Pew Survey: Most Americans think global warming isn’t a serious problem

Latin America, Africa More Concerned about Climate Change Compared with Other RegionsAnother survey across 40 countries shows what most Americans already know: we don’t think global warming is a serious problem and it’s not one of our main concerns. The survey, conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Center and released Thursday, showed that both the United States and China, considered the two largest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2), were least likely to be worried about climate change.

China is the largest CO2 emitter, belching out nearly 10.3 kilotons of CO2, followed by the United States, which emits half as much. The European Union and India were numbers three and four respectively. This comes on the heels of another survey released last week showing that among American voters, the number of people “unconcerned” about global warming has jumped to nearly 40 percent in only four months. This new survey shows that concern about global warming hasn’t changed much over the years.

A majority of respondents across different regions said they would “support cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by their governments as part of a global accord being negotiated at U.N. talks in Paris Nov. 30-Dec. 11.” The survey also found, unsurprisingly, that a greater effort should be made by rich countries over poorer nations to reduce CO2 emissions. This “rich-poor divide” is already proving to be a key sticking point at the upcoming Paris climate talks occurring Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

Those concerned about weather-related events were most concerned about droughts, followed by floods and intense storms. The new survey, conducted in person and by telephone with 45,435 people from March through May, found that Latin American and African countries were most concerned about global warming. Surprisingly, the results are only now being released as nations head for Paris to broker a CO2-reduction treaty. Even the Pew Research Center ties in the survey results with with the Paris Climate Talks on its website, writing:

“In a few weeks, world leaders will gather in Paris to negotiate a climate change agreement that will frame the global agenda on this issue for the next decade and beyond. As a new Pew Research Center survey illustrates, there is a global consensus that climate change is a significant challenge. Majorities in all 40 nations polled say it is a serious problem, and a global median of 54% consider it a very serious problem.”

They go on to say that a median of 78 percent support the idea of their country “limiting greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international agreement in Paris.” Except there is one slight problem: the two countries that release the most CO2 are the least concerned about perceived problems associated with global warming. The poll also measures the “degree to which people fear climate change” and how it will affect them personally, which varies widely across the globe.

Only 41 percent of Americans believe that climate change is harming them “now” and only 30 percent think it harms them personally. But based on the observed data, global warming is actually affecting zero percent of the respondents. That’s because the most recent satellite observations that show the global warming hiatus has lengthened to 18 years and 9 months. This warming hiatus represents the satellite dataset, which, as previously reported here, has been monitoring the Earth’s temperature and shows no statistical warming. The satellite measurements are accurate to within .001 degrees Celsius.

Even The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) admitted in its 2008 State of the Climate report that “15 years or more without global warming would demonstrate a discrepancy between prediction and observation.” When the hiatus or pause lengthened to 18 years, NOAA found itself in a predicament. Rather than admit that there is indeed a difference between what’s being observed and what the computer models have predicted, they went back to the drawing board and revised a bevy of temperature datasets to make the past appear cooler, which made the last 19 years look warmer. And last week, NASA released a report after it could no longer mask the fact that Antarctica is actually gaining in mass through record snowfall and thicker land and sea ice.

Not surprisingly, the Pew survey also revealed that young Americans aged 18 to 29 were generally “more concerned” about climate change than those aged 50 and older and saw global warming as a very serious problem. But as noted above, a person born 18 to 29 years ago has not experienced any significant global warming based on the satellite temperature record. Even the land- and sea-based temperature dataset shows less warming than the margin of error for their respective measuring devices.

And NOAA’s gambit to cook the temperature books, which provide political cover for Obama’s expensive, onerous climate policies, helps squash the troubling fact that there hasn’t been any statistical warming for nearly 19 years. These readjustments have also been decried by climate scientists and Congress is now investigating them as well. Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech who actually believes man affects the climate, doesn’t find NOAA’s re-analysis at all convincing, writing, “While I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration, I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on.”

The survey, which is already garnering headlines as a bellwether for the upcoming climate talks, shows that depending on your political affiliation, religion, your country’s development status, etc…, also affects your answer. Domestically, half of all U.S. respondents said developing countries should do just as much as richer countries to reduce CO2 emissions. And despite their political differences, more than half of Democrats and Republicans believe that the “burden of adjustment should be equally shared by both rich and poor nations.”