Gallup environmental poll: concerns about global warming come in dead last

gallupAccording to a just-released Gallup poll that measures Americansconcerns about environmental threats, global warming came in dead last, dropping more percentage points over last year’s survey. At the top of the list, Americans worried most about polluted drinking water.

Gallup says the environmental agenda may indirectly be effecting the level of concern felt by Americans. “The primary focus of the environmental movement has shifted toward long-term threats like global warming — issues about which Americans tend to worry less than about more immediate threats like pollution. Importantly, even as global warming has received greater attention as an environmental problem from politicians and the media in recent years, Americans’ worry about it is no higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1989.”

Put simply, even though the media has given environmentalist groups and climate alarmists top priority in their global warming coverage, Americans don’t see it as an immediate or actual threat. They are more concerned about issues that effect them now, rather than longer-term threats generated by computer climate models.

In all environmental issues, Democrats worried more than Republicans. Democrats also worried far more over global warming now than they did in 2000, another reflection of the environmental agenda focusing more on this faraway issue. And while climate change worries have only gone down 2 points, the issue is last in a list of green concerns, with only 32% of respondents considering it a problem.

It also showed that there is a “sharp political polarization” with respect to global warming, as well as a “politicization of environmental issues.” While environmental issues have become a lower concern for both Democrats and Republicans since 2000, it is even less a concern with GOP members. Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, Americans’ concerns over environmental issues has dipped to “record lows on most issues in 2010 or 2011. The current level of worry on each issue remains at or near those record lows.”

The poll, which is based on Gallup’s annual Environmental survey, was conducted March 5-9 via cell phones and landlines with a random sample of 1,025 adults aged 18 and older and living in all 50 states, including D.C. The margin of error is +/- 4 points.