.
January 19th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Global Warming: Where does it rank as a concern?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

No pressure, but as President, Barack Obama has just four years to save the planet. That's the dire warning from NASA scientist Jim Hansen, who says it's urgent for the new President to take the lead and do something about climate change.

Scientists believe that Greenland, with its melting ice caps and disappearing glaciers, is an accurate thermometer of global warming.

Hansen says in four years it will be too late. The consequences of doing nothing will include rising oceans, collapsing ice sheets, flooding, dying species, and disrupted weather patterns.

Carbon levels have already sent greenhouse warming past the point of no return and efforts to stop them from rising aren't working. Clearly a new approach is needed.

Hansen is urging the Obama administration to order an investigation of the ice caps around the world as the first order of business for the climate office. He's been asking the British Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences to do so but it hasn't happened yet.

He makes it clear that the only way global warming can be solved is if the United States takes a leadership role. Without the U.S. aggressively pursuing solutions, Hansen says we are doomed.

Here’s my question to you: Where does global warming rank on the list of things that concern you?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

John from Alabama writes:
It ranks extremely high if it is true. Governments and media have made a real mess out of the publics’ ability to discern what is true and what is false. I will act as though there is true global warming occurring, because this decision leads to conservation of resources. But I don't have any idea if it is in fact happening. Do you? Really?

Ed from Rhode Island writes:
Jack: Climate change has been my number one issue for years. It's extremely unfortunate that the outgoing president and industry pals spent millions in propaganda campaigns to debate our leading scientists’ arguments, and create a "gray area" of doubt for our citizens. The world is aware and involved, but not the majority of Americans. The wars and global economy pale in comparison to the consequences of Global Warming.

Don from Fort Gratiot, Michigan writes:
Come on Jack. Give us 24 more hours to enjoy this historic event before we start prioritizing our many big issues. I don't think it's asking too much and I think the problems will be there for us on Wednesday.

Meg from Troy, Ohio writes:
Jack: It certainly has to rank behind the economy and our wars in the Middle East. I think that it is important because of our energy situation. It will need to get its share of attention in the next four years.

Albert from New York, New York writes:
Tied for first with everything else.

Ed writes:
It's snowing today and has been cold all week. Global warming is high on my list but will settle for local warming.


Filed under: Global Warming
soundoff (562 Responses)
  1. carson

    near the bottom

    January 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  2. Brian - Trinidad

    It was minus 25 degrees up here western Canada for most of December and January. We're worried about Global Freezing,not Global Warming!

    January 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It's way up on my list of priorities, because I'll be around to see the aftermath. The good news is that we can kill two birds with one stone. Preventing global warming tomorrow requires action today, which means new jobs.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  4. Karl from SF, CA

    It is number 2 in my book, behind the economy. I'll starve to death long before global warming does me in.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  5. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    It certainly has to rank behind the economy and our wars in the Middle East. I think that it is important because of our energy situation. It will need to get it's share of attention in the next four years.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  6. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Until inter-planetary travel is common place, and Mars is ready to accept refugees, Global Warming is one the the top threats to the survival of humanity as identified by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  7. Venia PA

    To me it is at the top, without earth all other concerns are moot.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  8. kerry diehl

    It ranks just under the fact that this is one of the coldest winters ever and the cooler temperature averages are now on the increase.

    Protecting our natural environment is important, but the global warming fear tactic doesn't cut it.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Jan Illinois

    Very high Jack, I don't want us to burn up as if we were in Hell.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  10. KarenB, Florida

    Not so high right now with all else we have to worry about.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Mark, OKC

    Anyone with an IQ over 50 knows that the earth goes through climate changes every few thousand years, maybe in less time than that. It is not man made. So, it does not concern me at all, because we are all just passengers on the good ship "Earth" and she will do what she will do.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  12. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Jack it ranks number three with me. First is the economy and second is the endless Iraq War and the money waste there both kind of hand in hand if you ask me. Global Warming is real and many jobs can be created by converting vehicles and gas stations to CNG vehicles and filling stations a whole new industry like they are doing in Iran. What do they know we do not?

    January 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    Jack,
    It ranks very low right now. First comes food, shelter, health care and meds to keep me alive. I guess global warming ranks somewhere
    between a trip to Iraq and an exam by a proctologist, at least for me.
    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    January 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Michael B Saskatoon Canada

    After the 8 year nightmare of a Bush presidency, America, no THE WORLD, needs this even if it is just to say "He's gone, let's try to set things right again". Consider it a Planet wide "personal day"!

    January 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  15. AlanP from Naperville, IL

    To be honest, Environmental protection is on the top of my list. But unconsciously, money/job security is my biggest concern. And you kind of need money to achieve and compensate for the change. There are many little things you can help, such as switch off the lights when they're not needed. Use less water if possible for shower. You know that kind of basics.

    The price of electric cars are still high, there are people just can't afford them. There're not enough facilities to support running this kind of cars yet. GM is trying hard to come up with new car models to attract customers, they still fail to work with the government for the future change. Hybrid vehicle is one step closer to reduce emission. They really have to draw the prices down and government has to give buyers more incentives.

    Have a good one, Jack

    January 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  16. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    It's about fifth on my list.

    January 19, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  17. VK RAMAN

    Priority three

    January 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Heidi, Fargo

    Its below zero and -15 degrees here in ND, Jack. Snows a foot and a
    half deep. I'll did my car out in mid July. And we just got an obscene
    phone call from Pucksitony Phil.

    No, global warning is not of vast concern to us here.

    Gee thanks for your concern though, Jack.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Rob from Canada

    Sad to say, but my concern for global warming raises & lowers with the price of gas. When the price of gas is through the roof, global warming is a huge concern for me. Green is the way to go. Lately, with gas prices so low, my only thoughts of global warming is looking forward to Spring. The extreme cold temps I've endured this winter, suck!

    January 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  20. Marie Ontario

    Global warming is one of my greatest concerns as the time of it being past the point of no return is probably a lot closer than most of us realize.

    Unfortunately our greed and apathy will likely prevent us from doing enough to rescue our planet. All you have to do is look at the Conservative efforts to debunk any and all scientific evidence just to keep profits high and costs low.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  21. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    As record low temperatures are being recorded the case for global warming has also cooled. Looks like Al Gore will just have to find a real job.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  22. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    It should rank as a number one priority. The rest of our problems won't amount to a hill of beans if we destroy our planets eco-system. At a certain point, "If I could I would've, should've," doesn't cut it anymore, especially if the human race is dying out!

    January 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  23. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    It is in the top five. This world is the only place we can go.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  24. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    The polar bears are running out of living space, and the icebergs are melting this has to be high on the list of priorities for future generations.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  25. Dean in Pa

    This is a tough one Jack, tell me how long me and my children will live and what the world will be like in twenty years. To many what if's to rank them.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  26. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    I think it is very important. If our home was falling apart like our planet is, we would be working to get it fixed up. That is what the world has to get done now.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  27. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think global warming ranks very high on the list of things that must be taken care of. This has been ignorant by pass administrations. Now it has become one of the elephants in the room. By trying to stop global warming we will give birth to a new industry and add new jobs to our economy that we desperately need.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  28. Anthony Smith

    It ranks right up there with my concern over what cereal George Bush is going to be eating on his ranch during retirement. This year it's global warming. Next year, we're freezing our ***es off! Who cares? I'm more concerned whether the Eagles will finally get rid of Reid and McNabb.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  29. David of Alexandria VA

    About third or fourth - right behind the economy, the lack of a comprehensive energy policy (including oil, coal, nukes, wind and solar), and the congressional resolve to tackle crirtical issues with a long view (eg - sometime past their next re-election bid)

    January 19, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  30. Nuria

    Global warming is a huge concern for me. I am concerned for the Polar Bears losing their habitat, and I am concerned with the way it is affecting our planet.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  31. Tony from Torrington

    Islamic extremists who want to eliminate us and rule the world. A financial and housing market that looks like it hasn't seen the bottom yet. Unemployment that could reach highs that would rival the Carter administration. The possibility of socialized medicine that is a nightmare for the elderly (since we are a group that can't afford to wait 6 months in an emergency). And although I believe in protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions, I believe we should be drilling for oil and coal here until Hydrogen or Natural Gas can be put into my gas tank. I guess the natural cycle of warm and cold provided by mother nature is not high on my list.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  32. Dennis from Albuquerque

    I would rank the top three in the following order

    1. The economic meltdown

    2. The fiasco in Iraq

    3. Global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  33. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, Global Warming should be a concern for All Americans After the Economy!

    January 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  34. Barbara - NC

    With high utility bills in the winter, I'm not overly concerned. Ask again in August.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  35. erinmontague

    Global Warming is of great importance to me, my daughter and my future grandchildren should I be so lucky. I don't think people realize that this planet we exist on is a living organism where everything is connected. Things (the environmental balance) are getting out of whack and the result is going to be devastating. I am very, very concerned about our future on this planet.

    Erin – Healdsburg, CA

    January 19, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  36. Tina Texas

    Right now farther down the list. We need people working instead of commiting crimes because their kids are hungary. Store fronts and empty buildings only create problems. Fix the economy and work on the global warming too.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  37. Rod from Allentown PA

    Not very high at all Jack. Let's see; first we worried about global icing in the seventies. Don't remember that happening. We then went on to overpopulation, then to the dreaded Y2K just waiting to destroy civilization as we know it. Now it is Global Warming. I suppose we will soon move onto bigger and better scare hoaxes. By the way; what ever did happen to the hole in the ozone layer? Did it repair itself, or does it only come around every once and awhile?

    January 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  38. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It's fifth on my list to solve this year. The first 4 have to do with economy, wars, jobs, and housing foreclousers. Next question please.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  39. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Doesn't matter, too little, too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  40. Paul from Parry Sound, Ontario

    Number one.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  41. Robert in Galveston

    Howdy Jack: "Global Warming" is a misnomer, it is really Global Climate Change. Every person on this earth shoud be very concerned about this as it isn,t comming it is already here. A few thousand years ago the Saraha was lush and green, where will humanity be if this were to happen to North America. To answer your question I think it should rank right up there with our economy and Human Rights.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  42. odessa

    global warming ranks pretty high for me because our climate is changing rapidly and unexpected things can happened without notice..i hope that president obama will make it an issue for his administration because our country needs to be informed about how global warming can be effective towards our domestic land, national security etc..

    January 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  43. Ruth

    The preferred term is climate change, since it includes the disruption of normal weather patterns. It ranks very high since it will change every country and everyone's way of life. I believe that we still can reduce its effects, but we are very near the tipping points in a number of areas.

    Although I'm 72 (6 years older than you), I will live to see some of the unfortunate results of it.

    Ruth in Indianapolis, Indiana

    January 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  44. Tom in Dallas

    Very high. It's difficult to get anything done in one country. Global warming requires cooperation from all countries. The nay sayers speak as if one degree doesn't matter. If a human's temperature goes up one degree we start to feel bad, extrapolate that.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  45. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Global warming is very important. The radical weather we have witnessed these last few years is just a sample of what is going to happen if we don't straighten up our acts. We must act to save the future for our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren etc and
    the world.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  46. vern-t anaheim,ca

    it's third on my list,the economy 1st ,the illegal war in iraq and getting out of there asap 2nd and global warming 3rd,there are many opinions on global warming by well known scientist's who offer different opinions and i'm trying to discover who is correct

    January 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  47. Jane - WI

    Global Warming ranks way down on the list of concerns. It is still debatable if any warming we have seen is natural or man made. I wonder how much money Al Gore has made off of his scare tactics? I also wonder how much pollution and carbon the Hollywood global warming crowd is putting into the air with their pilgramage to DC this week? How many of these hypocrites flew to Washington on private jets?

    January 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  48. tamino

    The global warming problem ranks number one.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  49. Susan in Ohio

    To me, it ranks very high. But sad to say, your average "person" (she said euphemistically) walking down the street really couldn't care less about global warming. I wish our new president had the capability to FORCE people to do things such as turn lights off when not in use, recycle, wear warmer clothes instead of jacking up the thermostat to 90, etc. But I guess we Americans have just been too spoiled by the "good life."

    January 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  50. Rob , NYC

    After our economy and the damn wars comes Global warming. All this unstable weather is global warming–but people are stupid enough to think that global warming means it will only be hotter.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  51. JD in NH

    It should be the primary concern of the entire world. If the earth becomes uninhabitable for man, as it has become for many species, we will have outsourced ourselves.

    January 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  52. Mike, Syracuse NY

    After the last week in upstate NY my only question is how can I make it go faster?

    January 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  53. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    Global Warming? Pfft I'm sitting here in -18 degree temps woth a chill factor of -46 degrees and you ask me where global warming ranks with me? Get a life, quit touting fiction!

    Never fear Obaba will cool thing off even more!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  54. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    My major concern is that we are destroying our world and global warming is only one part. It includes many other ecological crises. There is deforestation. There is mass extinctions. There is depletion of resources like aquifers and oil that can not be renewed. There is the growth of deserts and the loss of arable land. Our oceans are in peril from overfishing, the global dying out of coral, and pollution. Our world is being inundated with heavy metals, widespread overuse of anti-biotics, and the use of genetic engineering and hormones that have been shown to cause brain damage, birth defects, and incurable disease.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  55. Al, Lawrence KS

    These either/or questions always drive me nuts, Jack. Global warming is directly related to our use of energy. Our use of energy is directly connect to the War in Iraq, rising prices on everything, droughts, hurricanes, global hunger, and well, just about everything else. Whether or not you agree that global warming is man made, at least we should agree that clean, renewable and home grown forms of energy are better for our country than what we have used in the past.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  56. Jerry: Alpharetta, Ga

    It ranks extremely high IF it is true. Governments and media have made a real mess out of the publics ability to discern what is true and what is false. It used to be so smple, we used to trust our bankers, we used to trust our government but now you have to wonder what spin doctors are on the lose trying to convince the public to believe one story or the other. I will act as though there is true global warmng occuring, because this decision leads to conservation of resources. But I don't have any idea if it is in fact happening. Do you? Really?

    January 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  57. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Thirty years ago the concern was global cooling;65 million years ago it was a big roid;Ten more years of cooling are comming;There will be ice in iceland;And traffic jams in New York;and all the experts will be making excuses cause they got it wrong;

    January 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  58. Pugas-AZ

    Just a minute, I have to consult Al Gore. I think it is a problem because it will be used in many ways for political purposes, How best to keep the global compitetion from our door or to find our way around the use of fosil fuels from foreign sources. What's worse-dying of heat stroke or starving to death?

    January 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  59. Sherri

    #1 Economy #2 Economy #3 Economy #4 Economy #5 Global Warming!. If there are no jobs, there's no economy and if there's no economy then America will thrall like the glaciers in the Antartic OR China & Saudi Arabia will call in their notes for payment of which we wouldn't be able to pay because of no economy, not enough folks have jobs to spend money that would stimulus the economy AND this is no joke, things are at crisis mode in this country!!!. Global warming on the back burner until America is back on her feet again!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  60. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    Jack,

    If global warming were at the top of our concerns we would:

    #1 reduce our dependence on foreign oil, thereby improving our national security

    #2 create alternative fuel vehicles and energy efficient products and houses, which would provide jobs for the next century

    #3 lead the world in stopping a disaster that would affect all citizens of the earth, which would restore our credibility and respect throughout the world..

    seems like a win win win to me!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  61. Susan in Ohio

    To all of you out there who think global warming is a major concern and want to do something about it...I challenge you to go vegetarian!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  62. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    We will get through these hard times, these wars will end and other conflicts will flare up. But will my grand daughter be able to go ouside and see the milky way ? You live on the east coast Jack, when was the last time you saw the stars from your backyard ??? Remember when we drive up to 'Tahoe over Mt Rose and see the stars ??? Too many things that I took for granted then no longer exist. I would like my grandchildren to be able to enjoy the desert here, or the redwoods in the California coast. We've done enough damage, let's leave something for those who follow.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  63. Ed

    It's snowing today and has been cold all week. Global warming is high on my list but will settle for local warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  64. Jim/NC

    I have read scientific studies regarding both sides of the equation. Neither have convinced me that global warming is real or not. I agree that something is going on in the Arctic, but we simply don't know what it is. However, what we do know is the fact that our economy stinks, our debt is growing, millions of our citizens have lost their jobs, hard working people have lost their retirement funds, the housing markets are in the tank, financial markets are horrible, just to name a few. Global warming is in last place in my view.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  65. Donna Wisconsin

    Global warming and green energy go hand in hand. We can help ourselves and the environment. and those morrons who think that because we are having a colder than usual winter means there is no such thing as global warming–don't have a clue as to what global warming means.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  66. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Global warming may not be a priority for the majority of people! However, IF the vast majority of scientists are correct ....... we WILL care a great deal when things start going wrong! We can't move to another planet this one is it!

    What I can not understand is the carelessness of Christians! We are to be good stewards of God's Creation, and yet the majority have their heads stuck in the sand.

    Reading history we can see that often as scientists proved one theory or another, the church and the populace denied it at first! Such as when the truth that the world is round. Sadly, there are still plenty of ignorant people on the planet who do not believe until they "see" the consequences of our actions! Sadly........ by then it will be too late!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  67. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    One more thing........... I am laughing at ALL the comments about how COLD it IS!!

    Honestly, do you think Global Warming is about heat?

    Its simply, the warming of the world, causing the melting of the arctic ice, which it turn..... WILL substantially COOL the world down for another ICE AGE.

    Please educate yourselves!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  68. Simpliticus

    People would be buying any vehicle they wanted to but my bet is that going green and electric vehicles causes many to pause waiting for that opportunity to get off of oil and not be subjected to high gasoline costs. If George W, Bush had paused to think what he was causing allowing the oil companies to gouge at will, he might have allowed a longer life span to Big Oil. But my bet is that most people are very disturbed over the manner in which Big Oil was allowed to gouge people at will, stimulating losses in the auto industry and encouraging people to wait for electric vehicles as this potential buyer is doing. As a result, climate changes are important if only indirectly as so many potential buyers are waiting on the sidelines, despite lower oil costs at this time. Gouged once too many times, me thinks!

