August 3, 2009

You’re Getting Warmer

49%

Less than half of the public says the earth is warming as a result of human activity, but a majority knows which gas scientists say is to blame for global warming.

The belief that the earth is warming as the result of human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, is not accepted by a majority of Americans; but it is not for lack of knowledge about the issue. Though just under half of the public (49%) believes in man-made global warming –11% do not believe there is even solid evidence the earth is warming — 65% of Americans were able to correctly identify carbon dioxide as the gas scientists believe causes temperatures in the atmosphere to rise. In fact, more Americans were able to correctly identify carbon dioxide as the global warming gas than were able to cite Pluto as no longer being considered a planet. Unlike the general public, an overwhelming number of scientists (84%) say global warming is due to human activity; only 4% say there is no evidence the earth is warming. Among the public, the main divide is along partisan lines. While 64% of Democrats say the earth is getting warmer as a result of human activity, 67% of Republicans say the earth is getting warmer from natural changes or that there is no solid evidence of global warming. Read More