Yesterday, Juliet Eilperin wrote for the Washington Post that “the public interest in climate change is waning.” Posted to Chris Cillizza’s Fix blog, it’s odd that Eilperin didn’t use any hard numbers in this piece. Citing Pew, she did say that support has dropped six points since last October, but what, pray tell, was the support at that time? Ten percent? Twenty-five?
Maybe she omitted the hard numbers for the simple reason that Americans have NEVER viewed this as a high priority issue. Let’s go back to January when President Obama – and the media – were pushing hardest for gun control policies. Aa Washington Post/ABC Poll found that 18 percent of all adults viewed addressing global warming as a high priority. Concerning the partisan breakdown, only 26% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans thought that stopping the polar ice caps was of the highest national urgency.
You read that right, only slightly more than a quarter of Democrats thought global warming was our most urgent issue at a time when hardly anyone was talking about it. In other words, it doesn't have a natural base of support when no one is paying any concerted attention to the issue.
While Pew reported an identical uptick in the number calling it “somewhat serious”–meaning that more than six in 10 respondents still call climate change somewhat or very serious — the decline in those who describe it in dire terms means that public attitudes are now around where they were in 2010, close to the lowest level of concern in eight years on the issue.
President Obama said that addressing climate change will be on his second term agenda, and Eilperin tried to give him some cover by saying:
In short: the American public wants elected officials to do something about global warming, but only a fraction of these citizens are willing to prioritize the issue. In an e-mail Tuesday, Hansen wrote that forcing the federal government to act on the matter “is difficult,” even if activists make an appeal to the courts.
That’s simply not true. In yesterday’s Pew poll on global warming, Americans – in January 2009 – who thought addressing climate change was a "top priority" registered at a meager 30 percent. In January of 2012, it was at 25 percent. Last January, it was at 28%. So, in four years, the urgency of trying to combat global warming never broke the 30 percent mark.
In all, The Fix post is a fluff piece aimed at trying to drum up support for policies which have dubious effects on American enterprise. Eilperin conveniently omitted the numbers showing that Americans don’t see this as a high priority because the support isn’t there, which drives liberals mad.
It doesn’t matter if people believe in manmade global warming, if the intensity isn’t there, there’s no interest for politicians to act. Also, these were the same people who predicted a rapidly cooling earth in the 1970s and massive food shortages. They were wrong, and it’s not the time to gambling hundreds of billions – if not trillions – of dollars on something that is a natural occurrence.