    January 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  69. ed IN ri

    Jack;
    Climate change has been my number one issue for years. It's extremely unfortunate that the outgoing president and industry pals spent millions in propaganda campaigns to debate our leading scientists arguments, and create a "gray area" of doubt for our citizens. The world is aware and involved, but not the majority of Americans.
    The wars and global economy pale in comparison to the consequences of Global Warming.
    ES

    January 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  70. Annie, Atlanta

    It ranks number 4, after the economy, loss of a manufacturing base, and #1, the prosecution of BushCo for war crimes, etc.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  71. George

    Although Global Warming needs to be addressed, I can see where it can be put on to the back burner of the stove until much greater concerns are tended to first, meaning the economy, however I did say that it should still be on the stove, and not far from reach. I have every confidence that our new administration will clean up the mess that was left by the last, and for that we have reason to celebrate.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  72. John

    Jack: Global warming is rated about 9th or 10th of importance to the Obama Administration. If, the economy was not in such terrible shape, global warming would be in 6th place of importance. The Bush Administration has wrecked alot of causes and issues that needed attention due to their lack of Stewardship of our nation's economy.

    John
    Alabama

    January 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  73. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    come on Jack, give us 24 more hours to enjoy this historic event before we start start prioritizing our many big issues. I don't think it's asking too much, and I think the problems will be there for us on Wednesday.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  74. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, for me, it is off the radar. Here, in Canada, winters seem to last longer and give no credence to global warming. This notion is a theory advocated by self-serving scientists on government grants and dilettantes such as the Al Gores of the world who desperately seek to be in the forefront of any fad that can give them a glimmer of recognition. The world has always experienced cooling and warming effects more likely because of the sun's cycles as explained by British Scientists. Yes, we need to be good stewards of our resources but to try to blame global warming on carbon emissions exclusively is just another ruse by politicians on both sides of the border to find new ways to tax the middle class.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  75. Gigi in Alabama

    It should be up there along side the economy. If Obama can create the kind of "green" jobs that he's talked about, it will stimulate the economy and clean up at least our part of this planet. That to me is a win-win situation.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  76. JW in Atlanta

    There are two issues....economy and environment. When humans are faced with a choice, environment comes in second. Always.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  77. Gene F.

    Hey Jack,

    With all of the other disasters we are currently facing, it's hard to deal with yet another major issue. However, this is something that really needs immediate attention!

    With what I have read, this is leading our world into major climate changes, and I really would like to see a great world for our children, and grandchildren to live in.

    We are probably two decades late, but we need to do all we can to eliminate this problem. Maybe our remedies, in addition, will help resolve some other issues along the way!

    Gene. F.
    Rochester, MI

    January 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  78. Terry in Hanover County

    My great-grandmother lived from 1871 to 1973. She often told me stories about how hot it was during some periods and how cold it was in others. Scientists looking backwards said that the eruption of Pompeii cooled the earth. Other scientists worried about the aftermath of Mount St. Helen's eruption and global cooling. Are climate changes cyclical or is the planet getting hotter, I don't know. Certainly, mankind has made a mess of the planet and the least we can do is clean the place up so that our children and grandchildren won't suffer our folly, particularly if global warming turns out to be the norm and not another phase. I'd rather err on the side of caution before it's too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  79. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Global Warming isn't nearly as high on my list as overpopulation is. A 2º upswing in temperature over the next 100 years would have some pretty drastic effects, but nothing close to what our current population boom is doing. A current UN estimate has the population of the earth at 9 billion people by 2050 and I think they're undershooting by a lot. We're already seeing widespread famine, disease, ecological disasters, and food related warfare and we're only at 6.7 billion. The best thing we as a species can do for the environment is to stop having so many babies.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  80. Daniel, Indiana

    It ranks high up on a list of concerns for this country and world. It is very important, yet there are other concerns that must be dealt with as well. We have allowed a major abuse of ou rpresent situation and many things must be worked for.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  81. Linda in Arizona

    In the top 3.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  82. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    I believe global warming, and its handmaiden, overpopulation, are the two greatest long-term threats to civilization world-wide. Solving this problem could create a tremendous boost to economies as the world converts from polluting to green forms of energy and transportation, and away from the finite fossil fuels. Prompt action can make a difference of centuries, perhaps millennia to how long civilization can survive.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  83. don in naples, florida

    Environmental issues have skyrocketed to the top of my concerns. I am sick of corporate america chopping up and selling this world and then blaming all the issues on the poor people.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  84. BJ Smith

    It is amazing how many are still in the mindset of the likes of Inhofe.

    BJ from Seminole, FL

    January 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  85. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I think that "Global Warming" should be in the top five-seven concerns of the new incoming administration.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  86. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    It ranks above where Bush put it and below where Obama puts it.
    Serious.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  87. Keith - Cleveland

    Jack, This is exactly like the Financial Crisis. No one knew there was one until it was upon us; No one understands the cause. No one knows how to fix it. And the experts cannot even agree on where to start.

    Scientists cannot all agree that Global Warming exists.. If it hadn't been for Gore, we wouldn't even have a catch-phrase for it.

    What this country needs are 'Ghost Busters' who can get to the truth of each of our major issues, and report back to those that can engage the means to fight it.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  88. claudia farrell

    Global warming hasn't stopped the high cost of heating my home during these frigid temperatures and don't mention the summer bills for cooling. Global warming is not on my list of concerns, I'm concerned about paying these utility bills.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  89. arlene in iowa

    I think the way the new president is going to do things that he will kill more than one bird with one stone.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  90. Gigi

    It is a part of the needs and goes hand in hand with helping US build back our strong nation and a better world. We need to protect and preserve our land and waters. Which would bring jobs to the job less. We need to find other natural fuels. etc.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  91. Russ in PA

    Global warming concerns me from the standpoint that so many are "true believers", regardless of the arguments against it. Global warming concerns me as so many politicians and companies are quick to jump on it now that they've figured out it will be a wonderful cash cow. The science of global warming is weak, just like the cholesterol myth.

    How did that song go? "Money, money, money..."

    January 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  92. J.D. Ripper

    Debunked myth..."global warming" is for science illiterates and conmen.

    January 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  93. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, truth be told it should rank number one, if we are covered in Water or frozen solid it won't really matter how many jobs are created or how fuel efficient the cars are, we won't be around to enjoy any of it!

    January 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  94. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    Going Green can and will save our economy with the development of new industries, and the jobs that go with it. The 'Warming' debate can go on forever, but the progress that we have made must continue. Or should we go back to the day when all of our stone and brick buildings were caked black with coal dust. I remember it well, so should you jack.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  95. Hendrik from Hille, GER

    Among other topics of the category "Staying alive without being tortured by natural effects" its my personal top priority

    January 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  96. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I'm not so sure about the science part of global warming. The climate has gone through many hot/cold cycles over the millenia. Pollution from the human population certainly was not responsible for the end of the last Ice Age and the demise of the Wolly Mammoth. However, I do believe we should do take every possible step to reduce pollution and fossil fuel consumption. If done properly, we can create jobs, eliminate dependence on foreign oil, and clean up the planet all at the same time. Those combined are a high priority for me.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  97. Griff

    A Joke! You are using more Electro Magnets than ever.
    You talk abou6t Combustion Engine's.. You talk about Plastics..
    But Electo Magnetism: You Ignore.. You're frying this Planet with Electrons...

    January 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  98. Constance - Seattle

    It's very important, after the POTUS cleans up the mess made by shrub. I'd like to leave more to my children and grandchildren than this horrible debt caused by the shrub.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  99. glen

    Job well done, but the struggle is not over until we can tolerate one another differences. The dream must continue on for all.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  100. Melissa

    Somewhere below the economy and health care.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  101. Lynn, San Diego County

    We can not "rank" Global Warming as a seperate problem, it is intertwined with every issue we face, we can't leave it out of our National Security, Economic woes, Education, Medical care, Transportation, Energy, etc. – Its there like the elephant in the proverbial room, its time we recognized and deal with it at every level of our society and government -.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  102. Chris from Durham, NC

    It is important to protect our world because we only have one Earth to live on! I believe instead of using precious money to bail out the "Big 3" who obviously do not care about the environment, we need to use it to mass produce electric cars. The idea was there a few years ago, but it was brutally shot down. There are two positions you can have about this issue: try to stop Global Warming and live, or ignore it and not live...take your pick.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  103. Barbara in Las Vegas, NV

    Jack-
    As a native of NW Pennsylvania, where winter lasts for six months and now a resident of Las Vegas, NV (i..e, the DESERT) where we had inches of SNOW a few weeks back, and temps way colder than normal for this time of year, I pretty much deem global warming theories to be a bunch of bunk and thus put that as issue 4 or 5 at best. #1 is the economy, and as a result, JOBS, #2 is national security, #3 is education, the weather ranks last, for sure.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  104. BRUCE, CA.

    Hi Jack –

    I'd say 'pretty darn near the top'-

    We had best due this TODAY or there will simply be NO TOMORROW!

    Best,

    Bruce

    January 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  105. James Conn

    Well Jack, December 21, 2012 all the planets will be in a straight line. Do you think the gravitational pull will have any effects on the earth like the moon. So far what I've read the impact U.S.A. would have would be minimal. It would take the whole world to respond to, maybe by theory, do any good. The Indians tried to tell us that the land gives we should not take. Until our greed stops our world is doomed. Jim Logansport, In.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  106. Joan Buck

    The earth has been cooling again and the ice is expanding for 2 1/2 yrs – thus this scam is not going the 100 yards.
    Joan B
    Minneapolis, Mn

    January 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  107. Willow, Iowa

    I think a lot of our problems are interconnected. The energy problems and the global warming problems are connected, in my view. We need a good energy program. We can't continue to use and abuse our planet without expecting problems. Safe ecological programs can help our economy and also our earth.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  108. angel in Louisiana

    It's in God's hands.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  109. Jeff in Minnesota

    We need to be concerned about our environment and take care that we don't mess it up too badly. In my humble opinion, it is but one of many concerns that need to be considered and addressed as we make decisions, not a single decision in and of itself. Unfortunately, given our financial situation, global warming will likely take a back seat to the needs of just keeping our society fed and employed.

    However, I'm not convinced that the 'experts' know what is really going on. A lot of these 'experts' were saying we were heading for the next Ice Age 25 years ago and now are telling us that we have 'Global Warming'. So, which is it? You cannot have it both ways. I just don't think the 'science' behind their analysis is good enough to allow the predictions they are making. And while I'm certain that carbon emissions are not a good thing, their is a certain amount of arrogance on the part of these scientists to believe that only human beings could have created such an environmental problem.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  110. Annie Florida

    at the bottom..ice age is here to disprove global warming and reinforce mother nature doing her job.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  111. dan krause

    Jack:
    One thing we could be grateful to the Bush bunch for, and arguably the only thing, is that they left so many problems that it is impossible to know where it hurts the most.
    The problem Mr. Obama will face is that global warming solutions are going to be less immediate, more disruptive, and much more expensive than even our economic woes.
    But to answer your question: I am worried about the economy, I lose sleep over our trade and budget deficits, I hate the increasing role of religion in American policy, I am depressed about the erosion in our civil liberties, and the current pace of global warming is bringing back my hives. If I didn't see the newspaper pictures of Bush and Cheney making their goodby phone calls and packing their bags, I'd probably go into the garage and sit in there with the motor running.
    But don't worry, Jack, and there is no need to call anyone; I don't have a garage, and I can't afford a full tank of gas.

    dan
    land-o-lakes, wisconsin

    January 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  112. Nissa

    Jack, for dead honesty, Global warming should be way up there on the list for salvation. But issues like the economy, poverty, natural disasters, and foreign relations are what one sees as immediate, self prevailing problems. Another problem is simply ignorance, or the fact that we have so many looming problems that my generation (i'm a kid) has to solve and that we don't know where to start. Maybe if we're lucky, we will all melt before we start another war.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  113. M.L. Squier

    As long as people have water and food-and don't live on coastlines-they probably aren't not getting too hot and bothered about global warming. And lately there have been reports that in actuality (due to spotty and sparse sun-spot activity),global temperatures are not rising but dropping. Who really knows? But if Hansen is right, and the many other reputable scientists, we had better hitch our wagons to stars that will shine solutions...NOW. And not just us...but all countries who are making carbon footprints,

    El Paso, TX

    January 19, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  114. Kerry - Florida

    It's ranked fairly high around the world, but our concern has been greed. I think it will change and we will become as smart about it as most countries...

    January 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  115. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    According to scientists, the world'd population is expanding at a rate of 80 million people annually. At that rate, the global population will exceed 10 billion individuals by the year 2050. Most of the world's commercially important fish species are already fished to capacity or depleted. Over half of the world's rainforests have been destroyed, and it is feared that the remaining rainforests may disappear in the next 40 years We are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day. We continue to poison the planet at an ever increasing rate with toxic pesticides and industrial chemicals. So if I were you Jack, in light of all this death, destruction and global mayhem, I wouldn't sweat the global warming, no pun intended.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  116. John in Arizona

    Jack, there are a lot of things in this country and in this world that concern me, but if we do not make a serious commitment to the health of our planet, all those other concerns will ultimately cease to matter.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  117. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    According to scientists, the world’d population is expanding at a rate of 80 million people annually. At that rate, the global population will exceed 10 billion individuals by the year 2050. Most of the world’s commercially important fish species are already fished to capacity or depleted. Over half of the world’s rainforests have been destroyed, and it is feared that the remaining rainforests may disappear in the next 40 years. We are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day. We continue to poison the planet at an ever increasing rate with toxic pesticides and industrial chemicals. So if I were you Jack, in light of all this death, destruction and global mayhem, I wouldn’t sweat the global warming, no pun intended.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  118. William A. Marley

    Obviously, it dosen't rank very high in Oklahoma. I haven't found one Okie that believes it even exists. That includes Sen.'s Inhoff, Coburn and Rep. Boren. These people are truly ignorant. However: This is a representative sample of Ok. and a true one at that.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  119. Alan, Buxton Maine

    The speed at which we are altering the planet on which we live is beyond alarming. Warnings were issued decades ago and we ignored them. There have been many cataclysms in the history of this world some of which destroyed most of the creatures living at the time. The one to come will be the first that was caused by the creatures living here.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  120. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    I have to jump in. My wife mentioned black coal dust covered buildings, my favorite was fire hazard rivers. Who cares if warming is true or not, clean is better than what was. Most of these people that argue against cleaning up our act, weren't alive to see what it was like back in the day. Horrible was an under statement.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  121. Matthew, Cedar Rapids

    Like health care, everything is taking a back seat to fixing the economy, but this is also an oppurtunity. If we focus on making a green nation, we will probably have some jobs to go around, and in the long run, we willl save money. If we improve the health care system, we can reduce the cost of a healthy life, which reduces the strain on teh government when they have to pick up the bill. We have a lot of work to do, and if we don't look at the issues as a complete package, we may not be able to accomplish anything.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  122. kishen c.rao

    it is very important...if we are dorment...generations together will suffer...do not say i do not believe it...it is such a nonsense...cann't we see the global warming...if we do not we are all blind...it should be one of the very important priority...for OBAMA....we need energy efficient cars...and energy efficient laws....of course, big oil will not believe..america wake up....do not let our kids suffer...it is a global warming....

    January 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  123. garrick

    hi jack
    it ranks right after charging Cheney for war crimes
    clearwater,fl

    January 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  124. June-NY

    About minus 10. The climate changes are a normal part of the earth cycles and will turnout to a boondoogle to the shysters of the world,
    By the Jack, who ever thought it would be a good idea to have Wolf and the other on a roof top in January?

    January 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  125. Larry D.

    Jack,

    Our economy comes first but Global warming is really important our lives depend on fixing the environment by coverting to wind power and energy efficient lightbulbs and going completely green technology. We as a people need to take charge and take this seriously and be a part of fixing our bad habits. If the world pitched in and everyone took there part in planting a tree or volunteer to help the environment our world would change for the better and we would live in a cleaner more efficient way of living. Canada is by far way ahead of us in many things including clean air technology and we need to show the world that we are that example to clean up the environment.

    Albany, NY

    January 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  126. uncle jimbo - Chicago

    Its on top of the list Jack, right next to my hoping I still have a job next month.
    The Arctic Ice shelf, as well as the few glaciers left are melting at an unprecidented rate. Anybody thinking global warming is not happening has their head buried in the sand or stuck up someplace that does'nt smell too good..
    There is only one planet earth – we better start taking better care of our "Mother Earth."

    January 19, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  127. Andrew

    I don't think it is at the top. However, we cannot divorce the fate of our environment and the fate of the poor. Show us poverty and we will also see environmental degradation, show us environmental injustice and poverty will be there. The message of Global Warming is individual and cooperate responsibility. The consequence of irresponsibility will effect any issue which, necessarily, rises above this one.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  128. nancy in manteo, nc

    lets see, there's the economy, high unemployment, the iraq and afghanistan wars, the energy crisis, gaza, iran, north korea, trade deficits, resurgent russia, america's reputation in tatters, criminals walking the streets stealing billions, yadayadayada.
    global warming is probably the most important of all – none will matter if something isn't done to bring it under control.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  129. william fitzwater

    yes;
    50 years we have left before the damage to our environment will become irrevesable by some estimates. Our Childern will see the effects of our lifestyle if we pursure business as usual practices .

    We need a sound ecnomic policies that will allow the countrty to have both growth a responsible practies toward our environment. This isn't easy but can be done.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  130. william fitzwater

    yes;
    50 years we have left before the damage to our environment will become irrevesable by some estimates. Our Childern will see the effects of our lifestyle if we pursure business as usual practices .

