Polls Find Americans Not Concerned About “Climate Change”
Written by Michael Tennant
Political candidates seeking votes on the basis of their commitment to stopping “climate change” — a category that includes all the Democratic candidates for president — might want to reconsider how much emphasis they place on the subject. Two respected nationwide polls have found once again that preventing global warming is a very low priority for Americans.
The Pew Research Center recently released its survey of Americans’ opinions on the federal government’s priorities. The poll of 1,505 adults, conducted January 9–14, asked them to state whether various issues should be a “top priority” for Washington this year.
Topping the list were typical kitchen-table issues: the economy, healthcare costs, and education. Next came combating terrorism, shoring up Social Security, and protecting Medicare. Out of 18 issues in the survey, climate change placed 17th as a top priority for the government, behind such matters as improving race relations, strengthening the military, and upgrading transportation infrastructure. (Global trade came in dead last, suggesting that President Donald Trump might not want to hang his reelection hopes solely on his trade policies.)
While many more Democrats than Republicans consider climate change a top priority (67 percent versus 21 percent, respectively), the issue still isn’t in Democrats’ top five and, therefore, is unlikely to make a significant difference in the primaries, especially since most of the candidates have already declared their support for the unconstitutional, enormously expensive, economy-killing Green New Deal.
Furthermore, although climate change is now said to be a top priority by 44 percent of respondents, an increase of 18 percentage points since 2011, it has always landed at or near the bottom of the list since it was added to the poll in 2007, at which time it came in next to last. From 2008 to 2013, it ranked dead last. Since then it has returned to next to last except for 2016, where it ranked third from the bottom; perhaps coincidentally, that was also the year the issue was renamed in the poll from “global warming” to “climate change.”
Gallup takes a different approach but obtains similar results. Instead of presenting poll respondents with a list of issues, it simply asks 1,000 of them to name “the most important problem facing the country today,” a question it has been posing to Americans on a monthly basis since 2001 (and less frequently for the prior six decades).
What did Americans in 2019 identify as our nation’s “most important problem”? The top four responses were government (27 percent), immigration (18 percent), race relations (6 percent), and healthcare (6 percent). Climate change didn’t make the cut.
In fact, an examination of the monthly survey results from August 2018 to February 2019 shows that climate change was never specifically mentioned as a separate issue. There is a catchall category called “environment/pollution,” which probably includes some responses related to climate; it was named by anywhere from one to five percent of respondents, but usually two or three percent, over that period. Moreover, during the entire 2001–2019 timeframe, not once did either climate change or environment/pollution make the top four “most important” problems in the poll.
Put the two polls together, and a clear picture emerges. When not prompted to prioritize climate change, Americans hardly ever think of it. Even when prompted, they still rank it at or near the bottom of their priorities.
In other words, despite all the Hollywood celebrities, the United Nations, the politicians, and the media, Americans simply are not convinced that the world is going to come to an end if they don’t sacrifice their liberty and prosperity. Unfortunately, many of those in power do believe it — or at least use the fear of global warming to accomplish their nefarious ends.
Michael Tennant is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The New American.
Courtesy of The New American