Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Twenty-Seven Percent Solution: climate change edition

By Zandar

A new Harris poll shows that in just four years, the number of Americans who believe that humans are causing global climate change has dropped from 71% in 2007 to just 44% now.

Only 44 percent say they "believe the theory" that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the Earth, down from 51 percent in 2009 and 71 percent in 2007, but most movement has been into the "not sure" column.

The online poll of 2,163 adults was conducted June 13 through 20. Harris does not give margin-of-error figures. 

According to the poll itself, 44% believe it exists, 28% do not, and 28% are now not sure. That "doesn't believe humans cause climate change" number has been around that magic 27% for a while now. But nearly all of change in the polls over the years since 1999 has come at the expense of people who used to believe that humanity is responsible for climate change increasingly falling into the "not sure" category.

Enough anti-science propaganda has been deployed against the issue of global climate change that the clear majority of Americans who believed in it has now fallen to a mere plurality, and one that is fading fast. America's energy companies couldn't be happier, either.

Best part of that Harris poll? Americans overwhelming believe there are more natural disasters now than just a few years ago, including weather related disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. They just don't believe that humans have anything to do with causing it, or are increasingly unsure.

In other words, the climate change denialists are winning big time by muddying the waters. And the longer we do nothing out of inertia, the worse it will get.

(Cross-posted at ZVTS.)

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