    We need a sound ecnomic policies that will allow the countrty to have both growth a responsible practies toward our environment. This isn't easy but can be done.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  131. frankie

    If we become a society that does what is best for everyone, rather than doing what enriches the wealthy, we will be on the same road that can lead to being better stewards of our Earth.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  132. ken-tx

    Jack, if global warming can be checked, we will be looking at
    future centries changing enough bad habits to affect the problem.

    We have to concentrate on controling the increasing disease killers
    that are even a greater threat to life on earth. It's all very important to
    this and future generations. One unspoken fact is that millions of
    people are going to doctors every day but discovering that strange
    infections and sickness does not respond to medicine and the truth
    is the doctors do nothing and say nothing. They just keep expermenting with expensive drug application. The poor just endure
    the unknown illness and suffer. You tell me why we should put global
    warning before this growing attack on human lives. I'll be listening.

    January 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  133. Darren

    Apparently a lot higher than all the Bushbots I argue with in chatrooms, that think it's all a hoax ... but then again, they also think our ancestors rode to work on dinosaurs and we all fit together on Noah's Ark.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  134. Jeff Crocket

    Global warming is not on my list!! There is nothing we can do yet to control the rhythms of the universe, and the power of the star we call the sun!

    The best we can do is live and learn more and let the scientific community and NASA learn!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  135. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Jack, since I am a staunch, blind straight ticket voting Republican, it was never a priority for me. You see...we only believe in creationism and we discount any science that violates the integrity of our skewed religious beliefs and our greedy corporate interests. Our solution has always been to hire junk scientists who will say anything that supports our self serving interests. We don't want to admit to the fact that global warming is sound science and that human activity is accelerating the process of global warming. We have plenty of junk scientists on our payroll to support our political agendas.

    HD in Phoenix, Arizona

    January 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  136. seat21d

    It doesn't..

    January 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  137. Alex

    Global warming concerns me because it will affect all future generations. Even though it is an important issue, though, I don't believe that I give enough to help change things.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  138. Julio

    No sustainable climate, no us.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  139. Andrew Kochan

    For myself the threat of global warming is At the top.

    People will surely post their comments with their current temperature quotes to poo-poo Global Warming. Confusing weather with climate.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  140. Nate in Michigan

    It ranks up there high for me now, because it looks like we can make a buck off fixing it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  141. Jan from Bailey, CO

    Global warming ranks very high. Unfortunately, so do several other issues. Hopefully, Obama is good at multi-tasking.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  142. Jacob Holland

    It was near the top of my list about a year ago, but I believe that it's now just another scare-tactic in the midst of war and an economy crisis

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  143. Angela Woodhouse

    Jack,
    It's the number one issue facing our planet! Hey if we don't have a planet to live on who it really doesn't matter about all the other issues we are facing. We need to address this issue and over population and then we might have a bright future.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  144. Ben Franklin

    #1. Must maintain livable temperatures.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  145. Jerald Gross

    Global Warming? That's like saying that Elvis is alive. I'd say its on the bottom where it belongs.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  146. Serina

    Global warming is for sure ranked the number one cure on my list.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  147. Marvelo Mavo

    Global warming ranks high in my concerns, I would say as number 2, my number 1 concern being Obama's safety tomorrow!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  148. Dave P

    Let's see, Global warming, Economy cooling. Why don't we just average them out and call it a "wash"?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  149. Steve Henderson

    Jack,

    The reason for global warmiing is because of all the 401's that went up in smoke.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  150. kathleen

    I am in total agreement. However the earth is unpredictable, volcanic eruptions could occur to change the timetable

    January 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  151. judy Sedgeman, Morgantown, WV

    It ranks very high for me because everything else we do will be for naught if we do not address climate change. I want my Grandson to be able to breathe, thrive, bear children of his own, and look forward to their future. We have ignored humanity's rape of the planet for too long; it is irresponsible not to address global climate change.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  152. William Flinn

    Global Warming is something in which I am highly interested. As far as stopping it? I think that might be wishful thinking. Of course, we must try our best to live in harmony with nature. But it may be that we will have to accept at least some of nature's wrath. Did anybody think all this "progress" would come without a price?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  153. Amanda

    Global warming is high on list of concerns. This is a big problem that we could be facing for a very long time. We need to act now!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  154. Kelly Billard in St.Catharines, Ontario, Canada

    I think the first step is to stop using the term Global Warming. What is happening is more of a Climate Pattern Change. That being said it is of upmost importance to me because all other achievements and advancements will be in vain. How can the drama of human life play out if we are burning the stage upon which it is presented?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  155. C. Lippman

    If the scientists are wrong about global warming...good....if their not wrong and we do nothing....horrific....

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  156. Jason Daly

    Global Warming should be the nation and the worlds number one priority. While national security and even ethical matters are important, the future of our planet and the generations that will come after us rides on our decisions dealing with global warming. We need to act now and act fast!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  157. Steve Cramsie

    Unfortunately, Global Warming won't be considered a top priority until a future president has to take a Presidential Gondola down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. By then, the whole city will be a reflecting pool.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  158. Misi Stine

    Climate Change ranks at the very top of the list of concerns for me. There is so much at risk in our world if the planet is not healthy... including our survival.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  159. Marius, Kitchener Canada

    Jack,
    We have a record snow fall here. I can't wait for a little of this global warming to arrive

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  160. GAIL

    It ranks NUMBER 1 on my list of priorities! More than jobs, more than health care, more than the war. Without clean water, clean air, honey bees to pollinate our fruits and vegetables, we are toast.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  161. Alex

    It ranks 3rd

    1. My Family
    2. My Country
    3. My World

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  162. Jane Archer

    I believe that "Global Warming" is a big hoax!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  163. Rick Ruhl

    Most people dont understand Global Warming = climate change. If we dont have this planet, and life ceases to exist, then economy doesn't matter.

    A govenment program to save the planet will have the result of creating jobs and increase the economy, it's a win win for everyone.,

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  164. Ken

    I'm all for global warming, Jack. Humans need the earth but the earth doesn't need us. So I take the long, billions of years long, view, and the sooner we're wiped out, the better for the planet.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  165. Danielle Gray

    Here in Los Angeles, it has been 80 degrees almost every day. In JANUARY! So I am definitely feeling some effect of it. It's not on the very top of my list, but if car companies could start selling hybrids/electric/hydrogen vehicles in bulk, that could lower it faster than keep buying gas guzzling cars.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  166. Gail

    Temagami, Ontario

    The current cold snap reminds me of last year, which was the coldest in quite some time but THE 10TH WARMEST ON RECORD. I believe and hope the environment will be at the top of the agenda, along with the economy. The two can and should go hand in hand, as Mr. Obama has pointed out. My view is that the economy IS the environment.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  167. Erika

    Global warming is definitely on my top 3 concerns. This issue is something that we should all put some serious thought and effort into when we choose our elected officials. GLOBAL warming is something that has effects the whole planet obviously and therefore we can't simply keep putting it off.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  168. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    If you lose your job, and they foreclose on your house, and the ice age hits when your in the streets, that's cold man.

    Jack

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  169. Eder

    In the grand scheme of things, I believe that Global Warming is happening and nothing can be done to stop it. Stopping China from polluting our planet as much as they do is impossible seeing as how they continue to disobey environmental laws. This country is already doing its part, it's time for Obama to intervene with other countries to right their wrongs.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  170. Woody from Palm Bay FL

    Haiti was devastated last year by 4 storms, I think this has something to do with global warming.

    If you ask me, I would say it's on my top 10 list.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  171. Winnie Cooper

    It isn't even on my radar. As long as children are abused, neglected, sick, or starving, nothing ranks higher than this.
    Winnie in South Dakota.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  172. Kathy Saunders

    Global Warming must be the top priority of the Obama administration.
    I live very close to the Chesapeake Bay and am concerned about any rising seal levels as my house is maybe 3 feet above sea level. Should we all bail out of the coast?

    Kathy Saunders

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  173. Loretta E. Adikhai

    I think we had a perfect example of how global warning is affecting our world with the US Airways plane crash. It was stated several times that the pattern of bird flight has changed dramatically in the east in recent years because the birds are looking for a new source of food since their regular supply has been dimished due to the environment changes. I think this should be in the top 5 of the President Obama's list of things to do.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  174. Jeff Flathers

    Jack,

    Man-made global warming is a man-made myth. All the scientific evidence indicates we are entering a period of sustained global cooling. One can only hope Obama will be able to separate himself from the enviro-wackos who have nothing better to do than bob-their heads in Madrassa-like lockstep, while they try to worry everyone to death.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  175. Kathy, Redwood City, Calif

    Climate change is the Number One issue facing the U.S and the world, period. The people who think it's b.s. are foolish apologists for the Bushies and big business whose minds are too small to get around any kind of alteration to their lifestyle.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  176. Kathy O.

    To answer your question, if we don't have a planet - the rest is moot!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  177. Ed

    #1 with a bullet – and the gun is pointed at our heads!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  178. Doris Kramer

    Large groups of scientist conclude that there is little we (the earth and America) can do about global warming, especially the fact that China and India have no plans. Is this a chance for another bureacacy, such as Al Gore would like? many jobs for some certain people?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  179. Carlos, North lorida

    It ranks among the top two issues. I can't stop thinking about it after reading Hot, Flat and Crowded.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  180. Mike in Quebec City

    Love your comments Jack.

    As someone that lives in a nordic country I can tell you that for damn sure the winters are getting shorter and easier to deal with. It used to be that winters were 6 months of dread and now in my 47 years on this planet I have noticed a tremendous change. Now winter is barely 4 months, last week in Whitehorse , NWT it was +5C, that's way up there in the north. Since the US is responsible for over 50% of the worlds global warming pollution a stance from the US is extremely important.

    Tomorrow, excited about the change.... GO OBAMA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  181. Ken in NC

    It ranks fairly high but as long as I am buried on the high ground I guess it will not matter much. It would take the coordinated actions of all the worlds nations to stop it. There is about as much chance of that happening as a snow ball has of surviving in hell.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  182. Zac

    Jack-
    Climate change must be at the top. If the Earth is no longer habitable, nothing else matters.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  183. Brad Smith

    At the very bottom of the heap. The EU which has been polluting the planet from the Industrial Revolution on must take the lead in solving the problem, if one actually exists.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  184. Samantha

    For the world, I think global warming ranks a major concern. It affects everyone and everything around us, and hopefully Obama will act quickly and think of it as a bigger concern.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  185. Edgar

    It should be the last thing on our mind, we need a solution to economy and and end to war than a solution to the environment.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  186. Ashleigh in DC

    Without a planet, issues like the economy and foreign relations are irrelevant. Helping to stop global warming will along the way help our economy by making new jobs... and perhaps also our foreign relations as countries will follow our lead.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  187. Tom Cloyd

    Absolutely top priority. We simply must start listening to our most intelligent, informed citizens, and get rid of our denial. The best evidence, assessed by the best minds we have, tell us we're driving toward a cliff. At some point, soon, hitting the brakes, if we can even find them, will have no effect. And I cannot seem to locate my wings...

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  188. Jerry Morrison

    #2

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  189. Pat

    Global Warming was, is and hopefully, if time permits, will be my primary concern.

    Denver CO

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  190. Jason

    Technically speaking, we are in an ice age with both the North and South Poles covered by land. As they move, the global climate will increase. Our speeding it up isn't helpful, but there isn't anything we can do to stop it. There are far greater concerns that pose a more imminent threat to the USA and people of the world.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  191. Jose from Hoboken, NJ

    Besides my new office, it keep me awake at night. I think what world would my beautiful daughter inherit from us and that my grandchildren would ask what kind of craziness got into us. Climate change, if you read history, leads to war and huge population displacements. We need to change our ways now, there is nothing more urgent to keep our way of wife.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  192. Rita

    I would rank it at #2 in the to do list after fixing the economy,the reason being that every day of negligence is increasing the danger multifold.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  193. Joseph

    It's absolutely imperative that we combat climate change. If we don't, we may never recover as a nation from the consequences. How many Katrinas and savage droughts are we willing to endure?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  194. Donna

    At the very top. If the earth is no longer habitable for humans, nothing else will matter.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  195. James Collins

    Granted Global Warming is a very serious issue and it needs to be in the forefront of problems to solve, but in my mind we need to get this financial situation in order before we begin to worry about the ice caps melting. Let God Take Care Of That

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  196. Chris Ventura

    Global Warming ranks among the top of my concerns along with the U.S. economy. With the ice caps melting at the rate they are, sea levels will continue to rise, weather patters will continue to change, and more natural disasters are proned to occur. With as much support as there is for President elect Obama, by him taking action, the rest of the country and world will follow him.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  197. Edgar Diaz Huntington Park, Ca

    Global Warming is a Theory. There is as many scientist that agree with it as well as there is who disagree. I do not put it in my list of concerns. Until it is a proven fact and not a theory I will make it one of my top concerns.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  198. Lou

    Its only second to the war for me, Jack. The fact that Obama has vowed to create green jobs to help the economy at the same time is a win win in my book.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  199. Perry, FL

    Jack, it's pretty high up on my list! If we don't act soon, there won't be an earth for us to live on.... Plus, with this economic crisis, we can save money and help the environment at the same time.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  200. Ryan

    Jack we should have done something about this years ago, but people are so selfish I am sure it will take a catastrophic disaster for people to actually do something about it. We need to act swift and work together.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  201. Democrats 4 Ever

    You naysayers and critics of science and Global Warming better get a clue. This is a crisis, not just some hallucination dreamed up by our scientists. It will destroy our earth forever. We will all seriously regret in ways unimagined, and there will be nothing we can do once it happens. Everyone get behind this effort, we need all hands on deck, saving the planet is real, not imagined, it matters.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  202. Richard Lescalleet

    The time for delaying and half-measures is long past. As an environmental scientist I have lobbied for stricter controls on GHGs for years and yet the pleas have always fallen on deaf ears. If the American people think the economy is bad these days, they have a huge wakeup call with the economic problems we will face in the wake of drastic climate shifts world-wide.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  203. Christina

    Being a 17-year-old in today's world is a growing concern for me.
    Many refuse to attack the problem of global warming because they think "Not in my lifetime." The truth is, while for some this may be true, my life, and the lives of my friends and children, will be severely affected by the global warming crisis.
    This issue ranks high on my list of problems with the world today, and it is one that I hope President-Elect Barack Obama attacks as thoroughly as he promised he would.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  204. Rebecca, Illinois

    Global Protection is number 3 on my list. Economy FIRST, then poverty. We need to get people into jobs and into homes, while becoming eco-friendly.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  205. Helena R. Duncan, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hansen is right to ask Obama to take control about climate change. Global warming is a severe problem that is up at the top of my list. Obama should listen to Hansen's warning and act accordingly. Money will be the least of our problems if we continue to have flooding, wildfires, species going extinct and other results of increasing greenhouse gases.

    Helena Duncan
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  206. Elizabeth A Keep

    Climate change take a second place behind overpopulation. The climate and economic problems of the world would not exist if there was true population control. There are too many humans for the ecosystem to support; global warming will never be controlled as long as there are too many people to heat, feed and transport.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  207. Brittany Newberry

    I think this issue is very important and I also think the US should become a leader on this issue. We have the resources, the know-how and the responsibility to do so. We have got to get past the point of just thinking about today and tomorrow and superficial "needs". We need to contribute positively to our earth and take care of things that are more important than wall street and main street. We need to take good care of that which sustains us – otherwise none of those other things are going to matter at all. The US government has to lead by example on this issue.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  208. Taylor L

    As far as I'm concerned, the environment should be number one priority, because if he fixes the environment the right way, he will create jobs. It would be like killing two birds with one stone.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  209. John

    Jack:
    At the moment for me, I am more concerned with being able to afford my house, rather than it being sucked up into the ocean.

    John
    Lewiston, Maine

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  210. Chris McCarthy

    Jack...Global warming is one of many issues that all rank as number 1 to fix. We waited too long on many important issues and it's time or as Barack Obama says..."We can wait no longer" It's time to deal with all these nagging issues. Get to work!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  211. Barbara - NC

    I made a rather flippant remark before, so decided to chime in again.

    I've done all I can do, Jack - spent the extra to get a Camry Hybrid, cut my driving way back, etc.

    If all the SUVs and inefficient carbon-emitting buses and trucks were changed it would help.

    As individuals we're asked to make sacrifice. What about the commercial vehicles that do not have emission standards? Corporate America buys their way past the rules instead of spending for the changes and saving the world.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  212. RJ

    Global Warming is a scam. We should be more concerned about the chem-trails and other stuff being sprayed in the skies on us every day. That is a real concern.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  213. Emma

    I may only be 15 but I know that global Warming is a major problem yet the economy, war and other problems push it to the back burner. However it is a real thing that is killling our earth and it is up to us, humans, to help put it back together for future generations to come. We can make a difference which barack obama will lead for us. yah!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  214. Kristin

    Jack,
    Climate change should be among President Obama's top 10 of problems to be solved during his presidency. Fortunately, we have a huge opportunity to work on reducing greenhouse gases and saving our planet by an issue that is probably even higher up on the list: creation of jobs through green technologies. It's a win win and it is non-partisan. It's an imperative.

    Kristin

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  215. Roger Tracy

    Global climatye change is the most important issue to all of us. Unfortunately it takes some sacrifice and long range planning to get the results to save us all. Only population reduction will get the job done while preserving a high quality of life. Can we create a new global moral imperative to self-limit our fecundity? I doubt it, but we must try.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  216. Kate Niles

    Number One. Just what other planet do y'all think you can live on? Who gives you life, beauty, love, diversity, animals, plants, everything? Every creature that goes extinct means a part of our soul does too. We are beings of this planet, by this planet - and we ought to damn well be far more FOR this planet than we have so far had the wherewithal to demonstrate. To behave otherwise is to participate in an appalling anthropocentric narcissism that will ultimately destroy us.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  217. Carrie

    Jack,

    I lose sleep over many things these days. Globlal warming is at the top of my list of concerns that we as Americans face. If we don't change the path we're on, the extinction of the world's beautiful creatures will create a silence that will be deafening.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  218. Claudia

    It concerns me everyday, now that I think about it, instead of sitting here and writing about it i should go recycle..

