Democrats Worry A Lot About Global Warming. Everybody Else, Not So Much.

Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

A new Gallup survey shows a stark partisan divide in Americans’ beliefs on global warming. About one-third of the public — mostly Democrats — say they worry “a great deal” about global warming, while a much larger number, mostly Republicans and independents, say they worry about warming “only a little” or “not at all” or “a fair amount.”

At the same time, a solid majority of Americans express great concern about a number of other environmental issues. It’s just global warming that doesn’t bother them much.

On the question of global warming, 34 percent say they worry about it a great deal. That is in contrast to the 60 percent who say they worry a great deal about pollution of America’s drinking water; 53 percent who say they worry a great deal about contamination of soil and water by toxic waste; and 53 percent who say they worry a great deal about pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Slightly smaller numbers of Americans are deeply concerned about other issues: 46 percent say they worry a great deal about air pollution; 41 percent say they worry a great deal about the extinction of plant and animal species; and 41 percent say they worry a great deal about the loss of tropical rain forests. Only after all those other concerns comes global warming, at 34 percent. (When Gallup asked about concern over “climate change,” the number was 35 percent, suggesting the name doesn’t make much difference.)

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