We have found that one of these groups: the “Dismissive” – who believe global warming is not happening and probably a hoax – has more than doubled in size since 2008 to 16 percent of the American public.
Meanwhile, the percentage of the “Alarmed” – Americans who are the most convinced that global warming is happening, caused by humans, and a serious and urgent threat – has dropped to 10 percent, from 18 percent in 2008. Shifts also occurred among the four other groups:
We believe that gloomy unemployment numbers, public frustration with Washington, attacks on climate science, and mobilized opposition to national climate legislation represent a ‘perfect storm’ of events that have diminished public concerns about global warming – even among the Alarmed.
Surprisingly, however, majorities in all six groups say that developing sources of clean energy should be a priority for President Obama and Congress, and strongly support more funding for research into renewable energy sources and tax rebates for people who buy energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels.
Regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, which is currently being considered by the Environmental Protection Agency, is supported by almost all of the groups, including 91 percent of the Alarmed; 93 percent of the Concerned; 79 percent of the Cautious; 92 percent of the Disengaged; and 52 percent of the Doubtful. Only the Dismissive oppose regulation of carbon dioxide, with only 15 percent supporting the policy.