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  219. Tommy Wood

    Hiya Jack...anyone who doesn't put global warming at the top of their list is akin to a skydiver who would rather grip his bars of gold instead of pulling his chute's ripcord. Keep up the great work! Tommy P.S. My mom says "hi!"

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  220. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It's very high on my list. What we do today will impact the planet forever and we are running out of time. We can't undo what has already happened, but we can prevent it from getting worse. We need to act now. How many more Katrinas do we need to get the message?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  221. Ann Marie Clock

    Global Warming is NO 1 for me. No earth, no life.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  222. Ramneek Saini

    I am from San Jose, California. Climate Change is the number one concern in my life because if don't do anything about global warming now, we will not be able to save the planet. Research shows that the ocean levels are rising and the ice caps are melting and until we take some key steps we will die.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  223. Doric Wilson

    It is the number one concern of the planet, not only the US.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  224. Cindy Barrows

    Global warming? Not when it's been 40 below here. Come to Vermont – we don't see it here

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  225. Yvette B.

    Unfortunately, it's not on my high list of priorities. These days I am more concerned with keeping my family in our home. Getting out of this financial crisis.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  226. Shawn Carter

    I like the simple answers the best, so here's one for you:

    Ranked number 1: the economy
    number 1A: global warming
    number 2: iraq/afghanistan

    i think thats simple enough.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  227. Terry Yoner

    Jack

    Jim Hansen has been right all along. We in the Great Lakes are seeing the negative impacts of climate change already. Unchecked, it will cripple our regional economy which is the third largest in the world. Certainly high on my list.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  228. Cathy in Alabama

    At the very top. And to all those who say other issues are more urgent, climate change is the underlying cause of the majority of the world's current major crises– including the economy, fuel, poverty, wars, famine, and water.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  229. Ramsey DeLano

    Global Warming is the most crucial topic on my list. I am only 15, and when the four years have passed, I don't want my first years in college to be my last years of happiness. Without a healthy Earth, my children, my friends, and my brothers and sisters, will no longer be able to endure this dying planet.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  230. Alice, Bozeman, MT

    Global warming is the number one concern for all of the world. People have been in denial about facing the scientific facts. If Al Gore had been in the White House instead of W. Bush, we would have already been dealing with this effectively.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  231. Larry Jones

    It's a hoax. The sceintific community has been corrupted by all the money that flows to proponents of this delusion.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  232. Michael, Toronto

    While Global Climate change may be important to many of Obama's supporters, don't expect much from President Obama. At last count there were nearly 600 private jets on the tarmac at Dulles Airport...you would think Obama would tell his friends to airplane-pool if he really cared about climate change.

    Michael, Toronto

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  233. babygirl

    The global warning is a very important topic to disucss and look into I would rank it 6 on the list.

    babygirl

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  234. Max in Florida

    Hi Mr.Cafferty,
    I am only 11 years old and I think that it should be ranked 9 out of 10 I think this is a very important matter it will effect the rest of my life! As Sarah Palin/Tina Fey would say, we don't know if this is man made or if it is just something normal coming with the end of days.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  235. Ankur

    Absolutely # 1 (including building a green economy)...We need to preserve our planet. Everything else is truly insignificant... # 2 nuclear proliferation, # 3 education (global–necessary to curb terrorism, too), # 4 world poverty/disease.

    Peace,
    : ) A

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  236. Jim Holm

    You are probably to busy to look at my web site but if you do, you will see that all is not lost. The technology exists, the will doesn't.

    http://www.coal2nuclear.com

    Thank you,

    Jim Holm

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  237. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    If you lose your job, and they foreclose on your house, and the ice age hits when your in the streets, that's cold man, and therefore high on the list, late but high on the list.

    Jack

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  238. Laveina

    Why don't we ask Bush what he thinks about global warming? Amazing that we as a country are going to NOW put a demand on one man to SAVE THE EARTH. Why hasn't Bush been held accountable for such actions in 8 YEARS. Come on, let be real!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  239. John

    I can't think of a more pressing issue than the problems facing our environment. Over the last eight years, this administration has reversed decades of advances in environmental protection and has given a green light to companies that pollute and destroy our planet. The fear of a natural disaster is much scarier than that of terrorism or economic crises, because so many of the natural threats facing us today are those that we've known about well in advance but have chosen to ignore.

    John, Des Moines

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  240. Dan

    Thats easy. #1! Where would we be without a planet? The US needs to set an example for the rest of the world. Why isn't Al Gore the EPA Administrator?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  241. Joe Browder

    I agree with Dr. Hansen and many other scientists that CO2 emissions must be reduced significantly and quickly if the worst economic and environmental consequences of climate change are to be avoided.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  242. Michael Tronn Cooper

    Global warming must be the number 1 priority!

    If we destroy the earth we destroy ourselves, and then why would anything else matter at all? There will be no other issues left to care about, not to mention that we will be gone, and potentially every other living thing on the planet.

    I would also suggest that we look at our planet from a more objective viewpoint, one where it is a whole, as a living breathing organism that supports us, and that is not invincible but is subject to dis-ease and death as we are.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  243. Sally Geil

    Global warming is at the top of my list. If we can't begin reversing the effects of the Industrial Revolution, then nothing else will matter–not the economy, not international relations, not Osama Bin Laden. Nothing
    good can happen if we don't survive.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  244. Brian

    Global warming is and important issue. We cannot ignore the importance of the golbe and the creatures on it. I voted for Obama hoping that he will stop the destruction of the ozone and save natural habitat form slowly disintegrating and impacting our posterities lives.
    Global warming is a critical issue and we must face it now!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  245. Andrew

    its my top priority as it is of any informed individual unfortunately that doesn't describe the majority of american's

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  246. rene'

    Extremely concerned. Although I know there are skeptics(some of them because of religious beliefs) that think something bigger than us is controlling the earth's destiny, we still have to be realistic and smart about taking care of it better than we have in the past.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  247. Amit G.

    How can climate change be anything but the #1 issue? Anybody who truly believes in the science has to recognize that without action on climate change there will soon be no economy, national security, healthcare, education, or let's face it...civilization to speak of.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  248. Dana

    Global warming/environment is definetly a concern of mine. But more important to me is the lackluster do nothing attitude of most people. People need to change their attitudes about the world and take care of earth.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  249. Dm keith

    I think global warming matters so that us and our future generations could would be safe

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  250. Mellissa

    If global warming causes disruption on our planet to the point of death and destruction, then this ranks as a number one issue on my list. Fixing the economy is just as important but without a habitable planet what good is an economy? Also the costs involved in fixing abnormal weather damage later down the road will probably cost more than preventable measures. I agree that the US should spearhead this venture, not only as a global leader but maybe it will result in a better economy by creating more jobs. Just my thought.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  251. Andre

    Until we handle the problems of war and financial crisis, we can forget about global warming being a truly high priority for anyone, let alone our government. As long as the people are in economic strife, and our sons and daughters are in the Middle East, that will always be the highest priority in our minds. This is why we need a government that is competent, and will not mire us in the depths of crisis. Only then will we as a people begin to care about the long term issues such as global warming. Here's hoping that our new President can restore care and competence in Washington. Our lives and our world depend on it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  252. Edward Taylor

    Jack,

    There are so many things that concern me it is hard to choose. I think the immediate-immediate thing is to do something to restore the economy. I want the wars ended. I want the prisoners at GTMO go receive justice. I want to save the polar bears. I want globaql pollution to cease. There is so much on Barack's plate I simply must put my trust in him to order the priorities.

    Edward Taylor

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  253. Bernadette Loesch

    Jack, It ranks right up there with the terrible economy and all of the other dire ills we have had passed onto us from Bush/Cheney!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  254. Diego

    It is vital that the United states be a leader in this challenge and make it a top priority for the entire earth. This is our home we need to take care of it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  255. Givonna

    I think addressing issues related to the climate is a high priority not only for the benefit of helping the planet. But because it fits right in with the creation of new Green jobs, and also helps to decrease our dependence of foreign oil. These things can work together beautifully

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  256. Anne

    Global climate disruption is the biggest threat facing humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Jim Hansen called it right in 1988 when he said global warming was real and had arrived, and he's right now when he says we need to ramp down emissions quickly to avoid catastrophic impacts such as widespread, lingering drought, sea level rise, more frequent hurricanes and storm surges, arctic ice meilting, species extinctions, threat to our food supplies, and so on. The nation and the world need to collaborate and cooperate to begin "avoiding the unmanageable while managing the unavoidable" ecological, societal, and economic impacts
    of global climatic disruption. Bringing on Dr. John Holdren, Steven Chu, Carol Browner, and others is an excellent first start.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  257. Christine Garcia

    It ranks as one of my top concerns. If we can't save our planet,our home,nothing else that Barack Obama does will matter in the end.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  258. Kay K-O

    Climate change and Animal Welfare issues should rank right on top of Obama's list of concerns. Many of his economic and energy policies will certainly help address Climate change, but I don't hear him address concerns about the animals with whom we share the planet. They are the canaries in our coal mine! And, they deserve our full support and respect.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  259. Susan Peplinski

    Global warming has always been very important to me. It because of global warming the polar bears are dying, irregardless of what Sarah Palin has to say. Unfortuantly it wont be important to people untill "The Day After Tomorrow", did you see the movie?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  260. Christine

    It's definitly on my list! It is now a problem and i really cannot stop thinking what trouble it might cause if we don't stop it! I am really sad because some of the animals in the polar regions might be all wiped out due to no solid ice. Al the Earth would be in trouble. Not just the polar regions. We will probably be under water.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  261. Marsha J.

    Global warming is located number one on my list. We have had warnings about the climate change since the 1970's the sad truth, is that no one cares until it personally affects them, and the fact that we now have four years just made it more realistic, millions of New Yorkers like my self will be out of home and work, scared to say maybe even dead.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  262. Doris Kramer

    Keith from Cleveland sums it up.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  263. Paige - Washington state

    When it comes down to it, there's really not anything more important in the world then the entire world being in jeopardy.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  264. Fabian

    Global warming is happaning. It is quite easy: Scientists use the scientificmethod to investigate natural phenomena; observation, hypothesis, experiment and eventually theory. We, humans, have already observed severe weaher changess and odd sea levels. There are several different hypotheses, the best-known is global warming. We are performing the experiment right now by putting all this garbage in our athmosphere. The moment we are able to make a theory, we will KNOW what's happening, bu the "experiment" will be over. There will be nothing we can do. Think about it. Oh, when you leave the office in the evening, TURN THE LIGHTS OFF!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  265. Jared in Texas

    It ranks extremely high on the list of priorities, though it will be easily overlooked by most in light of the current economic, healthcare, and military problems and concerns. What we seem to forget is that we need not only look at the now, but look to the future and make sure that there is an earth left for our children and grandchildren to inhabit, or the rest will be truly inconsequential. I have faith that as a leader who can look to the future, President Obama will realize this fact and make it a priority for his administration as well.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  266. Barry Gelston

    Thank you for running this question. Global warming has been my top concern for a while. All of the other issues that we face are all dependent on Global Warming. There is an incredible amount of information available on the subject and it is clear that we are close to not being able to pull back from the abyss. My vote for Obama solidified when he discussed global warming with sincerity. He mad me nervous when he spoke of examing off-shore drilling. I hope that the NASA expert makes an impact.

    Barry Gelston
    Lexington MA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  267. Ankur

    I wanna add that it's nice to see you smiling on this site...You need to do more of it on the air!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  268. Brock

    Global Warming is at the top of the list. Investing money into alternative resources will be an investment that my grandchildren (someday) are sure to appreciate. Without everyone getting on board we may not have a planet enjoy 100 years from now. I believe President Obama will lead this country in the right direction, not just concerning global warming, but many othe areas of concern as well.

    Pordenone, Italy
    Active Duty (USAF)

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  269. Aaron Selverston

    Global climate change has been my #1 issue for years, because as hard as our economy might tank, as desperate as we are for affordable health care, and as fatigued as we are from war and the threat of terrorism, none of these issues will matter if our climate becomes uninhabitable for our species.

    These aren't end games; this isn't the rapture. This is the consensus opinion of the vast majority of the world's climatologists. I'm 28 years old: my generation has inhereted this mess. The least that older generations can do is to acknowledge that the problem exists.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  270. Carl

    Jack,

    Global Warming and climate change should be one of the most importamt topics on President Elect Obama's agenda. This is a main issue that afffects the world as a whole, and the United States has some of the best means in the world to spearhead a project that could save our beloved planet.

    Carl
    Florida

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  271. K

    Uhhhh, well, seeing as how we need the Earth to be alive in order for human beings to exist, the climate crisis ranks pretty high on my list of priorities. However, if monied interests make it their priority to prevent significant progress in reversing global warming, then I guess Mr. Obama and other world leaders will have to decide whose priorities they choose to make their priorities.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  272. Sandy Kingston

    This supercedes all other issues. People don't understand that the cold temperatures in Canada and other places is a direct result of global warming. Maybe scientists and the media should give it a different name, maybe "Global Weathering". It's the warming of the earth that's causing the severe weather changes- including the increasingly colder winters many of us are experiencing. Global warming doesn't mean it's going to get warmer everywhere. Come on, already! Pay attention to the details not just the headlines!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  273. Carlos

    Jack it is absolutely obsurd to deny the claims made by many that the worlds climate is deteriorating. I can not sum up enough cerebral energy to understand people who just deny these facts....my fellow americans and people of planet Earth our climate is failing. Science does not lie.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  274. Judy Allen

    It may already be too late!
    Yes, there are so many huge issues facing President Obama, but without a healthy planet to sustain us all, the other issues fade in importance.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  275. Arielle

    Global warming research and pollution reversal is vital. If we want to have a planet for our children and their children, we have to do something fast!

    In my opinion, President Obama should focus on the US economy first, as many of us are now unemployed and not seeing enough new jobs opening up. Once we can feed and house ourselves, we can focus on the earth and our future! Then again, if we're not around to destroy the earth, then it may not matter!

    I put Global Warming immediately after the economy: # 2. If possible, Obama's teams should work on both simultaneously. There are specialists for each situation, and most probably do not overlap. So, I say, let's do both – right now!

    Arielle Haze
    Glendale, CA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  276. J.Galanto

    Global warming and the inextricably linked issue of growing global energy demand has to be number one on the list of priorities. Ultimately, if Obama puts the kind of teeth behind combating global warming and creating new energy sources as he has been saying then we will not only help the environment but 1) Revitalize the US economy and by extension the global economy, placing us as the leaders in the industry of the future, as well as 2) lessen the importance of the middle east oil producing nations to have such a large effect on foreign policy... It's all connected and combating global warming and finding new solutions to the energy conundrum will help the environment, the economy, and foreign policy

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  277. Ruthie

    Unfortunately, people do not realize these concerns are dire. People will not learn until the ice caps melt into their own backyard. People think its a problem for others. It can never happen to them. Unfortunately, the melting and the rising sea water levels has already begun.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  278. Kyle Whitmus

    I am in Oklahoma and believe that Global Warming exist, maybe not in the dramatic ways portrayed on television, but it does exist. Why shouldn't we try to make this a better planet for the future whether it exist or not anyways? Other countries have been moving towards a better tomorrow and yet the "Most Powerful" country in the world, sits idle, doing very little. I wish it were more financially affordable to be green and its a shame that its not.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  279. John McEwan

    Climate change is the number one issue of our time. It is this issue that the Bush administration has most regrettably ignored.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  280. Debbie in Michigan

    It has and will remain #1 for me. Unlike other problems, if we don't get this right the outcome is the end of everything. I think it may be too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  281. Jack Danko

    You have to be kidding! It has not been "up" to freezing in many days and the latest weather report says we will not get up to freezing in the next week. Global Warming is not a concern to me at all. This darn COLD weather IS a concern! I heard that Al Gore went into hiding when Las Vegas hit 36 degrees two weeks ago. Treehuggers driving Japanese Priuses while I am still a laid-off American autoworker is a REAL concern.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  282. Dan

    Thats easy. #1! Where would we be without a planet? The US needs to set an example for the rest of the world. Why isn’t Al Gore the EPA Administrator?

    -Dan from New Jersey

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  283. Ann Hunt

    Global Warming is a serious concern and does need to be addressed quickly. While much damage can not be undone, that must not prevent us from doing absolutely everything that we can do. Unfortunately, I think it is true that lots of nations are waiting till we do something. So may it be so.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  284. Peter Lamothe

    I have no doubt that global warming is happening but I cannot and will not believe that it is manmade. These cycles have been happening since the beginning of the planet. There are evidences of the ice age on my own property. Luckily, the ice melted and so will the warming recede.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  285. Diane, Houston TX

    It ranks 3rd. Right after health care available to everyone and employment. Without the 1st two, I'm unlikely to still be around to give a damn as the planet turns to toast.

    Diane, Houston

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  286. susan, WA

    As a retired field biologist, I am very happy to see this issue front and center. How important is it to me? It's Issue #1. It's more important than the economy or the wars. It's the very future of life on earth. The economy and the wars if handled wrongly can make the quality of life for our grandchildren very difficult, but if we don't address climate change,, it can mean the not just a bad life, but NO life for the grandchildren, and everyone else too.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  287. Dave Hyndman

    ZERO-get over it. Bunko--same as "PEAK OIL" Dave, E.H., N.Y.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  288. J C Battaile 'battle'

    Global warming is very high on my list of concerns, Frightening, but not as frightening as the fact that many people seem oddly unconcerned about it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  289. Bruce Marshall

    Jack not to high up on my list, I do care about this rock we live on but if you have lived in Maine the last two winters it is hard to see where things are warming up. We have had heavy amounts of snow and sub 0 temps. It seems that the egg heads are split on this. The fact is China and the other nations are not going to stopping their growth.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  290. Tony

    What global warming? Should we start worry about the Milky Way warming already or it can wait?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  291. Tybeeslim

    I feel that Global warming is one of a triad of issuesd that are in the #1 spot. Our economy, 2 wars, and globalwarming. No one is going to spend money on the climate with an economy in recession, nor will they commit funds needed for supporting our troops in 2 wars, as it should be. But as these issues are addressed, our climate has to rise to the top. Our future , our childrens future, and the future of mankind hang in the balance.

