Polls: Global Warming a Serious Problem

With President Obama preparing to attend the second half of the international climate summit in Copenhagen and a diverse coalition of U.S. senators discussing a 'tripartisan' outline for climate and energy legislation, the American public still considers global warming a serious issue and wants serious action to combat it. 

A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds that 70 percent of Americans consider global warming a "serious problem," in line with similar polls from the past year, while an Associated Press-Stanford University poll finds that those who feel U.S. action to slow global warming will create jobs outnumber those who say curbing climate change would hurt the national economic outlook. 

Public support of climate action isn't restricted to national solutions: a USA Today/Gallup poll finds that a majority of Americans support the idea of a global treaty that would ask the U.S. to significantly cut carbon pollution within a broad international agreement.

Respondents to the CBS News/New York Times poll who felt global warming was either a "serious & high priority" problem or a "serious" problem encompassed (PDF) a broad range of political beliefs: 85 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents, and 55 percent of Republicans. In all, about three-quarters of those surveyed in the AP poll supported action on global warming.

The surveys came in the wake of an Ipsos Public Affairs/McClatchy Newspapers survey in which 70 percent of respondents affirmed their belief that global warming is real. Almost 70 percent of those surveyed in that poll said they would support carbon pollution reduction legislation like the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act if it created a "significant" number of green American jobs, even if it cost them $10 per month.

Published: December 17, 2009