Poll: What Do Americans Really Think About Global Warming

Will Global Warming Pose a Serious Threat in Our Lifetime?

The following is a poll by CBS News and the New York Times.

Among the highlights:

The percentage who believes global warming is caused by human activity has ticked up since the spring and is now the highest it has been since CBS News began asking this question in 2011.

Most Democrats and independents think global warming is mostly caused by human activity, while Republicans are inclined to say it is mainly due to natural patterns in the earth’s environment.

When asked directly to choose between the environment and the economy, 58 percent of Americans think protecting the environment should be the priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth, while 37 percent pick economic growth, even if the environment suffers to some extent.

Younger Americans (those under age 30) are especially likely to prioritize protecting the environment over economic growth.

When Americans are asked to name the country’s most important problem, without being offered a list of choices, the economy and jobs is the top answer, far ahead of the environment.

Americans who say global warming is primarily caused by human activity are especially likely to see it as a serious threat and to say protecting the environment should be a priority over economic growth.

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