    Tybeeslim

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  292. Scott

    It ranks pretty high up there for me and not just for the obvious reasons. If you think past hte immeadite needto stop damaging the environemnt there will be countless bsuiness and jobs created. Much like how the space race of the 60's and 70's launched new technologies and business the same can happen when we FINALLY choose to do something about the environment.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  293. Pete in Woodbridge, VA

    Very high on my list, Jack. Ultimately it's a matter of the survival of the human race; that's pretty important. The good thing for the U.S. is that the solutions to global warming and energy independence can go hand-in-hand.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  294. Jeff , Canada

    To help clean up global warming-get rid of the space shuttles going to the moon.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  295. Revell Dashiell

    We've been sledding today - lucky us, with light snow instead of extreme weather, FOR ONCE! It reminded me of the things I'll miss most, if global warming proceeds at this pace - Central Park sledding, Vermont maple syrup, Long Island lobster, fall foliage, spring songbirds that arrive outside my window at the same time as their food source, instead of 3 weeks late. Would be a crying shame. Turn up your thermostat - I know it's cold in that studio of yours! Replace some of those lights with CFLs and LEDs and you'll be more comfortable! Revell, NYC

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  296. Leena Prasad

    It's difficult to prioritize between fixing global warming, the world economic situation, and the mid-east conflicts because they can all lead to an earth in crisis. I think all these problems have to be resolved simultaneously. But, if we must pick one, it has to be global warming because without fixing that, everything else could become a moot point.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  297. Robert Peltier

    Global warming is to me the most important issue of our times. I am native american and I often wonder how Western society can be so blind to the delicate web of life on this earth.Native Americans love Obama and we feel that this is also OUR time, and many of us still feel that the earth is our mother and that governments across the world are quickly destroying it. unless we act now none of this will matter, because we will all be in trouble. Respect people and respect the earth. in case your wondering I am Turtle Mountian Chippewa.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  298. John the teacher from Philomath,Oregon

    Jack,

    Without a healthy environment there is no economy. President Obama: set them straight with a "global warming" address to the nation!!! Priority one: climate change solutions will cause economic growth, jobs and a livable planet for our children's children. Maybe, under an Obama administration, we will get the science behind the climate change issue: not the oil and coal executives' propaganda. Schools are being flooded with "pro-oil" and "pro-coal " miseducation materials as we speak!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  299. Len Rizzi - Chicago, Illinois

    Jack, if you see Al Gore, tell him to send some global warming to Chicago, we could sure use some..

    It does not rank on my list of concerns

    January 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  300. Dave

    The real issue is global climate change. Much of the changes will include storms, floods, and could even trigger Ice Age like changes with the disruption to ocean current patterns.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  301. Mike Bellardini

    I have no doubt that concerns of global warming are legitimate but with over 100 inches of snow and subzero temps here in upstate New York and 60 days till spring...does anyone know where global warming goes for winter vacation

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  302. Justin

    Jack, Its too late, we should have done something twenty years ago. Now we are going to have to pay for our mistakes and our leaders inaction. Somehow I told you so just doesnt cut it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  303. David Hamler

    Absolutely number one.
    Taking a front seat in solving the climate problem is the only way that America can maintain its status and stay competitive with rising nations. "Greening" society will also add millions of jobs and allow us to stop importing billions of barrels of oil from despotic regimes that hate the West and support terrrorism.

    These are basic facts that Americans need to internalize for the world to survive through this century and for America to prosper.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  304. Paul Starcher

    Global Warming and the Economy should be the number one priority for the Obama administration. Going green can help the economy in many ways such as creating jobs and creating new technologies. If we do not act now our future generations will suffer from our mistakes.

    -Paul
    Bethany College (WV)

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  305. Khalil

    Jack, we have been bombarded with the subject of Global Warming. The talks have died down with the subject of the bad economy. All along I have thought that it was media created and now that car companies have discovered that we can't afford their expensive hybrid cars, the subject has gone away.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  306. Jeff Starr

    Dr. Hanson is quite correct. The Bush Administration has created a virtual death sentence for most of the world's major cities and many of the world's species. Without dramatic action and the sacrifice of the current and future generations, the both the political landscape and the ecological landscape of our planet will be changed forever. Nothing saddens me more.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  307. Truth23

    What is alleged to be different about the current spell of global warming is that it is taken to be (1) caused by human action and (2) occurring at an unprecedented rate. The consequences of global warming remain UNCERTAIN!! right now we have bigger issues to take care of, the economy needs to be issue #1 along with healthcare, jobs, GLOBAL WARNING SHOULD BE LIKE #10 OR NOT EVEN A MAJOR CONCERN IN OBAMA'S FIRST YEAR.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  308. Ryan Berryman

    Jack, I am 'environmentally conscious' in that i use CFL's, drive a fuel efficient car etc. not because I believe in the fear mongerer's global warming hysteria, but because I want to save money and believe it helps bring us closer to reducing our energy use. Barack Obama should be concerned with our economy, the war in Iraq etc, not hampering the US economy by putting carbon regulations in effect so that we don't endanger the Ethiopian ground slug. If we simply work to do things like improve fuel economy and switch to CFL's I think that would be a better use of resources.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  309. Tom Baillieul

    Climate change as a result of human-induced global warming is the greatest crisis to face the human species in 70,000 years. If we do not start to get warming of this planet under control within the next decade, the resulting species loss, epidemic disease, crop loss, starvation, thirst, and human migration (to mention a few impacts), will devastate civilization as we know it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  310. Cameron Place

    Perhaps if you were to look at the historical records accumulated over the millenium showing the impact of the sun's cycles, and the fact that the sun is currently experiencing a lower than normal sunspot cycle and has been for several years, you might become more concerned about global cooling, which would have a much more devastating impact on human society, than global warming. Let's see now. Great big sun vs lots of little coal power stations. Hmm, are we a pretentious species.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  311. David Richards

    On my list of priorites, global warming is right behind the economy and one gives us an unprecedented opportunity to take care of the other.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  312. wenda

    As with everything else that President Obama must do, it is the most important thing that must be done,

    Sometimes I am overwhelmed with what I must be concerned within ordered to do help save the world.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  313. ann loaris

    #1!!! if we don't take care of our planet all other concerns such as the economy, education, healthcare will be null as extreme weather conditions will plague the earth as thousands will be displaced due to flooding and rising oceans, the heat will cause growing seasons to change and cause species to become extinct ect...so all other concerns should naturally come after this one-DUH!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  314. Warren Huber

    This is pretty easy: First.

    Repairing the environmental damage is the core of reviving the economy, by building new job markets and new industries.

    The involvement of the people will invigorate them, and provide a context for national fellowship, in which discrimination can be framed as silly and backwards, and finally be able to be expunged.

    So it's not really a matter of an "order" of priorities, but rather how all the important tasks ahead can be solved in a single, elegant, and integrated movement of the nation. Synergy is the key: as no problem of this scale exists in a vacuum, the solutions are also interwoven.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  315. Brandon from Maine

    Hey Jack!

    Look there is a lot of things that need to be addressed in the upcoming years but global warming needs to be among the top. I'm from Maine and ya it's been cold..but the planet overall IS warming up! We need to accept that and address it. I want anyone who denies it to take a look at the map of Greenland that shows the ice melt over the past 20 years and you'll have no doubt. Once you do that...take a look at the consequences of that Ice melt it might change your opinion.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  316. Adrian Friend

    This is a major concern not for me but for my children. Unfortunately, like many other concerns that enevitably affect all mankind (and other species), most cannot begin to understand basic science much less come to grips with the scientific knowledge, understanding, and data that makes the case for serious decisions and perhaps sometimes drastic measures. As with all environmental concerns......I like to paraphrase the late Carl Sagan which sums it up pretty good......."If we can't breathe the air and we can't drink the water, nothing else matters." With Climate change (aka Global Warming), we will find much of the human population will find themselves without the basic necessity of fresh water (often sourced by glaciel melt).

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  317. michaelann bewsee

    It's in my top three! I'm sick to death of a government that can't think beyond tomorrow's press and whether or not their corporate buddies are going to approve. I'm a grown-up and I don't need instant gratification; I need to know somebody's planning ahead. Global warming is an economic issue, too, and we'll pay the price if we don't get on top of this.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  318. Anthony Peters

    Where does global warming rank on the list of things that concern you?

    At the bottom.

    Common sense should tell you that this guy Hansen is a nut.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  319. Gregory K Young

    Jack I think that Global warming will reverse itself since that devil George Bush is leaving office, things are bound to get cooler and global warming won't be a problem anymore.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  320. Steven Perrone

    Global warming ranks fairly high on my list, around 3rd place. First, we need to fix the economy, because without the money to invest in reasearch, how can we help to stop global warming at all? Second, health care for children should be next. Why? Because stopping global warming is all about giving the next generation a better world, but how can we give them that if they are all sick or dead? Then Global warming should come up, putting as much money as possible into research and prevention of this horrible fate/

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  321. Gene Hart / Jonesport, Maine

    Jack,

    Both sides are presenting plausible arguments that the other side completely ignores, so we are ping-ponging ignorantly between competing cries of "imminent disaster" and "total fraud." What we need is a TV discussion/debate among the experts aimed at airing it all out so we can all reach a consensus as to the reality. If it turns out we don't KNOW anything, but there are legitimate concerns, let's hear that.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  322. Paul Backes

    If you were a balanced news person and organization, perhaps you would first frame the question, "Is global warming a threat". Rather, you go beyond balance and shoot for typical fear based, ratings getting Entertainment news. Let's get back to the science, and listen to the over 31,000 scientists who have pleged that there is NO man-made global warming threat.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  323. didymus

    It is ranked high for me. People do not believe that global warming is man made. We do not have time to prove them wrong.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  324. Frank Avondale Az.

    Mr Hansen better get his priorities right. If we don't do something about the global economies first... we are already "Doomed"!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  325. Maureen Roy

    Global warming is the top problem confronting the 21st century. Let's be clear, however, that the threat of global warming is a threat, not to our planet, but to our species. As the writer Michael Crichton noted in his novel Jurassic Park, the earth lives and breathes on a scale too vast for us to comprehend. So we just have time to save - not our planet - but ourselves.

    Topanga, California

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  326. Linda Drake

    Hansen is absolutely correct, in every way. Here in Colorado, we're getting blown around today by winds that we normally see in the spring. When we get snow, it's the wet, spring snow of old. The ski season gets shorter every year. Our forests are decimated by the pine beetle that thrives in the warmer temps.

    Other issues are more convenient and manageable to deal with, but climate change underlies all our other problems. It's tied to food, materialism, economics, wars, fair treatment of peoples – we MUST deal with this, from the grass roots, community level on up.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  327. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    The phrase, "The planet is in peril," is an understatement. Some species of animals and plants have already been lost due to global warming. If something is not done to change the situation soon, we could be next. For me, it is number one on the list of things to do.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  328. kathleen mcinnes

    jack
    it is number one above everything.
    our mother earth which supports us , if she isnt healthy
    we will not exist. we could go the way of the dinosaurs.
    and they were here longer than us.
    lets do it and be the leader on our globe.
    it is time to think in our own lives,
    leave no footprint behind.......

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  329. Paul Sivertsen

    Doesn't global warming trump all other problems? This is not Chicken Little saying the sky is falling. But in the words of the immortal philospher, George Carlin, "The earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas." "Nuff said? We're doomed!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  330. Fahy Bygate

    For me, the environment ranks at the top of the list. If we don't repair and preserve and protect this earth it won't matter if the economy improves or children are educated or we establish health care for all. One of Bush's last ignorant political moves was to remove wolves from the Endangered Species list as pay back for his rancher friends. It is this kind of sleazy politics that has put us on the brink of disaster where the health of our planet is concerned. I hope President Obama can join the rest of the civilized world in trying to reverse the damage done. Lily in Duxbury, MA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  331. Skye Ryder

    #1 "Good Planets Are hard To Find!"

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  332. Heather Feuerhelm

    I think the issue of global warming isn't all that big an issue. There are too many scientists who are sounding a more rational note indicating that warming and cooling is largely cyclical and we are even now entering a cooling phase.

    This does NOT mean that we shouldn't be more responsive to the challenges of living greener. Regardless of what your personal beliefs are regarding global warming, we still need to be environmentally aware and responsible for doing as little harm as possible to the earth.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  333. Gail McCormick

    Over and over we've been told we have "ten years" to do something about the climate crisis. No more. If we don't act immediately, none of the rest of our problems will matter.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  334. Eric Koepfler

    The change in climate will become the reason for wars and the major technology challenge of humankind. The U.S. has a moral obligation to lead the world in trying to make up for our polluted past, since we greatly exceed all other nations in CO2 emmisions per capita. This should be EVERYONES #1 concern if they value their chlldrens future.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  335. ben

    I haven't been convinced by the published facts about global warming. However, reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels is a very good idea. Oil/coal brought human civilization to this level of technology, and now this technology can be used to develop new renewable fuel sources. Whether we're heaing for a global warming or cooling, renewable fuels are long overdue and we can do it, it's just a matter of will and incentives.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  336. jim sharp

    missouri
    Jack, I am concerned about global warming but, I just have one question. Why do the people warning us about global warming always wait till winter when we are freezing our butts off. Wouldn't it do more good to bring it up in August when it's 100 degrees and the air conditioner won't keep up?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  337. Russ

    Where does it rate with me? If I thought there was anything could be done, it would have some merit. There is nothing anyone can do, if it is really happening. The weather we have gone thru in the midwest makes me very, very skeptical. So why don't you drop it, Jack.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  338. Louise Fontaine

    Great question, Jack. Maybe one of your best. After-all, there's only one planet earth for us, and if we don't take care of it, and fast, none of these other all-consuming issues really matter, do they? It's past time for a very serious wake-up call. Perhaps the new administration will hear it loud and clear!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  339. MAXINE WOLFSET

    Next to the economy, global warming is the most important problem that the world is facing. Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth Massachusetts refer to global warming as "global climatic disruption". This more accurately refers to what is really happening with climate change. US must lead the way now before it is too late.....

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  340. darrla

    This planet is a living being that we have used and abused. If we do not reverse our attitude, our mass ego, we will go the way of the dinosaurs. No I don't mean the dinosaur named Bush.–I rank the enviroment # 1. Where would we be without it?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  341. Jon

    Global warming isn't ranking too high up on my scale. I live in Southern Canada and every year we get arctic storms that can send the temperature down to -40 or -50 degrees celcius. How can we believe the situation is that grave when our temperatures in the winter reach such lows. Even at normal winter temperatures, the temperature can average around -15 degrees celcius in many parts of the country.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  342. mike

    Global Warming is ranked number one on my concern list. Al Gore and other prominent scientist and organizations have conducted thorough viable research on this phenomenon that is already affecting our world. I am shocked to see how people deny global warming or "climate change" as an actual occurence. The ozone layer is deterioarating and this will result in drastic change in our world. I hope that President Elect Barack Obama will take swift, effective action to slow down and eventually stop global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  343. Angela Tacoma Washington

    Though global warming does concern me, there are so many things wrong in this country and need our attention, that I ran out of space first... With medical expenses, keeping a roof over our head, food, and car payments, my only concern right now is keep my blood running warm...

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  344. harvey casebeer

    Jack,
    Global warming doesn't bother me at all because I don't believe it. Try a winter up here in Montana.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  345. Nancy Bryant

    It is absolutely #1 for my husband and me. I've been working on climate change issues for the past 10 years and can say without equivocation that Jim Hansen is correct. The next 4 years are critical. Big coal and oil must stop their incessant lies that coal is clean now, and they must join the rest of us in investing in alternative energies which will also create jobs and allow our nation to regain a leadership position in the world....to say nothing of helping our national security.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  346. John Taylor

    It ranks high among several topics that need to be delt with simultaneously. We should turn to renewable energy sources. Electricity made by solar, wind, and YES, nuclear power. We should turn to plug in hybrids for cars. Most of us could commute with mostly battery poweer. Home grown renewable power will make American jobs and put our country back to work. It will stop sending dollars to foreign fuel sources and stop funding the other side of the War on Terror. Common sense says it is time to begin to move to energy independence.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  347. pamela

    Right now it is third on my list. I will have the luxury to think about global warning when I can find another job and when I get my home out of forclosure.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  348. Robert from Oregon

    Rising sea levels is something we should all be concerned with they say when we lose a shelf we will gain 20ft in sea level that tens of millions of people displaced billions of dollars in resources lost. a 20ft raise in sea level would mean Amsterdam, London, Paris, New Orleans, Miami, New york, Seattle, Los Angles will all be gone I don't think we can afford to ignore it. and this is just naming a few of the major cites affected not to mention the amount of entire countries that would be lost we cannot afford to do nothing.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  349. Christina Tillotson

    The global climate change crisis is the most crucial issue of our time. It we think the economy is bad now, it will get much worse as the extremes of hot and cold weather we have been seeing lately become even more common. Drought, fire, floods, and extreme cold that stops all economic activity are all signs of the extreme weather caused by global climate change. The devastation of wars will pale in comparison to the devastation that will continue to get worse if we don't do something to stop global climate change. Bush has wasted 8 precious years and put the planet in even more peril. Our moral duty to our species and the planet is to reverse that NOW.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  350. alma landikusic

    Global warming is on the top of my list. I cannot believe that it wasn't for our last administration. How they did not sign the Kyoto –it is shameful! Thank God for Obama! There is no doubt in my mind that he will focus on this problem and make it on top of his list as well! ; )

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  351. Jack

    I am very concerned about climate change. This planet is my home, if we mess it up there is no place to go to survive. Our government has to lead the way, that is what we do best. We must control our urge to make profits and forget the environment, and do what is best for the future of us all.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  352. Janet Matthews

    Some years ago Canada's David Suzuki made a comment around just such a question. A group of leaders were discussing all kinds of very important matters – economy, education, health care – the usual, and his comment was something like this: (and I paraphrase:)

    I feel like we are in a car racing at 100 miles per hour towards a wall and we have no brakes. And you people are getting all wound up discussing who should sit where.

