Public Opinion Polls Express Doubt about Global Warming

With a new president and a fresh batch of state senators and representatives in Salem, there is a lot of discussion on what to do about global warming. Because state and national public policy is overly focused on reducing greenhouse gases for the sake of “saving” the climate, a couple of national polls have been released assessing public opinion on the topic of global warming. It turns out that addressing global warming with public policy is not a top priority.

A Pew Research Center public opinion survey, conducted January 7-11 among 1,503 adults on cell phones and landlines, finds that strengthening the economy and improving the job situation are higher priorities today than they have been at any point over the past decade. Where does addressing global warming fall as a priority for Americans? It was ranked dead last among 20 top priorities for government action, even below lobbyists.

Not only is global warming regulation losing ground to helping the ailing economy, but Americans are no longer even convinced that climate change is man-made, according to a recent Rasmussen Report survey of 1,000 likely voters. Due to the current economic climate and the changing views of American citizens, it is not prudent to charge ahead with global warming “solutions” that will cause wide-ranging negative economic effects.

Todd Wynn is the climate change and energy policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research center.