Bloomberg by the Numbers: 33

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Tire tracks run across the dry bottom of the Morse Reservoir in Cicero, Indiana, on July 12, 2012.

That’s the share of Americans who say global warming is a “very serious” problem, according to a Pew Research Center survey in March.

That compares with 32 percent who said global warming is a somewhat serious problem, 20 percent who said it’s not a problem, and 13 percent who said it isn’t too serious. The “very serious” percentage declined from 39 percent in 2012 and 45 percent in 2007, Pew data show.

While about two-thirds of Americans think global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious problem, most don’t consider it among the most urgent issues for lawmakers to address. 

The American public “routinely ranks dealing with global warming low on its list of priorities for the president and Congress,” according to a Pew analysis on April 2. Just 28 percent of Americans Pew surveyed said in January said that global warming should be a “top priority” for President Barack Obama and the Congress, the lowest-rated issue among 21 tested.

Fifty-two percent said protecting the environment should be a top priority, up 11 points from 2009, Pew data show. Bigger majorities say Obama and Congress should prioritize economic and job growth, curbing federal budget deficits, protecting the nation from terrorism and ensuring the financial stability of Social Security and Medicare.

“There is no indication” from polls “that young people’s commitment to a clean and healthful environment has lessened,” according to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute in its compilation of polling from Pew and other survey organizations on environmental and energy issues. “They, like most Americans, simply attach less urgency to it than in the past.”

Today is Earth Day, which has been observed every April 22 since 1970.


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