A Free-Market Energy Blog

Global Warming Realism over Alarmism: Is the Public Leading?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 23, 2009

The new survey report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that only 3 in 10 of those interviewed ranked climate change as a "top priority" in terms of public-policy concern. Climate came in dead last of 20 categories. "Protecting the environment" scored higher, indicating that the public sees the difference between here-and-now environmental issues and iffy future climate scenarios.

On the other hand, 6  in 10 rated energy as a top priority, which means making sure that motorists do not have a repeat of $4 gasoline.

Wow, what a victory for energy and climate realism in regard to an issue that future historians might consider to be the Malthusians’ last stand (am I too optimistic?).

It is cold out there (the poll was taken earlier this month), and no doubt the public has gotten the news that global warming has stalled.  But there are other reasons why the public is not buying the message of Al Gore, James Hansen, John Holdren, and others, even with a lot of favorable publicity for the last 20 years.

What might such poll results mean at some of America’s top private foundations that have spent so much time and money hyping the climate issue, including the Pew Foundation itself? I must wonder when the Pew Center on Global Climate Change does not even mention the poll on its home page (is it buried somewhere on their site?).

Here’s hoping that these foundations demote climate alarmism in favor of meeting here-and-now human needs during these tough economic times. That would be a double win.


  1. Tom Tanton  

    I do wonder if climate change would have even made the list of top twenty if Pew had asked open ended question, rather than asking folks to rank a provided list.


  2. jae  

    I suspect that one of the reasons that “climate change” is not a more important isssue among the public is that the Gores and Hansens of the “movement” went way too far and shot themselves in the foot. I don’t know anyone who saw An Inconvienient Truth that really believed it, and many actually laughed about it. The public isn’t nearly as stupid as the far-left thinks. Moreover, it seems to me that there is a general mistrust of science, in general, because of the constant barage of contrary findings on such things as “proper” diets and medicines.


  3. Dash RIPROCK III  

    Yes Jae, they have gone too far. Al Gore actually said the northern polar ice cap would be gone in give years. Here is the link:
    click on the pic of Big Al holding up five fingers.
    You might also want to click on the video tab and watch
    The Great Global Warming Swindle


  4. TokyoTom  

    No, Rob, the public trails. Not particularly a surprise for a long-term commons problem, especially when we’ve fallen into a depression.

    Thank goodness, ‘cuz us Austrians never want to figure out how to address commons problems. At least not ones involving fossil fuels.


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