Poll: 51 percent of Americans aren’t worried about global warming

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Democratic senators who stayed up all night talking about global warming should have waited for the latest poll Gallup poll to come out.

Gallup found that the majority of Americans aren’t really worried about global warming.

Global warming ranked second to last on a list of Americans’ concerns, finishing right behind “the quality of the environment” and right above “race relations.” Only 24 percent of the public said they worried about global warming a “great deal, while 51 percent said that they only worry about global warming “a little/not at all.”

“Climate change and the quality of the environment rank near the bottom of a list of concerns for Americans, who are instead far more worried about more basic economic issues such as the economy, federal spending, and the affordability of healthcare,” according to Gallup. “Concerns about the environment typically rank low among all Americans, but the current level of worry is even lower than in the past.”

This is the first year Gallup starting including global warming in their list of the public’s major worries, but the polling firm has been including environmental concerns in their data since 2001. But even this year, only 31 percent of Americans said they worry “a great deal” about the quality of the environment, the lowest level since Gallup began measuring.

With a down economy, it seems that most Americans are concerned about jobs, federal debt and spending, health care and economic growth. One monied liberal, however, cares more about global warming than the rest of the public.

After Democrats spent 14-hours talking about the catastrophes they argued would be caused by global warming, Republicans slammed them for staging the all nighter at the behest of one environmentalist megadonor — San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer.

“Maybe, as some speculate, Senate Democrats were just trying to please the Left Coast billionaire who plans to finance so many of their campaigns,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Because the talking senators didn’t really introduce new legislation.”

“I didn’t hear the talking senators announce votes on bills already pending before the Senate,” he added.

Steyer is a former hedge fund manager turned environmental activist who has already spent millions opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, supporting Democratic candidates, and other environmental causes throughout the country.

Steyer recently promised to spend $100 million in upcoming 2014 elections to make global warming a top tier issue. Democrats staying up all night talking global warming may have just wanted some of that cash, say Republicans.

“Democrats know that climate change legislation is a non-starter in an election year,” said South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune. “Last night’s Talkathon… allowed Democrats to assure their donors that they’re focused on climate change.”

Wednesday’s Gallup poll shows that maybe efforts to push global warming and environmental issues, which are typically associated with sacrificing jobs and economic growth, aren’t resonating with Americans right now.

“It is unclear whether or to what extent the senators’ actions Monday will raise Americans’ concern about climate change or the environment,” Gallup notes. “But unless Americans’ concern increases, the likelihood of the public’s support for significant legislative action on environmental matters is small.”

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