2011 Environment poll say they worry a great deal or a fair amount about contamination of soil and water…

Air pollution is nearly as high a concern for Americans, with 72% worried a great deal or a fair amount about it…

A little more than 6 in 10 worry about the related problems of extinction of plant and animal species and the loss of tropical rain forests….

Idiots. All three are signs that the socialist government K-12 apparatus is working very well. Our air, water, and soil in the USA are cleaner than they have been in centuries.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Just another opportunity for the GOP to miss an opportunity, y’all.

Bruno Strozek on March 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM

The people just haven’t been educated on the threat of nonexistent global warming.

JammieWearingFool on March 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Personally, I’m more afraid of being trampled by a wild herd of rhinoceroses on May Day.

If I have to pick just ONE fear, I’m choosing “re-glaciation.” So I say “release the farting cows and break out the hair spray”…

I like global warming and I think we need more of it!!

And when reality finally overwhelms liberal fantasy, maybe we can melt down all the stalled VOLTs we’ve had to bulldoze off the road to make room for real vehicles, and make new door handles or radio antennas for our SUV’s…

landlines on March 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Get those stupid Democrats on the record, then screw them with it in 2012.

GarandFan on March 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM

“release the farting cows and break out the hair spray”…

I like global warming and I think we need more of it!!

landlines on March 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

If all or some of that doesn’t get on a t-shirt, a t-shirt manufacturer is missing out…

right2bright on March 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Focusing like a laser on the economy. On destroying it, that is…

hawksruleva on March 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Anyone seen Gore, or heard of him, lately?

Schadenfreude on March 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

He’s busy hiding behind a very large pile of money, cackling gleefully all the while.

hawksruleva on March 28, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Funny how when times get tough priorities shift back towards food, shelter and clothing. You would think these boneheads would learn. When energy is cheap, they get their money for the climate bs and feel good programs. When Energy costs go up….well, so does everything else.

Koa on March 28, 2011 at 3:59 PM

But liberal lies die hard.

Like the lies liberals spread about DDT — about 1.5 million African children under the age of 5 die each year of preventable malaria. Add it up, that is one huge humanitarian crisis, far greater than Libya ever will be.

tarpon on March 28, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Earth Day? That’s the day I usually spray for chinch bugs . . .

tpitman on March 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Who the hell has got time to worry about what might happen 100 years from now with the world blowing up all around us and this clown in the White House?

Herb on March 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM

With climate change the least possible worry on the least concerning issue for American voters, it’s difficult to see exactly what Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress hope to win from this debate

That’s easy. People may have AGW way down their list, but they still believe what the libtards/MSM want them to believe about it. So, Dear Leader can score ‘Republicans-are-Cro-Magnons’ points by making them sit up and gripe about DemocRAT AGW policies.

Knott Buyinit on March 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Temps of Lake Erie are supposed to reach a high of 31 degrees today…

mjbrooks3 on March 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Err, is Lake Erie frozen?

Goldenavatar on March 28, 2011 at 5:50 PM