41% of Americans Think the Media Exaggerate Climate Change Seriousness, Too Bad That Perception is Wrong

gallup global warming perception graph image

image: Gallup

I'm not sure if it's a bit of brilliant coincidence or planned public relations, but just as the Copenhagen Climate Congress wraps up, the Gallup Poll releases its latest survey of public perception of global climate change in the United States. From the brief look I've had at, the most striking thing is how far out of step the US public is with the messages that were presented by scientists over the past few days:Check out all of the graphs at Gallup (including ones on how global warming perception varies by political affiliation and age group), but this one really stands out to me.

Though 57% of the US public thinks that the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed by the media, a record 41% now say that the media are exaggerating the matter. While I didn't conduct my own survey of all Climate Congress participants, the general feeling in every meeting I attended was that, if anything, the mainstream media (and in particular the US media) is under-stating the seriousness of global warming.

The message from Copenhagen is clear: The current rate at which climate change is developing is equal to the worst-case trajectory presented in the 2007 IPCC report, or happening even more quickly than that. Rather than global warming being exaggerated by the media, in fact, it has been presented as being not as serious as it should be.

More: Gallup

via: fjgalagher
Global Climate Change
Climate Change is a Top Threat to National Security, Says New Head of US Intelligence
How to Talk About Global Warming with Climate Change Deniers
Climate Change Will Cost US States Billions of Dollars
Sea Level Rise Best Case Scenario: 50cm Rise, 10% of World Population Hit
Climate Change Isn't a Prediction Problem, It's a Risk Problem: Manage it as Such
Worst-Case IPCC Climate Change Trajectories Are Being Realized: Copenhagen Climate Congress Concludes

Related Content on Treehugger.com