Fewer Americans worried by climate change: survey

Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:04pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Bernard Orr

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Al Gore's pitch for saving the planet from global warming appears to be falling on increasingly deaf ears, a Zogby Interactive survey shows.

Nearly half of Americans, or 49 percent, say they are only slightly or not at all concerned about climate change, while 35 percent are somewhat or highly concerned, the survey shows.

Zogby's latest poll shows those with more relaxed views on the issue jumped 10 percentage points from 2007, when 39 percent said they were slightly or not at all concerned. In 2007, 48 percent said they were somewhat or highly concerned.

The survey's results emerge as the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen heads into its final week, amid warnings that global warming could eventually melt the polar ice caps, raising sea levels and causing drought and other severe weather conditions.

Gore, a former U.S. vice president, helped raise awareness of climate change by narrating the hit documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," which won two Academy Awards in 2007.

"Well, I think people respond to what is going on around them. In the last couple of years, especially in the Eastern part of the United States, weather patterns have been quite normal," said Stephen Harned, executive director for the National Weather Association, and a 36-year veteran of the National Weather Service.


Harned, who cited regular snowy winters and particularly cool summers, said there could be a shift in perception because the weather seems to not be getting warmer.   Continued...

<p>Steam and other emissions are seen coming from a power station in Wollongong, some 89 km (55 miles) south of Sydney November 17, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz</p>