Gallup: Americans still rank climate change as low-priority concern

Despite President Obama’s massive efforts to make climate change his legacy-driven issue, global warming still ranks near the bottom of American’s top concerns. That’s according to a new Gallup poll released yesterday that shows only 33 percent of Americans are worried a “great deal” about global warming. Gallup asked Americans to rank how much they worry about certain issues facing the country. The number of people who worry “only a little/not at all” about global warming came in at 40 percent.

The new poll also shows that since last year’s survey, the number of people who are “only a little/not at all” concerned about climate change has dropped from 46 percent in 2015 to 40 percent in 2016. And while only 33 percent of Americans were worried a “great deal,” fewer people had a “fair amount” of concern when compared to 2015. This coincides with Gallup’s March 2015 poll, which ranked global warming dead last in its annual survey of environmental concerns.

The percentage of people who worry about climate change is also the penultimate concern in this year’s survey, with the “availability and affordability of energy” coming in as the least worrying. Last year, 37 percent of people worried “only a little/not at all”, and this year that number rose slightly to 38 percent, well within the margin of error of 4 percentage points. In 2015, Gallup showed that only 28 percent worried a “great deal” about energy, dropping one percentage point for 2016, to 27 percent.

And while President Obama has given climate change top billing during his second term, calling it the most immediate threat facing the country, Americans still think the economy and affordable health care are the most pressing issues. That may explain why at the top of the list of America’s top concerns was the availability and affordability of healthcare, where a whopping 82 percent worry a “great deal/fair amount” about the issue.

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