    When are we going to get it that if we don't act now to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change and the destruction man has wreaked on this planet – nothing else will matter?
    From here on in – the most important issue facing mankind on this planet – is his impact on the environment. If we don't get it – and get it fast, we will cease to be on this planet and everything else will be irrelevant.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  353. Robert

    Zero, the planet is going to do what it wants to do. Quit wasting
    our money trying to fix something thats going to run its own
    course, regardless of our efforts. Any scientist that claims to
    have figured our fate down to a four year window I have to question.
    If ya believe that, I have some carbon credits I wanna sell ya!!!!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  354. Jeannette Faber

    On the TOP. If we do not start meaningful and substantive changes, it WILL be too late... and we will be asking, 'Why didn't we do something when we could have?' If anyone reading this has not seen *An Inconvenient Truth,* please DO.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  355. Keith Clark

    The HIGHEST concern over debt and defense. Wake-up humans, if cannot the demise will continue only on a faster scale. Read the facts, listen to the scientists, and maybe look at what has changed for you. For me it I have seen the birds no longer fly south for the winter, and the honey bee is on the brink of extinction. Education is key so teach your neighbor and pass it on!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  356. Charlemae

    Mr. Cafferty I do believe that it's important to address global warmer. But it isn's on my top ten if I was the President. We have too many people suffering from lack i.e., homes, jobs, health care and our ongoing deficit because of the ware. I believe that we must first address the economy and health and welfare issues.
    Until then we should continue to "Think Green" and I'm sure under the direction of our new administration it will be addressed by that particular department assigned. I'm not a politician but I know that global warmer isn't on the top 10 list. for the next 100 days to come. GOD BLESS AMERICA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  357. Marshall from DE

    It ranks first. Climate change is not only an environmental issue, its an economic issue. We have an opportunity to use a sustainable energy plan as the "new deal" for the US economy. Green jobs can propel our economy back up over the next decade as well as adverting an impending climate crisis.

    -M

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  358. Joy

    This ranks as high for me as the economy does. I worry of the soiled world we will be leaving for the future. No one will make the changes we so desperately need without government involvement. Globel warming is like the commercial before the blockbuster movie.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  359. Ray Bilodeau

    It's too late to do anything but start planning for the great evacuations from the coastal areas and islands to inland areas and the prepare for the change from coastal cities as repositories of financial and political centers to ones more inland. It's almost going to be fun to watch, if I live another ten years or so.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  360. Marie

    very high priority. other developed nations are taking this matter seriously, and so should the US.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  361. Susan Grey, Columbia South Carolina

    It ranks first on my list. It's not Global Warming. It's Climate Change. People see record lows and say, "see, no global warming here!" There's been far too much head in the sand response about this problem which is really of catastrophic proportions. People don't want to look at it, to see it. We need to prioritize it, to address it, and to incorporate dealing with it into our economic recovery. We need new sustainable energy sources, and we need to also focus on conserving energy. Our country has too long been a nation of conspicuous consumption, and that includes of energy. We need to adopt Obama's plan to all of us agreeing to some sacrifice, in order to take care of all of us. And, in the case of climate change, to really be saving the Earth for our kids and our grandkids. If we don't deal with this issue, all the other issues will become moot points.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  362. rodrick clayton

    i think this is an enormous issue with dire consequeces for inaction or even inadequate action. i work with a lot of smart people who still think climate change is a huge hoax. even though i ride a bicycle to work, buy clean energy credits for my home electric usage and donate my hard earned money to environmental agencies it's not enough to counter what the other 90% of the population does. if we only have 4 more years to counter post industrial revolution activities of mankind then i am deeply concerned.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  363. George Dixon

    Right at the top, Jack. The great ocean pump has already faltered, owing to warming at the poles. It's widely believed that its failure preceded the end Permian extinction (the greatest the world has ever known). Fiscal issues, politics, hatreds and wars are insignificant if we, Homo sapiens, become extinct in this century. Tragically, if it happens we'll drag down virtually every other higher life forms on the planet with us. But all life will not become extinct. There are bacteria and plants in the abyssal depths of the oceans that will eventually work their way up and out onto the dry land, as happened no doubt several million years after the permian extinction event.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  364. Barbara Mohler

    By addressing global warming we will insure that the global economy (obviously the US ecomony being the engine for the train)will survive along with all of the world's people. animals, plants as we know them to be today.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  365. Ed Barrios

    Why do you only focus on the folks who are all gloom and doom? There are other studies that indicate global CO2 concentrations are constant, yet the impact on the temperatures is far different in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. There are clearly more impacts on climate change than just the CO2 levels. Plus we have been going through ice ages every 10-20 thousand years. Why are we so arrogant to think that the current sea levels have to remain the same? I think we need better scientific studies before we do crazy things. Your first question should have been – show me the data!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  366. susie lester

    since we seem to be the world leader on everything, it should be a top priority or we won't have a planet to live on

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  367. Geri

    Mr. Cafferty, if a rich man doesn't have his health, all of the money in the world is of no use to him. While I wish Mr. Steve Jobs the best for his recovery, I think his situation is a valuable case in point.

    Global warming speaks to the 'health' of the planet. It appears to me that Americans are still caught up in the 'stuff' and materialism of their existence. So while I agree that the economy is significant, if the economy is doing alright and there is no good environment in which to live, all the money in the world wont help. In fact, something tells me that if the environment goes south, so too will the economy.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  368. Jackie in Dallas

    While there are "hotter" topics and crises to face, this one must be addressed SOON.

    The ironic side effect of global warming is that it usually presages an Ice Age. Although some of the science was iffy, the movie, "Day After Tomorrow" talks about the cause and effect. Global warming melts the ice caps (already visibly showing in the Artic and Antarctic, not to mention most glaciers), and that in turn dilutes the salt water in our ocean. That slows down the major ocean currents that moderate the climates and temperatures around the world. When the current slows down, more of the land further north or south of the equator suffers severe weather which fuels storms that can eventually cover us with a vast amount of ice.

    The Ice Age, or more properly, the Mini-Ice Age that caused the extinction of the wooley mammoths took nearly 10,000 years in a cycle to change the weather. That included a LOT of volcanic activity, and possibly a couple of asteroid strikes. It has only taken 5,000 years or so for this cycle to start to reach the danger point, and the majority of that change has occurred in the last 200 years...i.e. since the start of the modern industrial age. The changes in just the last 50 have been dramatic, if you go back over the average temperatures of just this country. I don't think that there is much doubt that human activity, while not causing the change, has certainly accelerated the changes. If we want to leave our children a world where they can live comfortably, we need to start NOW. Otherwise, all that debt we leave behind won't matter, since there won't be a country.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  369. Matt

    Relentless fossil fuel consumption and the resulting change in our climate will have devastating effects for generations in the future. Selfless and immediate action is necessary from the people and its government. The U.S. is and will continue to be the world's example.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  370. Brandon San Jose, CA

    I rank global warming below the economy (Jobs) and world hunger. I know global warming can influence world hunger, but we have never seemed to find a way to feed people around the world.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  371. Hadi Abdul

    Because the media WANTS me to believe it's my highest concern, I'd say it's near the bottom... Never believe the media!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  372. Annie McKenzie

    Global warming is tops on my list of worries, far above the economy. I think the reason we are warming so much faster than predicted is due to the smoke and airborn debris from bombings, and from fuel consumption used getting our forces across the world and back. Stop wars, Obama!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  373. Steven

    Global warming is a critical issue that needs to be kept on the radar, even with the economic crisis. My fear is that with the lower oil prices that America will become complacent and not focus on getting us off foreign oil. Even if we drill everywhere in this country, we will still have to import over 85% of our oil. Let's look to hydrogen and fuel cells and leave OPEC to China and Russia. I don't think Tehran will find Beijing easy to push around.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  374. Alex in Virginia

    If it creates jobs then at the top.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  375. patrick from PA

    Global warming? Its been between 0-5 degrees where i live for a WHILE and is one of the coldest, most brutal winters on record. Elevating the temperatures in my home, and being able to afford that in this economy, has been my only concern lately.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  376. maksaba

    At the very very top. I feel that people (including law makers) don't care as much as they should even though the effects of Global Warming would have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren in almost every aspect if we don't do anything now. I wish people would stop debating whether it's real or not; It's as debatable as gravity.

    Being energy efficient and being green cou;ld help this country's economy, especially in the long term. We need to start seeing the big picture and get over our habit of instant gratification and what just works for now.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  377. Jesse McNeil, Janesville, WI

    Jack, I know the economy is vary bad right now and the wars do not help, but i would rank the Warming of the earth number 1! we do not have time to waste at all on doing everything possible to help this HUGE problem. This will be the biggest problem in the history of the planet and the most doom filled one to say the least. Just think, if we don't have a planet to live on, all of the other problems we have wont even exist, along with human life, yes there's a lot of peoples lives at danger with the war and all of our lives in the US are at risk with the economy where it is, but every species on the entire planet is at risk in the face of Global Warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  378. E Dean

    What a downer, Jack. You've sure put a damper on the festive spirit in DC!
    But you're right; it is imperative that massive action be taken to halt and reverse the melting of the icecaps and other disasterous effects of man's actions on this earth. Four years is a terrifying concept–that's one presidential term! As Obama is saying, every person has got to take on the task and radically change their habits– no way can only the President stop this downslide!
    E Dean
    Texas

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  379. Mary Kennedy

    I believe in the scientific process called global warming, and that we need to become better conservators and stewards of our Earth's resouces. But I also believe that the POLITICS of using global warming to promote fear and doubt stands in the way of making informed decisions and real progress in conservation.

    Collierville, TN

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  380. M. David Lord

    Hello, if Al Gore is so intent on the people reducing thier carbon footprint to aid what he percives as "Global Warming" why does he have a Yacht that uses 600 GALLONS OF DIESEL FUEL PER HOUR?

    It seems he does not believe what he preaches or else he is full of bull...... !

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  381. RLW3

    Counteracting the effects of global warming caused by man made emissions should be a priority within a list of the top ten things to do immediately. Unfortunately, it may be that most of the effects we are witnessing with rapid and unanticipated melting of the polar ice caps is a naturally occurring result of the earths elliptical orbit aggravated by damage caused to the environment by the use of fossil fuels and pollution .

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  382. Bob B.

    Jack, global warming is at the top of my list. Look, I am not worried about the alarmists saying that the sky is going to fall; but, I have serious concern if the nay-sayers are wrong that global warming means nothing. Other than special interest money makers, we all can benefit from a move to a lighter carbon based economy. It can be a win-win for all if they are willing to be as nimble as we might need to be if Hansen is correct.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  383. Suril

    It should rank in the top 3. Our planet is our most prescioius resouce. Avoiding the warnings will impact economies around the world in uncontrolable ways. Acting now will avoid a world wide catastrope and save million of lives and billions of dollars. This planet is the only one we have right now and taking care of it should be one of our top priorities. Lets not wait until its too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  384. Keeton Chamberlain

    Global Warming is the greatest challenge that we face today. We didn't ask for it, but were handed it. It is the fight of our generation and Mr. Hanson is right when he says if the United States continues to be the scape goat of the international community that we are indeed "doomed." President Obama and his team MUST take on the challenge of curbing our carbon emissions, and show the world that we are, finally, ready to lead in this climate crisis. We can talk about the economy, health care, Iraq, and Darfur. But without Earth liberation, we can never have human liberation. This is the ultimate human rights campaign, and I am confident that The United States will become the leaders that the rest of the world wants us to be.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  385. Carrie

    Global Warming is ranked high on my list. Humans on this earth are destroying our world...and if we don't stop global warming now, when the human race gets wiped out-the earth will fix itself. Besides, think of the poor innocent polar bears and pandas who are dying-Save the Polar Bears! Save the Pandas! Save the World! and stop global warming! It's our duty, as the superior human race, to fix what we have started.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  386. Marilyn L.

    With all the priorities PEO has before him, this is the biggy. Education, finances and poverty are something actualy that can wait for a year or two. We should take the lead in this matter first and foremost. Now won't the republicans LOVE that.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  387. Cathy Becker

    Global warming isn't really a good name for it; climate change is better because it's a general disruption in weather patterns, driving them to the extremes. And it has to rank at the top because it affects the survival of most of the planet's species, if not during my lifetime, then during my children's lifetimes. Of course the economy is important, but fortunately if we address climate change, we can also address the economy as well by creating a Green New Deal. I hope this is at the top of Obama's list.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  388. Jim

    Right after Bush's post-pardom impeachment..

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  389. Molita inTX

    Well Jack, we are all in survival mode and so is planet earth. My priority list includes making it to the next pay check as healthy as possible with as little problems as possible & hope to enjoy some of this life in the mean time – new shoes would be good too.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  390. John Vener

    #1 Jack. Without any air to breath the money I stuffed under my mattress won't be of much use. I think it is truly time to fulfill the obligation of a generation. Surely it is time to fulfill the promise of a nation.

    BigJohn
    South Jersey

    ps you look a young guy I used to see on channel 4 in north jersey. He your son?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  391. Zac

    Climate change is at the top of my list of concerns, and I think that's where it belongs. It is a proven fact that the urban sprawl, carbon dioxide, and man's encroachment on natural ecosystems have a drastic effect on the climate. If we put business and lifestyle concerns ahead of maintaining our planet's delicate balance, WE will be the killers of this marvelous Golden Goose. The United States is the only country with the resources, creativity, and leadership position to change what could be a dire future for our beloved children.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  392. Scott Stubbs

    Global warming is not even on my top 10 concerns. There is no harm doing things that are environmental healthy, but the last thing we should be doing in this current economical situation is to cow tail to green organizations who are really only out to promote themselves politically and monetarily.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  393. Penny McKenzie

    We will be doomed by the sins the democrats will bring upon our nation, before the global warming will have a chance to get us.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  394. Gerry Spies

    How ridiculous. When has the earth's climate ever been static.
    Maybe dropping bombs into volcanos will cause a new mini-ice age like we're coming out of. Why worry? The earth has been changing for the last 4.5+ billion years and he thinks we can prevent this? Maybe he should go back and take Geology 101!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  395. Maddy King

    Fortunately or unfortunately, the human condition is content to allow known horrors in our world to continue to progress so long as they do not confront them. Such as with global warming, I find it difficult to continually concern my efforts against its progression without knowledge that anything I do will help, for I haven't experienced the problem. Thank goodness we can elect brilliant officials akin to Obama who are wise enough to act upon it anyway.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  396. Jeff from Boston

    Jack, today? It doesn't even make the scale. The only global warming we feel the in our hearts. We are experiencing an unprecedented time time in history with the election of an African American (or do I dare say, bi-racial) President a day after MLK day. Which-ever, we are all so proud. President Obama will deal with the serious issue global warming in due time.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  397. Helene G. Martin

    I believe that it is urgent that we address this issue immediately for the good of all mankind or we shall all perish.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  398. Mark

    High, but unfortunately not as high as it should be. The economy is on top, with global waming as a close second. Until we get the economy under control, we can't worry about global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  399. Keeton Chamberlain Chicago IL

    Global Warming is the greatest challenge that we face today. We didn’t ask for it, but were handed it. It is the fight of our generation and Mr. Hanson is right when he says if the United States continues to be the scape goat of the international community that we are indeed “doomed.” President Obama and his team MUST take on the challenge of curbing our carbon emissions, and show the world that we are, finally, ready to lead in this climate crisis. We can talk about the economy, health care, Iraq, and Darfur. But without Earth liberation, we can never have human liberation. This is the ultimate human rights campaign, and I am confident that The United States will become the leaders that the rest of the world wants us to be.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  400. eric from delaware

    jack, yes its an important issue but i would ask the folks in the mid west if they think global warning is as big an issue as the heat bill! it is a known fact that this planet goes thru a frost and defrost cycle this happens to be the defrost cycle, and if u look at history lets hope the frost cycle doesnt happen anytime soon.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  401. Diggs-White

    Hey Jack,

    As a national of Jamaica in Americas backyard, i feel that the president-elect Obama should re-examine the Kyoto Protocol – an international environmental treaty to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions, a agreement that President Bush refused to sign. If we are to reduce the number of hurricanes that occur each year thats where we need to start as neighbors

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  402. Jaime Buzzeo

    George Bush, has continued to oppose mandatory caps on greenhouse emissions for years. We can NOT get away from global warming, but we CAN slow it down. Global warming is unavoidable, but careless people have sped up the process much quicker than the Earth was supposed to naturally. Also, if the U.S. takes a step forward for change, China will follow and so will many other countries.

