Poll: 85% Think Global Warming is Happening

Posted on March 28, 2006

A new poll from Time magazine, ABC News and Stanford has found that 85% of Americans think global warming is probably happening now and 66% think President Bush's policies are not helping the environment. The poll ran in a Time issue that also had global warming on the cover and a feature story called Global Warming: Be Worried. Be Very Worried.

A large majority of Americans - 85% - say global warming is probably happening, according to a new TIME magazine/ABC News/Stanford University poll. An even larger percentage (88%) think global warming threatens future generations. More than half (60%) say it threatens them a great deal; 38% feel that global warming is already a serious problem, and 47% feel that it will be in the future.

Just over half of Americans (52%) say weather patterns in the county where they live have grown more unstable in the last three years and half (50%) feel that average temperatures have risen in their county. A large majority (70%) think weather patterns globally have become more unstable in the last three years and 56% feel average temperatures around the world have risen.

Almost half (49%) say the issue of global warming is "extremely important" or "very important" to them personally, up from 31% in 1998. When asked about the causes of rise in the world's temperatures, 31% feel it is caused by the things people do, 19% feel it is due mostly to natural causes, and 49% feel it is a combination of the two. Almost seven-in-ten (68%) Americans think the government should do more to address global warming, according to the poll; however, 64% think scientists disagree with one another about global warming.

Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say President George W. Bush's policies did little or nothing to help the environment in the past year. More than half (54%) feel American businesses did little or nothing to help. Three-quarters want to see Bush and others - Congress, American businesses and the American public - take action to help the environment in the year ahead. About one-third (35%) of Americans say that in the past year they have personally given a lot of thought to the impact they were having on the environment.

News stories about warmest months; stronger hurricanes and storms that could damaged more cities; record CO2 levels and massive forest fires have shown the public what global warming can and could do. People also remember events like the recent heat waves in Europe that killed tens of thousands of seniors in Italy and France as examples of what global warming can do.

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