Americans have become much more skeptical of global warming prognoses over the past year, according to a study by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released October 23. The percentage of Americans who believe there’s solid evidence that the Earth is warming has plummeted from 77 percent to 57 percent since April 2008, the study revealed. And those who believe that global warming is a very serious problem fell during the same period from 44 percent to 35 percent.
The Pew study also noted that the increased skepticism crossed party lines (though Republicans remain the most skeptical) and geographical location. The Earth has not warmed over the past 10 years, and some have reported slight global cooling over the same period.
Yet President Obama was on the stump at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology October 23, retailing the old line about the undeniable inevitability of global warming:
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So we are seeing a convergence. The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized. But I think it’s important to understand that the closer we get, the harder the opposition will fight and the more we’ll hear from those whose interest or ideology run counter to the much needed action that we’re engaged in. There are those who will suggest that moving toward clean energy will destroy our economy — when it’s the system we currently have that endangers our prosperity and prevents us from creating millions of new jobs. There are going to be those who cynically claim — make cynical claims that contradict the overwhelming scientific evidence when it comes to climate change, claims whose only purpose is to defeat or delay the change that we know is necessary.
Perhaps most importantly for leftists seeking dramatic government-mandated behavioral changes for Americans, many Americans who once viewed global warming as a serious problem no longer do so. Only 35 percent of Americans (down from 44 percent in April 2008) believe global warming is a very serious problem. Moreover, the data from the Pew study says that only 36 percent of Americans say global warming is being caused by human activity, while the rest do not believe there is solid evidence that global warming is occurring, attribute global warming to natural causes, or are unsure.