Will manmade global warming go the way of gun control?

What I mean by that is, there was a time, not very long ago, when gun control was a sacred cause among Democrats. Yet today it no longer is one, and, indeed, Democratic politicians never seem to mention gun control any more, even after well-publicized crimes in which guns were used, for the simple reason that popular opposition to gun control has become such that Democrats who support gun control lose elections, big time. Now consider the likely political implications of the fact that, according to the very liberal Pew Research Center, in the last year and a half the number of Americans who believe that there is solid evidence that the earth is warming has dropped from 71 percent to 57 percent, and the number who believe that human activity is causing global warming has dropped from 47 percent to 36 percent.

James Taranto writes at the Wall Street Journal:

Global Warmism Is No Longer Cool

Although President Obama is an avowed global warmist, his presidency does not seem to be rallying Americans to the cause. A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that far fewer Americans accept global-warmist doctrines than did a year and a half ago. In April 2008, 71% of those polled said there is “solid evidence the earth is warming,” and 47% said the believed-in warming was “because of human activity.” This month, those numbers are down to 57% and 36%, respectively.

Half of those polled said they supported Obama’s “cap and trade” scheme to suppress energy use by burdening it with new taxes. But the more you know about the plan, the less you favor it: Only 36% of those who said they had heard “a lot” about cap-and-trade were in favor; 64% opposed it, vs. 39% of the total population.

What accounts for the shift in opinion? One possibility is that Obama’s declining popularity has worn off on warmism. Belief in global warming because of human activity declined nine percentage points among Republicans and eight among Democrats, but a whopping 20 points among independents, the group most apt to change its mind about the president. Another possibility is that in a recession, people have real problems to worry about and thus are less likely to be concerned about hypothetical fears.

Whatever the reasons, though, this poll ought to be a warning to senators who have repeatedly threatened to take up cap-and-trade one of these days.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 24, 2009 07:08 AM | Send

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