    Lastly, a disappointing fact is this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/01/politics/01energy.html

    President Obama is right: If everyone just did their job, kept their promises, and worked hard like they should, we would be in a much better state.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  403. Kabdesh

    Jack,
    This is obviously within the rank of 5 in priority list. Without livable world nothing matter. Though all of us don't see the impact of global as supposed to but there is no doubt on it. USA is the leading country of carbon dioxide emission, so it has to take the leadership role to counter the global warming before its too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  404. khalil kodsi

    Global warming ranks as number one on my list. We are currently waiting for a good electric vehicle to buy within a two to three year period. I look forward to explore the opportunity to work for an alternative energy factory in the United States in the coming few years. I wish our new president success in supporting green energy.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  405. Kevin Aubie in New Brunswick Canada

    This ranks as my number one concern. The nefarious smokescreen and erroneous science propagated by the fossil fuel industry has brought us to the brink of disaster. If massive action is not taken soon and the permafrost starts to melt, it will be too late to save ourselves. Based on recent economic developments it should not be too long a stretch of the imagination to presume that the greed and narrow mindedness of another short sighted industry could create a catastrophe which will make the current economic crisis look like a picnic.
    We must not let the greed of the few destroy the future for the masses.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  406. Harry Gregory

    Right at the top for the long term survival of life on earth as we know it. Though the long term survival of humans on the planet is probably doomed in our present abusive form, life on earth will continue and will recover in a few million years, just as it has from past extinction events.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  407. Alicia

    Near the top. Global warming is very important and real. I am only 25 and I am scared to see the what the world will be like in 30 years. It may be unrecognizable.
    1- Economy 2- War 3- Education 4- Global warming

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  408. Elaine

    Jack, this scares the heck out of me! It seems that the world has suddenly started doing all of the crazy things we have dreaded for so long, but maybe weren't totally convinced we needed to worry about.

    I've started stocking groceries and supplies. I also am trying to figure out how to explain all this to my children. Scary stuff indeed.

    Elaine in Alabama

    January 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  409. Adam

    Toronto

    Our glaciers are receding rapidly and the first commercial freighters navigated through the arctic ocean this year. Scientists have been measuring the declining ice caps for some time. It's a fact. It needs action, Jack, not more study.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  410. Amy Cubbage

    Investments in solutions to environmental problems are investments in America's long term economic future. A green economy, that's where we're headed. It is possible to solve economic and environmental problems at the same time.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  411. Sophie Turgeon from New Brunswick

    It is not only President Obama's responsibility but all other Nations' leaders as well (I hope Stephen Harper is reading this one!). We have the highest tides in the Bay of Fundy, the way things are going, I wonder when the tide will get to my back door! Here is what our leaders could do: Stop the war in Irak over the next 60 days (it's bad for the environment anyways) and create new jobs to help the car industry create environmentally firendly cars and other jobs to use win and tide energy. This will help the economy, the environment and bring peace to the world, except for afganistan. That war cannot stop until the women are free and Bin Laden is captured or killed.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  412. John AL

    Global Warming should be a major american and worldwide Issue, Most people now and then never looked at it or even thought that are world is in endangered expecially with pollution. Without pure air, food and soil,water, and etc. we can't survive, and its happening if we don't make an fast approach on this matter. America and the world need to be smarter in everything we do,Our main problem is pollution if we can come up with something that doesn't cause pollution we will have a better chance of saving our world then destroying it. Both the Arabic and Hebrew Bible says that the end is coming. As Americans and the rest of the world, we need to look more into this issue before its too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  413. Vickie York

    Hi Jack. For those of us who have friends and loved ones out of work and facing extreme financial pressures do not consider global warming one of President-Elect Obama's top priorities.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  414. Jon Ruffatto

    In relation to global warming....GET BUSY, it is happening.
    p.s. please Mr. President make sure I don't have to shovel so much snow let alone fight glaciers..etc.
    Regards,
    Jon R.
    Sandpoint, ID

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  415. Tracy Kostenbader

    About the same as food, water and shelter. I'm wondering what it will take to make some big changes in this country? Do we have to lose hundreds of lives, thousands? Before he died, Carl Sagan thought it was already too late. I hope he was wrong.
    Tracy in smoldering Southern California

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  416. Arlean Guerrero

    Global warming ranks at the bottom of our list of problems. There are plenty of scientists who disagree with the CO2 hypothesis for global warming. At this point we should be more concerned with earth's history of cooling to the point of another ice age - we are due.

    On the other hand, anything we can do to stop importing oil gets my vote. Sooo, if we do the right things for the wrong reason, I'll still celebrate.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  417. Laura Colaninno

    Gobal Warming is more then it appsears to be. Do I want clear air? Yes! Do I want the ocean levels to stay where they are now? Yes! Do I want green energy? Yes! Do I want better fuel milage? Yes!
    It all makes for a better tomorrow.
    Laura

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  418. Jerry Bronson

    I live in the timber country in southwest Oregon (Douglas County). It concerns me that I still see slash piles burning, emissions from mills go unchecked. It appears that our politicans continue to do business as usual, instead of making nesessary changes. What can I do to put some fire under our politicans ? You continue to hear the standard lies about change, but nothing happens. We're tired of the self serving politicans that can't see futher than there next handout from the timber company. HELP

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  419. Phil Hitchcock

    Jim Hansen is an ideological crackpot. This country is in enough trouble already without the global warming nuts pushing us over the edge.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  420. Gene Diaz

    From Cambridge, MA
    Global climate change is the first on my list of priorities for any leader in the world today. Without a healthy planet no other programs or initiatives can be fully successful, not health care, not education, not financial security, not national security for the US or any other nation or people. As Thoreau said, "What's the use of a house if you haven't go a tolerable planet to put it on?"

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  421. John Swindells

    Jack,
    How could there be a higher priority than preventing the planet from becoming uninhabitable for humans? Won't have much of an economy then, will we? The microbes won't miss us though; they'll get along just fine.
    John Swindells
    Bardstown, KY

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  422. Maksaba Arlington, Virginia

    At the very very top. I feel that people (including law makers) don’t care as much as they should even though the effects of Global Warming would have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren in almost every aspect if we don’t do anything now. I wish people would stop debating whether it’s real or not; It’s as debatable as gravity.

    Being energy efficient and being green cou;ld help this country’s economy, especially in the long term. We need to start seeing the big picture and get over our habit of instant gratification and what just works for now.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  423. Rachel, Texas

    Jack,
    As a high school student in today's world, I and most of my classmates, are well aware of the issues that lie ahead for our generation. If Global Warming were taken more serious right now, the effects would help in solving many of the current problems our nation is facing today; the economy, foreign relations, etc.
    My generation calls on the President-Elect to ensure that long term sustainability can be secured so that the America tomorrow has a longer and brighter future.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  424. Steven Foster

    Global Warming could not rank any lower, the economy and the war on terror are the pressing issues of the day.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  425. Dave - Montreal

    We'd be better to create colonies in space. May as well invest there. Human population growth is exponential. There will be a catastrophe of epic proportions (disease, lack of food, water etc...) within this century. Human life is simply not sustainable at our growth rate. So although I try to do my part as an individual, I'm not losing sleep over it, because we're simply delaying the inevitable.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  426. Denise A. Wigginss; from Ill.

    Hi,

    Global warming; lets see; both my husband and I are sitting here unemployed at the tender age of over 60, no insurance, car is not working. GLOBAL WARMING is 5th on our list.

    tHANKS,

    Denise and GARY

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  427. Austen from Iowa City

    Global warming is issue #1 in my eyes because if we don't do something about it now, there won't be an economy or national security to worry about. It will be Planet Security! We are overpopulated and with developing nations like China and India using and producing energy and record levels, I believe that doom is the correct word for our planet's fate. I just hope the USA can restore its influence worldwide to educate other countries how important global warming is.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  428. Jessi

    Global Warming is very important to me because we have to live on this planet. If we don't take care of it, we have to wonder what we are leaving for our kids. We also have to wonder how long we can survive if we continue destroying our Earth.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  429. Pat Burgette

    Global climate change is the biggest issue facing mankind. The science is clear. Seeing the changes in the Teton high country confirms it for me. The changes in just my lifetime are significant and disturbing. I'm conservative enough to believe that we can't gamble that the scientists are wrong. Humans are an endangered species if they don't use their brains on this issue.

    Dan Burgette
    Tetonia, ID

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  430. E. Daniel Ayres

    I'm probably more pessimistic than Hansen. I do not believe we can escape serious global warming consequences. Probably the single most important policy step which could be taken is the one the Chineese have already adopted and then somewhat relaxed. For the next few generations it is essential that we as a world population inpose on ourselves a "one child per family rule." My wife and I have done our part. After reading Harrison Brown's book, The Challenge of Man's Future back in the 1960's I decided not to have children so I would not have to see them suffer some of the trials which are coming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  431. lynn denman

    Jack, love your show, even though I don't always agree! Global warming ranks in my top three of concerns, third only to wars and the economy. World hunger is right up there too. The last eight years have set us back fifty. At least now there is hope! It can't be said too much, finally "THE END OF AN ERROR". Lynn-St. Pete, FL, Formally Michigan or as we like to call it Hell on earth!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  432. Molly

    Here in Los Angeles, which a decade ago only had about three days a year above 90 degrees, temperatures in the 90s and 100s are now commonplace. I'm at an age where hot flashes are common. I don't need any more heat! So, I'd put it at # 2, Jack... right behind the economy.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  433. Tom

    Very high Jack,

    But not because of global warming itself, but because of individuals like MR. Hansen who are trying to panic the nation into expensive solutions to a problem that may not exist...Has anyone noticed IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!

    This country can't afford to throw trillions at another unnecessary bailout, the bailout of a climate that seems to be cooling all on it's own!

    Tom
    Bethlehem PA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  434. Jake in Santa Barbara, Ca

    Untill the new administration even acknowledges that there is such a thing as global warming we should watch our emissions more closely. Saving fuel, electricity, and maybe driving a hybrid are the only things we can really do now. Let's see what Obama will do.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  435. Julia, Cape Cod, MA 6th grader

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,
    On my list of concerns global warming ranks very high up. The way I think of it is that if global warming worsens in years to come many of my other concerns may happen. If President-Elect Barak Obama can find a solution many other situations may be solved such as alternative fuel. Finding alternative fuels will help stop global warming and will help when the supply of oil runs out. For these and many other reasons are why global warming is very high up on my list of concerns.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  436. Dan

    I feel mixed up in this global issue, one side says this is a cyclical process that the world has gone thru thousand of years before.
    The other side of the coin says we are creating global warming by consuming black gold.
    No one will be able to even slow down the world glut on oil without causing countries to go to war.
    I rank it high on my concern but billions of humans on this planet are addicted to this oil.

    Dan

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  437. Art Plewka

    Since addressing Global Warming equals rebuilding the manufacturing sector that will restore our middle class, I'd say I rank it "Job 1". If we drop the ball on this and China beats us to it, we'll have one heck of a lot of explaining to do to our grandkids.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  438. sabrina

    I m not that worried about global warming. First of all , if the Earth had not warmed enough to melt all the ice it was once surrounded in, we would not exist today.
    We have not kept records on the earth and daily temp until about 150yrs ago. Compare that to the age of earths billions of years, I think it is nuts that humans use the scare tactics they are about global warming and the "end" when we have no control over what the earth or what is "normal" . We are just a cog in the universe to suggest otherwise is beyond our control and will not be a result of our power or control, after all we are one planet in the universe.
    Who actuallly knows what normal or course we are supposed to be on. If you believe in god, or science, then you know to suggest that we control the inner earth and universe is nothing more then a gimmic to justify money being spent and control or fear to persuade thinking.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  439. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This issue must become the purpose of our age., if not, the age of our children and grandchildren will be catastrophic.

    The concerns over the economy, world peace, and all of today's issues are esoteric values as they will mean nothing if we can no longer reside on this planet.

    The only reason we have not begun to change this decay is financial,the technology is here, we must open our minds and our hearts to begin to repair the damage we have caused.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  440. Keeton Chamberlain Chicago IL

    Global Warming is the greatest challenge that we face today. We didn’t ask for it, but were handed it. It is the fight of our generation and Mr. Hanson is right when he says if the United States continues to be the scape goat of the international community that we are indeed “doomed.” President Obama and his team MUST take on the challenge of climate change, and show the world that we are, finally, ready to lead in this climate crisis. We can talk about the economy, health care, Iraq, and Darfur. But without Earth liberation, we can never have human liberation. This is the ultimate human rights campaign, and I am confident that The United States will become the leaders that the rest of the world wants us to be. Global warming is #1 in my book, and so should it be in Obama's.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  441. Dan in Massachusetts

    The science of global warming is indisputable, and I believe immediate aggressive action is needed. We should institute fuel rations for every family, re-enter Kyoto and begin leading, if it's not too late.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  442. Anneke Campbell

    Call it climate change, so the people who are confused about this cold winter, don't get caught up in their denial. And climate change should be the main priority, because without a healthy environment, we won't have an economy. Fortunately, Obama can address many issues by beginning to deal with this one: jobs and poverty and peak oil and war for resources can all be addressed by changing how we deal with energy. It's all interconnected.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  443. charles anderson

    Global warming concerns me? Of course it does.....longer growing season, using less energy for heating.....but wait......that would be just awful.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  444. Brent

    The damage has been done. Everyday we learn of something new happening to our Planet. In 4 years it'll be 2012 and any web search will show you something huge is going to happen around that time. The Mayan's ended their calendar on 2012 along with a slew of information our scientists are just learning in the last dozen years. I thought it was a bunch of crap until NASA started confirming a bunch of new finding. From the Solar Winds slowing down to a gaping hole in our magnetic field...

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  445. Linda Aubert

    Although global warming is a concern where scientists, environmentalists and American people are able to make improvements, I believe we need to accept the scientific documentation that proves the evolution of the planet. Where there was once an Ice Age, it is no longer. Where there were dinosaurs on earth, they exist no more. No one, no matter how hard they try will be able to change the natural evolution of the planet. The One who made Earth is responsible for its evolution. Attempting to make changes where changes cannot be made is futile and a waste of money. We may as well condone rain makers.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  446. Alex Adams

    Global warming is without a doubt the most critical issue facing not only Americans, but all people worldwide. We have been a "ship of fools" for the last eight years- careening towards a dismal end. We now finally have a leader with the integrity and brains to help us chart a course towards solving this problem. He must make this one of his first tasks on the job, and with the support of the American people can begin to correct the damage to which we have long been party.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  447. Larry Thacker

    Jack I would rank Mountain Top Removal mining that is destroying the Appalachian mountains of the Eastern Coal fields as my number one concern with Global warming a distant 10.

    Please excuse any typo's the blasting is shaking my PC again and the drywall falling from the ceiling makes it hard to concentrate.

    Appalachia needs saving now, I am watching mountains, valleys and fresh water streams disappear in real time now. I don't need an environmental study to tell me my mountains are disappearing.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  448. Abby

    Jack, to me it's not even about global warming, it's about the environment as a whole. Global Warming is just part of the problems we have with water pollution, air pollution, landfills, deforestation, the list goes on. Our present economy is obviously unsustainable because it just collapsed. We need to rethink our values and go from endless consumption to sustainable practices. I don't know what the future economy will look like, but it sure as heck won't involve as much of the endless mini-malls and consumption of cheap, disposable goods that we see today. Let's come up with a solution before it's too late. Oh, and the new economy will have to focus on green energy, electronics, and consumer products and production methods; otherwise we will see the cycle of crazy weather and crazy economic news worsen.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  449. Del W

    I think that the new president should cancel the space program to help stop global warming. How much damage do you think the shuttles cause to the ozone layer everytime they launch? I am sure they must cause significant damage with all those millions of gallons of fuel used in just one launch. The money wasted on the space program could go to much more productive projects right here on Earth

    Del
    from Canada

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  450. Helen P. Bird, Ph.D., Chattanooga, TN

    If global warming is not made the top priority nothing else will matter. The evidence at the poles is already convincing. Time is of the essence. Helen Bird, Chattanooga, TN

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  451. Beth-Indiana

    It is pretty important, but I have to admitt the economy and ending the wars are leading my thoughts.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  452. 2le'y

    Well if we do nothing for the planet all of the accomplishments of the USA would mean nothing. Point blank if there are survivors life would very so different.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  453. bill wheless

    It's a great question. Does anybody really doubt we have a problem? Of course, the U.S. should take the lead in attempting to solve this problem. In addition to addressing the issue, it will serve notice to other nations that we mean to reaffirm out leadership in issues that affect all countries.

    Bill

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  454. Stephen

    Hi Jack,
    Are you asking me where do global warming fit on my list, nowhere,
    NASA scientist think they can predict the future of the universal and perhaps the world will come to an end. I do not think this administration should worried about global right now, I do think they should keep their eyes on fixing the economic and creating more jobs.
    I have been unemployed for the last couple of months and what I need right now is work, so global warming in the last thing on my list of concerns. So NASA you and your scientist are no God to bring this universal to a sudden end in four years.

    Stephen
    Jacksonville, Fl

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  455. Roger in Missouri

    At my age, I'm more concerned with the current climate conditions in Hades.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  456. Betsy from St. Augustine

    We can live with the earth or die with it. Our choice.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  457. David Benedict

    Jack:
    I went to Alaska from Washington State in 1969 because there was no snow in Tacoma. I've seen the bee's die off and birds not coming to our back yard anymore if we don't do it now we die.... PERIOD

    January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  458. Michael, TX

    VERY LAST on my list. It's just a bunch of balogna like the avian flu. In some places, it was the coldest year on record. If you went back a couple years, people might have ranked avian flu on the top of their list. Now, the hype is global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  459. Marc Boyd in San Jose

    Jack,
    Global warming is the elephant in the Situation Room.
    On the day before the Inauguration, it is a fitting tribute to mention the man who has almost single-handedly fought the war on science. Jim Hansen is without a doubt the one scientist we should be paying close attention to. Oil companies and their minnions have ruled the airwaves long enough.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  460. Elaine

    Jack, I place this at the very top. It scares the heck out of me! Tthe world has suddenly started doing all of the crazy things we have dreaded for so long, but maybe weren’t totally convinced we needed to worry about. If we have no planet hospitable to survival of the human species, what the point of placing anything else as a higher priority?

    I’ve started stocking groceries and supplies. I also am trying to figure out how to explain all this to my children. Scary stuff indeed.

