A Pew Research Center poll released today shows that few Americans consider global warming to be a top priority, so few that global warming came in dead last among 21 issues. “I’d like to ask you some questions about priorities for President Obama and Congress this year,” the Pew questioner asked the public. “As I read from a list, tell me if you think the item that I read should be a top priority, important but lower priority, not too important or should it not be done.”
The great majority of Americans (80% or more) considered the economy, jobs, and terrorism to be a top priority. Most of them also chose as top priorities a number of other issues, such as social security (66%), education (65%) and financing Medicare (63%). Fewer chose items such as reducing crime (49%) or addressing the country’s moral breakdown (44%). Near the bottom were illegal immigration (40%), reducing the influence of lobbyists (36%) and dealing with global trade issues (32%). At the very bottom was dealing with global warming (28%).
The verdict on global warming was even bleaker among Republicans (11%) and Independents (25%), who both also relegated global warming to last place. Democrats weren’t quite so dismissive — they considered global warming more important than three issues (dealing with global trade, reducing the influence of lobbyists, and dealing with illegal immigration.
Last year, global warming 30% of Americans considered global warming a top priority and in 2008, 35% did. In all three years, however, global warming came in last among the issues that Pew surveyed.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute and author of The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud.
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, January 25, 2010