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
Mass media ‘screwing up’ global warming reporting says renowned climatologist
Stanford scientist and climate-specialist Stephen Schneider has called out media organizations for the quality of their reporting on climate change and other scientific issues. “Business managers of media organizations,” he said, “you are screwing up your responsibility by firing science and environment reporters who are frankly the only ones competent to do this.”
Environment is the number one issue for Australians
A poll released yesterday in Australia shows that the nation’s number one concern is the environment. The poll found that 19 percent of Australians named the environment as their top issue. The economy followed shortly after with 18 percent, water management drew 8 percent, interest rates and housing both received 7 percent.
Poll: Chinese more concerned about the environment than Americans
A poll released today by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found that 10.2 percent of the Chinese population lists environmental concerns as the nation’s number one issue. It is the fourth highest concern among the Chinese after health care, employment, and the income-gap. According to the poll, the Chinese view the environment as higher than corruption, social security, housing prices, and the cost of education.