Taking the temperature on climate change

Lawrence Solomon
FP Comment
March 25, 2008

Public support for global warming, by some measures, is overwhelming. By other measures, public support more resembles lip-service. As, for example, when the public is asked to put its money where it’s mouth is.

In a public opinion poll last week of registered U.S. voters, only one in six were willing to pay an extra 50 cents a gallon to stave off global warming and almost half were unwilling to pay so much as a penny. In a Washington Post-ABC poll last November, Democratic voters were asked: What is the single most important issue in your choice for the Democratic candidate for president? Top of the list was “Iraq/War in Iraq,” the pick of 33% of responders. “Health care” came second at 26%, followed by “Economy/Jobs” at 10% and “Ethics/Honesty/Corruption in government” at 5%. Next came “Education” at 3%, “Environment” at 2%, “Foreign policy” at 2%, “Immigration/Illegal immigration at 2%, “Energy/Ethanol” at 1%, Terrorism/National security” at 1%. Also at 1% were “Abortion”, “Morals/Family values,” Federal budget deficit” and “Social Security.” As for “Global warming,” it came in with an “*”, denoting less that one half of one percent.

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