When we used to write essays for school, we’d often try to fool our English professors by leaving wide margins. It didn’t work in college for most of us, but perhaps Barack Obama just got used to wide margins. When talking to an MIT audience about global warming, the President said that skeptics had been pushed further and further into the margins:
US President Barack Obama on Friday hit out at naysayers he blamed for peddling “cynical” claims that global warming is a myth to derail a landmark climate change bill in Congress.
Obama warned that the closer the Senate came to passing legislation which has already cleared the House of Representatives, the more opponents would resort to underhand tactics.
“The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized,” Obama warned in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds that 57% think there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades. In April 2008, 71% said there was solid evidence of rising global temperatures.
Over the same period, there has been a comparable decline in the proportion of Americans who say global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity, such as burning fossil fuels. Just 36% say that currently, down from 47% last year.
And those margins got wider for Republicans, Independents … and Democrats:
Those margins are closing in on each other, aren’t they?
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Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!