Four out of five Americans now believe "climate change will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it." That's from the latest AP-GFK poll on climate values. That's 80% of the country, folks. That's 250 million people, if the findings are reliable.
But that's just the beginning. The survey also finds that 57% of Americans think the government should do "a great deal" to address global warming. Two-thirds of the nation wants Big Government to take on climate solutions. That's the ideological antithesis of the conservative position on climate–the Limbaugh's, Rove's, and Hannity's are losing.See for yourself.
And here's more of the fun:
Overall, 78 percent of those surveyed said they believe temperatures are rising, up from 75 percent three years earlier. In general, U.S. belief in global warming, according to AP-GfK and other polls, has fluctuated over the years but has stayed between about 70 and 85 percent.Still pretty stunning that 1 in 3 Americans don't trust scientists–but hey, half of us don't believe in evolution either. Nonetheless, it all goes to show that the cultural saturation of global warming is complete enough that when a year of wildfires, drought, and Hurricane Sandy comes along, it's enough to inspire belief in the ambivalent masses.
The biggest change in the polling is among people who trust scientists only a little or not at all. About 1 in 3 of the people surveyed fell into that category.
Within that highly skeptical group, 61 percent now say temperatures have been rising over the past 100 years. That's a substantial increase from 2009, when the AP-GfK poll found that only 47 percent of those with little or no trust in scientists believed the world was getting warmer.
Of course, none of this means that we're actually going to do anything about climate change. The House Republicans who control that institution aren't coming around, and neither are their benefactors in the industry, or their loudest and most unhinged supporters in the media. Without the House, and without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, any hope of federal climate legislation is down the tubes.
Obama could mobilize the EPA to regulate GHGs, but nobody's excited about unfurling that regulatory pandora's box, least of all Republicans. And folks may believe in climate change more now, but few are taking to the streets. Few have made climate change their central concern, political and otherwise. Still, we are no longer the nation that doesn't believe in global warming. Now we're the nation that is thoroughly hapless when it comes to doing anything about it.