Another poll on global warming/climate change. I’m not too surprised by the results.
Even as most Americans report experiencing abnormal weather conditions lately, more than four in 10 say the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated in the news. These sentiments are lower than the record 48% who believed this four years ago, but higher than any year before Barack Obama became president.
Though the largest share of Americans specifically describe reports on the seriousness of global warming as exaggerated, a slim majority collectively see these reports as generally correct (23%) or generally underestimated (33%). On this basis, most Americans seem to accept that global warming is at least as serious a problem as news reports say it is. Viewed still another way, fully three-quarters of the country believe that reports about global warming are mistaken — for better or worse.
It’s also no surprise that this poll reinforces the theory that people think about this issue in terms of their political framework – Republicans and Independents were far more likely to say it’s exaggerated and therefore see things quite differently than Democrats. Is this a measure of how much people listen to their chosen ideological leaders? Or is it a matter of the culture they are active in? Or, is it just an overall mindset that correlates your political views with this specific view. Maybe all three and more.
There was a large jump in results from 1998 to 2001 to the question regarding the thoughts of SCIENTISTS on whether global warming is occurring – from 48 to 61%. That dipped but it is coming back up. It’s a confusing question because you are asking people what other think. However, they are wrong, scientists overwhelmingly accept global warming is occurring. So, this question, a matter of perception, reflects what people wish to believe, not any knowledge about it. This is how polls can be deceptive. Those that answer the questions are hardly ever as careful answering as the researcher are about interpreting. You can get into trouble. However, as a quick measure of public sentiment, it can be useful for those who tailor messages and info to the public.
Results for the Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted March 6-9, 2014, with a random sample of 1,048 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.