POLL: Decades Of Activism Have Done Little To Change Americans’ Views On Global Warming

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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ABC News published a poll that shows American attitudes on man-made global warming, finding mainly that most people want the government to do “a great deal” or “a lot” on the matter.

But the poll by Langer Research Associates also had findings that are inconvenient to those agitating for “action” on global warming.

While the poll — sponsored by ABC News, Stanford University and Resources for the Future — found that 74 percent of Americans believed the earth had warmed in the past century, only 41 percent attributed it entirely to human activities.

Nearly 60 percent of Americans said warming in the past 100 years was either entirely natural or equally caused by natural factors and human activities. Those beliefs have remained relatively unchanged since the late 1990s, the poll noted.

In fact, American stances on climate science have changed little in the past 21 years, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on climate activism, promoting green energy and demonizing fossil fuels in that time.

The poll also found that, rather inconveniently for environmentalists, Americans still like the coal industry. Sixty-six percent favored giving tax breaks to coal power plants that install smokestack scrubbers — which ironically don’t do much for CO2 emissions.

On the flip side, most Americans opposed raising taxes on electricity and gasoline. What’s interesting about this finding is that it contradicts what Americans say when asked about taxes on greenhouse gas emissions. (RELATED: TRUMP: Our Biggest Threat Is ‘Nuclear Warming,’ Not Global Warming)

For example, when asked if companies should pay for greenhouse gases emissions, 68 percent of Americans agreed. But when framed differently, in terms of what could happen to energy prices, most were skeptical.

The poll found that “74 percent express concern about the impact of climate change regulation on the prices they pay for things generally” and “[e]ven among Democrats and liberals, six in 10 oppose higher taxes on electricity.”

Likewise, “just two in 10 are very confident that those efforts in fact would reduce global warming,” ABC News noted, adding only “a narrow majority, 53 percent, favors immediate action over more study.”

Ultimately, pollsters concluded that “[r]ecognition of global warming and concern about its long-term impacts are broad, if highly partisan.”

“Solutions are widely desired, especially when problems or remedies are clearly identified,” pollsters concluded. “But a somewhat skeptical public, concerned about costs, resistant to mandates and uncertain that proposed solutions will work, harbors continued doubts about how best to pursue them.”

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