Global Warming: The Public Sees Through The Hype

By June 27, 2006Global Warming

Thanks to John Fund for catching this item — and writing about it — in the Opinion Journal’s Political Report yesterday. It’s an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week on global warming attitudes. Remember as we noted below, ABC has turned its network into a near full-time shill for poor Al Gore and his new movie, even asking viewers how global warming is affecting their lives. The truth is, not much.

The context of this poll is important. Remember that Gore’s movie premiered a month or so ago. Since then, it’s been a veritable carpet-bomb of gooey, favorable press coverage of this box-office flop. It started with a big french kiss at Cannes, and followed up through an hour with Larry King — repeated — all the way to last week, where he ate up a chunk of the first segment on Good Morning America and too long a segment on Letterman, both on Friday. In between, there were a few cover stories, near breathless broadcast and print media coverage and God only knows how much radio, semaphore, Morse Code and other media.

So after millions of ratings points worth of coverage of the global warming hysteria, just how does the public feel about it? According to this story, the good news for Al and his warming minions, by 59% – 40%, the public believes that global warming is under way. However, only 33% believe global warming will affect their own lives and only 38% favor immediate government action to do something about the theory. This jibes with numbers cited in Andy Revkin’s New York Times piece from a few months back, where the public rated global warming tenth in its list of environmental concerns. That was before the carpet-bomb, but it shows that the needle’s not moved very much. Funny — this ABC/WaPo poll didn’t get much coverage, didn’t seem to knock any of the hype off the front page.

Perhaps the public is growing impervious to media hype, or perhaps people are informing themselves enough to know there are two sides to this story, and that the state of play is far short of consensus.

Here’s a link to the actual questionnaire and full results.