Joe Romm at Climate Progress has the results of a new Pew Research Center public opinion study showing that there still remains a major discrepancy between public opinion and what the scientific community worldwide is saying about the causes of global warming.
For those who think the denial industry is dead, take a look at these numbers:
- 71% of Americans say there is solid evidence of higher global temperatures, compared with 77% at the beginning of last year.
- Roughly half of Americans (47%) say the earth is warming because of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels.
- Nearly as many people (45%) say that rising global temperatures are either mostly caused by natural environmental patterns (18%), say they do not know the cause of warming (6%), or say that no solid evidence of warming exists (21%).
- More than half of people under age 30 (54%) believe that the earth is warming mostly because of human activity compared with only 37% of those ages 65 and older.
- About seven-in-ten (69%) of those who believe that human activity is the cause of warming say that this is a very serious problem, compared with 33% of those who say warming is caused by natural patterns, and 7% who do not believe the earth is warming.
- Although most Americans say that global warming is a very or somewhat serious problem, it ranked at the bottom of the public's list of policy priorities for the president and Congress this year. In January 2008, only 35% of Americans said it should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, down slightly from a year earlier (38%).