More Americans than ever believe global warming is ‘exaggerated’ by media

Jeremy Hance
March 12, 2009

While a majority of Americans believe the media is either correct or underestimating the threat of climate change, more than ever believe the threat is exaggerated.

According to an annual poll by Gallup on environmental issues 57 percent of American believe that the media is accurate (29 percent) or underestimating (28 percent) the threat of global warming, while 41 percent believes the media is exaggerating. This is a 6 point jump from last year.

In the poll, Americans rated global warming last in a list of eight environmental problems. The environmental issue that most Americans worry about (84 percent) is pollution in drinking water. Sixty percent of Americans say they worry about global warming, 65 percent worry about the extinction of animals and plants, and 68 percent worry about rainforest destruction. Each of these three issues dropped in concern during the past year.

When asked if they believe if global warming will pose a serious threat in their lifetime only 38 percent of Americans answered in the affirmative. Views vary widely by age, nearly half (47 percent) of Americans over 61 believe global warming is exaggerated, while 31 percent think it is exaggerated of those under thirty.

The poll highlights the difficulty President Obama’s administration may have in moving forward with climate change legislation, such as a cap and trade program. Unlike his predecessor, President Obama has made climate change a serious priority for his administration.

For full polling results: Annual Gallup poll on the environment

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (March 12, 2009).

More Americans than ever believe global warming is ‘exaggerated’ by media.