November 24th, 2009
06:05 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Global warming skepticism on the rise

Washington (CNN) – A new national poll indicates that some Americans are cooling to global warming.

According to an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Tuesday - less than two weeks before the start of a global conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark - 72 percent of those polled believe that climate change is happening, down 8 points over the past year.

The poll indicates that the rise in skepticism is mostly due to a shift among Republicans and independents. According to the survey, 54 percent of Republicans questioned believe global warming is happening, down 22 points over the past three-and-a-half years, with a drop of 15 points among independents. The belief in climate change dipped 6 points among Democrats during the same period of time.

The survey's release comes as a Democratic-sponsored "cap-and-trade" proposal to cut pollution slowly makes it way through Congress. The bill calls for the federal government to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that companies can produce in their factories or power plants, and to penalize companies that exceed greenhouse gas limits with fines or by making those businesses pay money to other companies that produce less pollution.


The legislation narrowly passed the House this summer, but won't be considered by the full Senate until next spring. According to the poll, Americans support such a bill by a 53 percent to 42 percent margin. Six in 10 people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted last month supported a "cap and trade" bill.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted November 12-15, with 1,001 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Global Warming • Poll
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. DB25

    Just because people don't believe something doesn't mean it isn't true.

    November 24, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Melvin

    I just wonder what needs to happen before the american public and the GOP law makers would wake up to the real issue of gobal warming? There is so much misinformation peddled by the big oil companies that is not funny.

    November 24, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. JD

    It's refreshing to see that Americans are finally waking up to the reality of what an utter SCAM the whole global warming nonsense truly is.

    The whole notion is based on nothing more than junk science foisted on the public by anti-progress, pro-socialist, anti-American thugs who see nothing wrong with crippling the U.S. economy while turning a blind eye to the fact that communist China exports many times more pollution than the U.S. ever does.

    November 24, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    And 21 percent of America thought george bush was doing a good job. There is a huge segment of this country that is completely devoid of any kind of critical thinking, or maybe thought in general. Demcrats need to focus more on education so we can pass real bills sometime in the future.

    November 24, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. jmakk

    It is a joke. A political tool to cause fear and change. CHANGE I can live without.

    November 24, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. Bob in Pa

    Get it right – it's not skepticism, Its just plain common sense. The theory is based on computer models that assume a certain outcome. That's not science

    By the way, in honor of Hopenhagen, I recently purchase a new worod buring stove. Oh yes, it came with the blessing of the US Government and a 30% Tax credit. .

    November 24, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. valwayne

    Is it that Global Warming skeptics are really on the rise, or are we just finding out that all those scientist telling us Global Warning is a sure thing, despite the fact we may be in a 30 year cooling cycle, are secretly every bit as skeptical as all the rest of us despite their willingness for us all to lose our jobs and livlihoods on the pet theories that are making them rich?

    November 24, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. Erick

    The Path of Least Resistance at work. We don't want to actually deal with the problem, so we'll just pretend the problem doesn't exist.

    "La la la la la I'm not listening la la la la la la...."

    November 24, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. beckjr2000

    And those pesty emails coming out just before Copenhagen showing that the data has been altered? Doesnt that sound better than forged?

    November 24, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  10. Richp from the poconos

    Too many people have too much invested in Climate change for them to back out now. Do you really think Al would give up his jet....
    People who invested and have the business stand to make billions off of cap and trade not to mention the power is will give the people who control the programs. Wake up, If you want to reduce 'Global Warming' start using money to equip every home in north America with solar shingles. Fifty Million homes putting 2-4 KW, thats a whole bunch of coal and oil fired power plants that would not be needed.

    November 24, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    this wouldn't have anything to do about the e-mails that were discovered about collusion from scientists that global warning was a
    made up study to benefit their livelyhood? at least cnn gave this a shout out but are still with holding the truth...THANK you N'Y. Times.

    November 24, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Scot

    Direct inverse correlation between the growing level of ignorance /overall stupidity within the GOP and the decreased belief in global warming. This is a surprise? Apologies to the Palinites for my use of a complex phrase like "inverse correlation" " Try the following
    "Heck, the more I dont read 'bout this global warming thing, the more it jist seems to git more downright confusin' . What we need here is a little downtown Wasilla common sense. Heck Ah kin see glaciers from ma window.. Bless Ronald Regan"

    November 24, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. Thomas

    It's easy to cool off in regards and concern over climate change or global warming in these economic times of uncertainty. However , we and all the peoples of this world ," planet EARTH " . We will care and if we don't our children's children will die asking why we didn't care enough to take action.

    Or you can act irresponsibly like Sarah Palin thinking God will show up with a broom . When and if God dose show up he's going to be one angry landlord, I'm sure he won't give people like Palin there cleaning deposit back !

    November 24, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Matt

    On the Rise. Come one CNN. Gain some respect back. Put out a legitimate story on ClimateGate. Regain some credibility by letting the average American know about this. They cooked the books. It's a fact. Just tell the truth please.

    November 24, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. Marcus

    Oh boy, here we go again.
    Winter's coming, temperatures are dropping and the belief in a Global Cooling over a Global Warming tends to get stronger...
    What's next, the predictable cartoon with the joke about two or more kids talking about having to do a text about Global Warming while walking in a blizzard?
    Winter and the other seasons exist due to the inclination of the Earth toward it's axis of rotation/translation (can't recall exactly which one now), which makes portions of the Earth get more heath from the Sun during aproximately 3 months (Summer) of the year and then get less heath fromanother 3 months (Winter) with two transitory phases in between those two (Spring and Fall).
    Global Warming (or even Cooling) can't change that.

    November 24, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. 60's survivor

    I think it's certain peoples pocketbooks that are skeptical. not the fact there is a shift in climate change.

    November 25, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
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