May 5th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: Global warming can be stopped

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans think that global warming is real, and that the federal government can do something to slow or stop the phenomenon.

Fifty-four percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say that global warming is occurring and that Washington can take steps to slow the rate of global warming, or eventually stop it altogether. Twenty-seven percent agree that global warming is real, but think the federal government is powerless to stop it or slow it down, and 17 percent say that global warming is not occurring.

"Two-thirds of Democrats think that the government can do something about global warming, but only a third of Republicans feel that way," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The same number of Republicans don't believe that global warming is happening at all. Only one in 20 Democrats think global warming is a myth."

The poll also suggests that a slight majority oppose a proposal called "cap and trade," which would allow the federal government to limit the emissions from industrial facilities such as power plants and factories that some people believe cause global warming. Companies that exceed the limit could avoid fines or higher taxes by paying money to other companies that produced fewer emissions than allowed. Forty-four percent support "cap and trade," which is backed by the Obama administration.

The survey's release comes on the same day that more than 30 congressional Democrats met with President Obama at the White House to discuss the issue. The president is trying to prevent progress on climate change, one of his signature issues, from being derailed by divisions within his own party over "cap and trade."

"Since more than four in ten Americans believe that the government can do nothing about global warming, a cap-and-trade proposal - or any other government action that is meant to reduce global warming - may be a hard sell," Holland says.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted April 23-26, with 2,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • Global Warming
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Richard

    Best part about global warming is being able to seperate the sheep from the intelligent thinkers.

    May 5, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Goverment is your Daddy

    Yea live with no heat, electric, cars, live in the stone age, no thanks

    May 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Chi Town

    Oh it will stop... when the natural cycle of the Earth goes back to cooling... it will stop.

    Considering the many times it's happened prior to modern man...

    I don't think the Saber Toothed Tigers were burning fossil fuels... but I'm only guessing... LOL

    May 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. James, Phoenix AZ

    I can't help but think back to the 70s when ecology was big. There were several books on overpopulation and the greenhouse effect that said, by the early 21st century, that heck would be breaking loose.

    It hasn't happened, according to the naysayers, in the past 30 years.

    This "global warming" trend is so similiar to the 70s it's not even funny.

    How are we (the human population) supposed to heed the warnings today?

    I think the "boy has cried wolf" a bit too much.

    May 5, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Amazed

    Just shows how stupid Americans are. It is not up to the government to stop global warming but each individual.
    So, perhaps you could turn out the odd light, stop buying tanks for personal transport. Oh, and think!

    May 5, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. tom

    This poll is about as useful as a poll on tomorrow's weather. I guarantee that at least 75% of the people polled have no clue and are voting for what they want to happen....Thanks in large part to the disinformation campaign run by this administraton.

    A cap and trade proposal is somewhere beyond stupid in a depressed economy.

    May 5, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Muin Ahmed

    At least politics is behind preventing global warming...

    May 5, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. el Rob O

    I think the government should shut down ALL utility companies in the name of "science".

    May 5, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    GOPers responding with "how do you stop something that doesn't exist?" in 3...2...1...

    May 5, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. dean

    We're all going to die on a dead planet. You watch. Fourty years from now we'll be living off the scraps of a dead planet.

    May 5, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. J.P.

    We can alter "global warming" about as easily as we can alter the path of the planets around the sun, the earth's spin on its axis, the degree of axis tilt, the change of seasons, lunar tides, plate tectonics, and gravity.

    Michael Crichton summed this up best: we are so tiny and so insignificant in the greater scheme of earth's history, that to even think otherwise is to raise the pinnacle of human arrogance to a level never yet seen before.

    We can't predict the weather two days out with a shred of accuracy, but we can somehow CHANGE the weather 100 years in the future? You give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe.

    May 5, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Arthur LEMAY

    No reputable climate scientist believes that man is causing "global warming." And, it seems obvious to many that since the computer models produced by the believers in global warming have never predicted any climate trend correctly that they are just nonsense intended to make them rich with research grants, or commissions on carbon trading.

    It seems Al Gore could gain a billion dollars out of this, so who thinks he has any reason to tell the truth?

    May 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Douglas Ford

    I think we need to do something now before its too late. I mean look at the conservatives blaring about Obama's spending going to cost our future generations, what about the destruction we do to our planet and its longterm effects its been having (killing whole species as a regular affect, melting the ice caps, causing major weather phenomenon to occur, pollution advisories saying its too dangerous to go outside for too long on some days, etc, etc) and will get way worse if we don't stop it, eventually making it an unstoppable problem for future generations. Forget big spending that is being spent to dig us out of a hole our past presidents did nothing to prevent (such as a seriously unstable stock market because of people getting rid of regulations, not enough decent paying jobs are being produced at an even rate as the growing population, etc).

    May 5, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. The Broker.

    Global Warming! What if they get used on India?

    May 5, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Johnboy

    Global warming = Junk science that environmentalists blow out of proportion so they can push their "green" agenda.

    May 5, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |