A Reuters/Ipsos poll published Tuesday shows that Americans want the U.S. to be more aggressive in combating global warming, yet the survey also highlights how little most citizens care about climate change in relation to other issues.
The poll’s headline announces that “Most Americans want ‘aggressive action’ on climate change,” but the publication later adds significant caveats to its bold claim, namely, that Americans are unlikely to penalize President Donald Trump for leaving the Paris climate deal.
The poll found that 72 percent of people agree “that given the amount of greenhouse gases that it produces, the United States should take aggressive action to slow global warming,” however, it also concluded that Americans universally rank the environment near the bottom of their list of priorities.
In fact, only 4 percent of people believe that the environment is a bigger issue than the economy, terrorism, immigration and other more pertinent issues, according to the poll.
The study also noted that Americans are mostly split along party lines over Trump’s decision — all in all, 38 percent agreed with Trump and 49 percent disagreed.
Reuters’ poll comes as Democrats entertain the possibility of using the Paris deal as a political cudgel during the 2018 and 2020 elections.
A CNN poll from January 2015 found that nearly 60 percent of Americans did not expect global warming to threaten their way of life. Other polls show that concerns about global warming have sagged over the past decade.
A Gallup poll in 2015 showed that fear of man-made climate change fell to the same level it was in 1989. Only 32 percent of Americans at that time worried about it a “great deal.”
Surveys have also found that U.S. citizens are among the least concerned about climate change among all other nations. A YouGov poll conducted on 18,000 people in 17 countries found that only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as a major concern. Only Saudi Arabians were less concerned about global warming, coming in at 5.7 percent.
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