After a steep decline during the darkest years of the Great Recession, Americans’ fears about global warming are growing, a new poll finds.
The Gallup survey, released on Monday, found that 58 percent of Americans say, “they worry a great deal or fair amount about global warming.” Only 23 percent said that don’t worry at all about global warming.
The 58 percent figure is still far below the levels seen a decade ago. In 2000, more than 70 percent of Americans said they worried about global warming.
But the level of concern is rising quickly, with a 7-point jump in just two years. In 2011, only 51 percent said they worried a lot or a fair amount about global warming.
The issue is expected to remain at the forefront over the next several years, following President Obama’s promise to take executive action to fight climate change in his second term.
The Gallup poll also reinforces the notion that Americans seem less concerned with the environment, global warming and related issues when the economy is struggling.
Another recent Gallup survey found that 48 percent of Americans said they’re more concerned with economic growth than with protecting the environment. Before the Great Recession, Americans regularly said that protecting the environment was a greater priority.