A record-high number of Americans now believe the media are exaggerating the seriousness of global warming.
Coming weeks after President Barack Obama proposed a cap-and-trade strategy to curb supposedly harmful carbon dioxide emissions, one has to wonder how much press attention this just-released Gallup poll will garner.
After all, the numbers go quite counter to Nobel Laureate Al Gore's claims of a consensus concerning this matter:
Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated. This represents the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade of Gallup polling on the subject.
As recently as 2006, significantly more Americans thought the news underestimated the seriousness of global warming than said it exaggerated it, 38% vs. 30%. Now, according to Gallup's 2009 Environment survey, more Americans say the problem is exaggerated rather than underestimated, 41% vs. 28%.
Of great concern to climate alarmists in the media has to be the growing skepticism by Independent voters:
Since 1997, Republicans have grown increasingly likely to believe media coverage of global warming is exaggerated, and that trend continues in the 2009 survey; however, this year marks a relatively sharp increase among independents as well. In just the past year, Republican doubters grew from 59% to 66%, and independents from 33% to 44%, while the rate among Democrats remained close to 20%.
Also worrisome for global warming believers should be the public's declining concern over this issue:
The 2009 Gallup Environment survey measured public concern about eight specific environmental issues. Not only does global warming rank last on the basis of the total percentage concerned either a great deal or a fair amount, but it is the only issue for which public concern dropped significantly in the past year.
The ominous conclusion for folks like Gore:
[W]ith only 34% of Americans saying they worry "a great deal" about the problem, most Americans do not view the issue in the same dire terms as the many prominent leaders advancing global warming as an issue. Importantly, Gallup's annual March update on the environment shows a drop in public concern about global warming across several different measures, suggesting that the global warming message may have lost some footing with Americans over the past year.
Now THAT'S what I call a convenient truth.