As leaders convene in Copenhagen to discuss climate change, they will address a concern shared around the globe. Publics are willing to sacrifice economic growth for the environment, but nations are split on which country should lead on global warming.
Why do fewer Americans believe the earth is warming? A range of possibilities, including a sour economy and, perhaps, a cooler than normal summer in parts of the U.S., may provide an explanation.
There has been a sharp decline in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. Still, there is more support than opposition for cap and trade policy.
In many countries opinions of the United States are now about as positive as they were at the beginning of the decade before George W. Bush took office. Improvements in the U.S. image have been most pronounced in Western Europe, where favorable ratings for both the nation and the American people have soared. But opinions of America have also become more positive in key countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well. Signs of improvement in views of America are seen even in some predominantly Muslim countries.
The unaffiliated (58%) are the most likely to say there is solid evidence the earth is warming because of human activity while white evangelical Protestants (34%) are the least likely to believe in man-made global warming.
New polling finds public favors setting limits on carbon emissions, allowing gays to serve openly in the military and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.
As economically developing countries grow prosperous, their middle classes understandably become more satisfied with their lives and their values become more like those of the publics of advanced nations.
Just as concern about energy dependence has become widespread, so too have unfavorable views of Russia and its Prime Minister Putin.