Poll: 4 out of 5 call climate change a serious US problem

Dec 14, 2012 by

By Ben Geman – 12/14/12 08:43 AM ET

Four out of 5 people in the U.S. say global warming will be a big problem for the nation without action to reduce it, and a growing majority believe that temperatures are going up, a poll shows.

The Associated Press-Gfk poll released Friday shows that 80 percent say the country faces a “serious” problem if nothing is done to reduce future warming.

The finding arrives as environmentalists are pressing the White House to take tougher action on global warming, including creation of emissions standards for existing power plants.

President Obama, at a press conference in November, offered no details of his second term climate agenda but did vow to devote attention to the topic. Here’s a bit of AP’s write-up of the poll:

Belief and worry about climate change are inching up among Americans in general, but concern is growing faster among people who don’t often trust scientists on the environment. In follow-up interviews, some of those doubters said they believe their own eyes as they’ve watched thermometers rise, New York City subway tunnels flood, polar ice melt and Midwestern farm fields dry up.

Overall, 78 percent of those surveyed said they thought temperatures were rising and 80 percent called it a serious problem. That’s up slightly from 2009, when 75 percent thought global warming was occurring and just 73 percent thought it was a serious problem.

2012 is expected to be warmest year on record in the United States.

The survey, conducted in late November and early December, shows that 57 percent of adults believe the U.S. government should do a “great deal” about global warming.

It follows recent polling that shows rising public belief in global warming.

The poll is a survey of 1,002 adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.9 percentage points.

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