Americans' Attitudes Cool Towards Global Warming - Less Than Half Now Think Humans Responsible

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photo: James Jordan via flickr.
Yale University has just released an updated survey about the attitudes of the people in the United States about climate change which quantifies what I'm sure many people in green community have been sensing: Americans are becoming notably more skeptical about the causes of global warming, future effects, and indeed whether its even happening:All of this comes as report author Anthoy Leiserowitz notes that there is "growing scientific evidence that global warming will have serious impacts worldwide."

Decline in Belief and Human Causality
The study--conducted in the last week of 2009 and which has a margin or error of +/- 3%--found that the percentage of Americans who think global warming is happening at all has fallen 14 points to 57%.

In terms of causes, that too has fallen. Now just 47% of Americans think that human activity is responsible for climate change, down 10 points since the last time the survey was conducted, in the fall of 2008.

Half Of People Worried, But Large Numbers Don't Think Issue is Important
Does global warming worry Americans? At the end of 2009 50% of people surveyed said they were somewhat or very worried about global warming. Down from 63% the previous year.

In terms of importance of the issue at all, 43% of Americans think the issue is not too important, or not important all, with 38% saying it is somewhat important. The last time this survey was conducted just 29% of people thought global warming wasn't a serious issue.

Perception of Scientists & Evidence Changing
But back to the issue of growing scientific evidence of warming: The percentage of people who think most scientists think climate change is happening dropped 13 point to 34%, while 40% of the American public believes there is "a lot of disagreement" among scientists about whether warming is happening or not.

Here's the results of the survey: Americans' Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes, January 2010 [PDF]

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