    Elaine in Alabama

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  461. Jan in Kelowna, BC, Canada

    Jack – Climate change ranks right at the top. There is never a continuous change in any one direction, and current colder winters in parts of North America are due to changes in Pacific Ocean current patterns (El Nino and La Nina). CO2 and other greenhouse gases are increasing more rapidly than ever and will over time over-ride any fluctuations due to regional ocean patterns, resulting not just in increasing average temperatures but also in more frequent severe temperature and dought events.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  462. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – I have a PhD in ecology and an undergraduate degree in business. I first learned about "global warming" in a climatology class in 1971. The past eight years have been wasted, arguing about what is a proven scientific fact – the earth is warming on the average, and carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal and oil are the culprit. Dr. Hansen is in fact the world's foremost authority on this subject, but the Bush Administration muzzled him, as a sop to the fossil fuel energy industry. We must stop investing in fossil fuel combustion for power NOW, especially since economically and technically viable alternatives exist and can be just built, no R&D required, using existing plans and designs. If we do not start dealing with this problem during this new Administration, civilization as we know it is doomed. No joke. No exaggeration. How important is that?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  463. John

    This 'warning' is coming from the same man that calculated September's average temperature then issued a warning saying it was one of the warmest OCTOBERs on record. Hansen has been less than 100% accurate with his findings in the past. The climate has been always changing and will continue to change whether we switch to mercury-laced light bulbs and windmills or we don't.

    What sacres me is reading some of these posts from people willing to give up their freedom and live their lives according to what the government tells them to do.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  464. brandon

    for years this should have been our number one concern, but thanks to good ol george bush and his oil buddies we've been burning fossil fuels and ignoring all the warning signs...to move to a green society should be our number 1 because it will create jobs, help us live healthy, and focus our attention on what really matters; humanity moving to its next level where big oil and big business doesn't run the world and each person is responsible for making the best of their life-meaning we must cease living as this disposable consumer society and plan a real future for our children...

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  465. Linda Logan

    Global warming ranks number one with me, because if something is not done and soon, the economic problems, the wars and other problems will be of no consequence if there is no earth to support us all.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  466. Linda Blum

    Climate change is very important where I live, surrounded by national forests in northern California. Warmer, drier climate is already translating into more destructive wildfires and forest die-offs, and less water in lakes and streams. Making adjustments in the natural ecosystems could help mitigate, but changes are coming regardless.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  467. Mike Reilly

    Jack,
    For me it's not a huge concern, but for my kids and all future generations, it ranks as an urgent concern. We have already lost 8 years to correct it. I have heard that cow manure is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, so by getting rid of bush and his ilk, we have made a giant leap to curtailing the B.S. that is produced in the United States.
    Mike
    Fairview, OR

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  468. Chuck White

    Jack -

    GHGs and Global Warming Rank among the top 4 issues facing President Obama and are part of a trio of top priority issues: 1) Global Warming, 2) Less foreign oil, 3) energy efficiency, 4) creat jobs. Not only will GHG action reduce the threat of global warming, but will reduce our dependence on foreign oil - which itself has to be also among the highest of priorities. Instead of sending huge chunks of US dollars to foreign regimes that do not like us, let's invest in greater efficiency, conserving resources and creating jobs here - not elsewhere - and save $$ in the process. Do you realize that only about 1% of the energy value of fuel put in the average auto's gas tank is actual used to move people and possesions about (Scientific American - Sept, 2006)? Just think of the opportunities this presents for all four of these top rank issues.

    Chuck White
    Davis, CA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  469. Claudia Rinehart

    How can anything in this world possibly rank higher than saving our one true host...this planet Earth. There is absolutely no need for saving the economy, fighting terrorism, beneficial healthcare for all or any of the myriad of other concerns this world faces if we do not first save our only home! The earth did not evolve from us, but we from it. If we do not keep it viable in sustaining us, we will perish quicker than the economy did in 2008!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  470. Achidi

    Oh, so now it's global warming that's going to kill us in 2012. I thought it was the fact that we're moivng towards a black hole, or mabye because by then machines will revolt, or perhaps cause a dead civilization's calander ends that year. I never believed in global warming in the first place, and I certainly don't believe we are all going to die because the the shoreline of some countries is going to be a lot closer than normal. Granted, the idea of losing our shore cities is scary, but I fail to see how that will kill us all, or how the earth heating up immedietly our fault (granted, we've done some stupid things, killing off dodos, racial wars, etc.), even forgeting the fact Obama as president can only do so much and that there is no gurantee that other nations will follow our example, being that we're still not that popular over seas right now. I truely don't believe in Global Warming, and even if it's true, it is doubtful that Obama could do much in the long run. Four years is cutting it close just a tad bit.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  471. Shannan Lerch

    Climate change is my number one concern. I am an Environmental Science and Environmental Sustainability major and have learned in-depth about the problems associated with the issue. These include items from possible re-emergence of deadly diseases to catastrophic weather pattern changes resulting in occurrences like Katrina. I think the public needs to realize that a multidisciplinary approach to curbing climate change would affect many other troubled areas such as the economy and international relations.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  472. Agi Clark

    Number 1. priority!! It should be a no-brainer for every thinking person. I hope President Obama will take a dynamic lead on this issue and shame the world leaders into a meaningful and immediate response. Anyone who has a sense of history (meaning looking ahead, future history) anyone with children, grandchildren has to feel the frightening urgency of this man-made disaster to hopefully not happen.

    West Taghkanic, NY

    January 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  473. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    It ranks number 2 below the war on terror(the anti-Christ). We have the capability to run our cars on electricity, hydrogen and natural gas but we would rather not take the oil companies out of the economy for the fear of ruining the economy which as far as I can see is in much ruin today.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  474. Meeka

    The Global Warming issue and all environmental concerns ranks at the top of my list of personal concerns, if not the most important one. Yes, we would all like for the economy to turn around, for more jobs to be created, for people not to lose their homes, for all to be able to build a financial future for their children. But for what, if we do not have a planet to live on...a world in which to dwell decades upon decades from now that is even stronger and better than it was before all of OUR selfish mistakes. The best future we can provide for our kids is to this thing around!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  475. Fred May Sr.

    Jack
    Since life on earth as we know it only goes back to maybe 5000 BC how are we to know what the heat-cold cycle is. The study of the cores of Earth are only supposition, they could be off by millioms of years. The melting of the ice caps and flows only shows that the earth is warming. This could have happened several times before records were kept. Its something to think about but not to be feared. We already know the world is millions of years old but we do not know how many times it has expeirenced climate change. While Scientists have their ideas science is an imperfect field.
    Fred

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  476. Robert from California

    This issue is number one on my concerns list. I'm 47 years old and have a 1 year old son. I've witnessed the destruction of three major eco-systems during my life due to urban-sprawl. I have absolutely witnessed a major change in the climate and the tree line up on the mountains around me keeps rising. What's going to be left for my son?
    I'm doing all I can to help, but until it is the law to reduce carbon output we really are doomed.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  477. Kenane in Sacramento,CA

    On my list, it ranks about the second thing that must be done to save this planet in parel.As a 12 year old girl i've already heard enough about what would happen if we dont act imedietly. And the U.S must step up to the problem because no other country on earth will really try to solve Global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  478. Herbert Dorsey

    I think he already started just by going after oil company or just letting us know abut just going green. It just the begenning of his goal in changing are climate. HERB. Tacoma, WA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  479. sabrina

    Ps, if we are so concerned, then why are people going into space,committing wars and putting nuclear into the grounds, not to mention messing with the natural flow of ocean and bottom with place like the elite "palms" or Dubai type of islands. I live in Michigan, we pay extra to recycle to make more room for the tons of daily trash from Canada for $4.00 a ton! What a joke, it is nothing more then illussion to "do something" to" save mother earth"

    January 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  480. 108 octaine racing fuel AL

    This is just another BS cause that makes the hollywood types feel like thier actually doing somthing besides poluting the morals of our children.Why dont we focus on NOT doing one thing that George Bush did wrong-Being WAY too loose with the purse–Doesnt look like thats going to happen though.This country is heading for BIG trouble.
    And no-i didnt vote for McKaine-I didnt vote at all.
    Im banking that you gies wont put this on
    Race fuel AL Longo-–Newark NY

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  481. John P.

    The new Cold War. The Russians are sitting on oil so they say Ice Age. Al Gore is sitting on Green Investments so it is a Global Warming crisis. Americans only act on a crisis. And Europeans rarely act at all. Its about money Jack, as it always is. As cold at this winter has been, the polar ice cap is back to the 1979 level and the Russians play games with Europe and heating oil. Obama only has four years to act, becasue in four years we'll all be freezing our you know whats off and the "GREEN" (as in money) opporyunity will be gone.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  482. Abby Foster

    Mr. Cafferty,
    I am thirteen years old and i have always thought that Global Warming as the one issue that our Senators and Representatives would come together to solve. I'm sure that they understand the effect on the world if we don't do something but I still don't see any major action or plan being used to fix this issue yet. All we have to do to start working together and using innovative ideas though by this point I'm astonished to discover that people still don't think Global Warming as an important issue.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  483. Paulette in Virginia

    Right at the top of my list. After all, if you find yourself trying to survive on a planet that is rapidly becoming uninhabitable, whether or not you have a job or healthcare becomes pretty much a moot point. Since this oncoming catastrophe is our fault, I suppose we deserve what we get. Just a pity that so many other species are going to go down with us.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  484. Barb

    High importance to me...and to the world! One thing that needs to be done is to educate people about global warming...so many people just take the word "warming" too literally. It is the fact that the climate is so unpredictable, for example, storms much more extreme, snow in areas that normally wouldn't have it (Washington State's snow storms). There are so many good reasons to deal with the issue : economics, fewer poisons in our water, security of the nation, better health for all, better and more local food, and heck just the beauty of our country and world. So even if you disagree that there is such a thing as global warming, practically speaking it makes sense to make the changes just to address the issues I noted.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  485. Marie

    I hope the person who earlier said "We’re worried about Global Freezing,not Global Warming!" was joking. Increasingly colder winters are actually a direct consequence of global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  486. Keith Chester

    Global warming has been problematic for some time now and unfortunately, addressing it seems to have been placed on the 'back-burner.' This obviously would not be the case if our economy wasn't in such shambles. Saddly, it appears that sci-fi flicks from the 1950's (such as 'When Worlds Collide') are beginning to manifest in reality today.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  487. john bruce

    I don't know if you noticed but we have had record cold temperatures lately and I say its mostly a bunch of malarky.

    john from cold bay ak

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  488. James Bowe

    Stopping global warming, sadly, is even more important than peace; Maybe more important than Liberty itself. Jeez! What did I just say, wow. Too often, the truth is somthing we don't want to believe.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  489. shahla Esfandiary

    La Jolla, California

    I am certain that president Obama will heed to the many warnings that scientists have given during the last decade and which have gone unanswered by the present administration. He will do more than pay lip service!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  490. Jennifer in Moorestown, NJ

    Climate change should be the top priority for Obama. Nothing else will matter if we continue to ignore it. Unfortunately, I have little hope that it will get the attention it warrants. The media has shown it's lack of scientific understanding by trying to present both sides of the global warming "controversy". There is no controversy. The evidence is clear. Somehow the message is not getting out. I just cannot believe that we still have people citing a cold winter as "proof" that scientists are wrong.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  491. David Nicholson

    Global warming is the greatest threat to life. We must stop burning coal for our electricity. That can be done now by converting the power plants to pebble bed nuclear reactors.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  492. Donald Firesmith

    If we don't avoid the coming global warming disaster by drastically lowering our national carbon footprint and lead the world in lowering theirs, the current economic crisis will seem like losing a little pocket change.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  493. Leo Chupaska

    Jack - most citizens care deeply about the enviornment - but many of us are not sure who to believe when global warming is discussed – there are as many opinions or theories as there are scientists and unfortunately most have political agendas- the best bet is form a strong indepentent working group with real teeth , stripped of all political influence , that will recommend legislation here in the US and provide the necessary blueprint or roadmap for the world to follow

    Leo (Connecticut)

    January 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  494. Matt

    Relentless fossil fuel consumption and the resulting climate change is a real threat. Science tells us potentially devastating results of our current actions are many years away, so most aren't immediately concerned. A broader more selfless perspective is needed.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  495. Tracy Wynn

    I don't buy into the argument that global warming is a direct result of mankind's excesses. I believe the present warming conditions have everything to do with sunspots and variations in the macro weather cycles that occur regularly over thousands of years. For us to believe that we humans are capable of so drastically changing the earth's climate in so short a time borders on hubris. But then, between the hot air coming out of environmentalists and methane gas escaping from cows, I could construe a very slight rise in temperature.

    Tracy Wynn

    ASPEN CO 81611

    January 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  496. Shannon McCoy-Hayes

    How does climate change rank in porportion to other concerns that President Elect Obama whould be concerned about?

    We all remember New Orleans after Katrina, right? Millions (perhpas 100s of millions) more people around the globe stand to be affected by rising tidal zones and the resulting disaporas and resource conflicts that will follow melting polar ice caps. We need to plan NOW for these eventualities and to try and turn back the back the clock on climate change occurances.

    One first step that might be importantly symbolic could be joining the Kyoto accord. Joining the Kyoto accord could help repair our nation's damaged reputation and help start individual chain reactions toward thinking globally and acting locally to combat climated change.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  497. AJ from Michigan

    It probably ranks just above Rod Blogavich.

    AJ from Michigan

    January 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  498. J. Voicheck

    There is nothing more important, nor more immediate, than major action to reduce the impact of global warming caused by our actions and way of life. It is time for the human species to emulate Mother Nature, not to oppose her. Think about how plants have been growing by taking in energy from the sun, removing carbon dioxide, and providing a supply of oxygen and food for other living species, including ourselves. Then think about what we haven't been doing to reinforce that symbiotic relationship between living things on this planet and the planet itself. Mother Nature would like us to be better members of the chain of life on this planet. She eventually gets real upset with species that do not fit in.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  499. natasha Newton

    Thank you for bringing this extremely important issue forward.
    As a concerned neighbour who takes an avid interest in American
    politics, I am delighted to see Mr. Obama elected. This Global Warming
    problem needs to be addressed immediately.
    The movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' aptly describes our situation.
    It is time for all governments to stop acting like an ostrich hiding their
    heads in the sand! and deal with this impending disaster.
    All peoples need to take responsibility, and America leading the way
    would have a powerful impact.
    I wish you all every success, and God Bless us all
    Natasha Ontario, Canada

    January 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  500. Victor

    Global warming should be our first concern in the world if we want human race to keep living in this world. Economics, poberty, energy... fighting this is important, however why fighted it we are doom to die?
    World liders should think on the next generations and on the living creatures that allowed us to live: animals, plants, water, air...

    We should have human feelings and care for us and our own.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  501. Tom in Iowa

    Global Warming is a big threat to Humanity. But it is NOT a threat to our planet.

    The Earth has been here for billions of year, and it will be here for billions more. Our little contribution to the environment will not effect the Earth, it may however make us and many other species extinct.

    Global warming or what ever you want to call it, is the number 1 issue that the human race MUST face, if they do not face it now, then they have only themselves to blame for what happens in the future.

    It's funny, the Earth will be here long after we are gone and it will renew itself with new life and who knows in another billion years another species of intelligent life will evolve, and perhaps that new species will not destroy their own habitat and they will thrive for much longer than we did.

    But the earth will be just fine. We will not.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  502. Michael Roberts

    It is the most important thing, if we destroy our environment we have nothing, no air, water, food, and no economy! It is our responsibility to do the very best we can to the planet we our blessed to call home.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  503. Amanda

    Global warming is at the top of my list. If we work on fixing our environment we will also see improvements in our health, and not to mention our economy which will be boosted by switching our focus to clean, renewable energy instead of our out-of-date practices. Face it, we need to start looking ahead to see where we can become a world leader in SOMETHING again.

    Amanda
    Downingtown, PA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  504. Terri Glaberson

    Jack,
    I do believe that Global warming is one of the top concerns for our country and the world. We are losing the rain forests and temperate forests, our rivers and streams are polluted and our ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. All these factors are either effected by or increase our Carbon emissions and thus effect the CO2 levels in our atmosphere. We as a nation must start changing our behavior and take the lead in new & current renewable energies. I am hoping that President Barack Obama will lead the U.S. and the world in changing our energy practices and will begin our Green Revolution by sparking and releasing current and future innovation in renewable energies, make our current system more efficient and create an ethic of conservation that we all can be proud of.
    Terri
    Seattle, WA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  505. Samantha in Georgia

    Global warming should be on top of everyone's list. To me, the economy, healthcare, and education are all affected by the outcome of global warming. The rise in temperature will cause more deadly diseases from insects,such as mosquitos and their West Nile Virus, and other deadly animals.This really cause a rise in deaths and hopital overcrowding. Natural disasters will become more eminent in the coming days might shut down major cities and ports making many people without jobs and the country without a major port might cause a devestating blow to Wall Street and Main Street.
    For those who think there is no such thing as global warming, why don't you stick your big stubborn heads outside your door see the destruction around us. Next time get out of your fancy cars and away from your fancy gadgets and be a regular person instead of a sleezy cold bratty snob.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  506. Shira, NY

    Global Warming has ranked high up there for me for a couple of years now. I have been doing everything I learn I can – even with an annual income of $35,000 and a family of three, I have signed up for 100% green energy from our electric company, which costs almost twice, I have greened-up all our bulbs, and I turn off appliances and our computer at night. I have contributed to GreenDime, and always letting my friends know how they can get green too! I voted for Obama and hope he makes this a top issue ASAP.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  507. David

    Jack, global climate problems are definitely very high on my list of important subjects. Unfortunately, I don't see what people can do to help until we get the economy rolling again. I'd love to reduce my driving and take other measures to make a difference, but when I have to work three jobs and every overtime hour I can get to pay the bills, I have to face a choice of feeding my family or reducing my carbon emmissions.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  508. Marian Zaouk

    So far, this Earth is our only home. It is suffering disease, species extinction on an unprecedented scale, polar ice melt that will not only raise sea levels, but change the chemical makeup of the seas causing further species extinction and the potential for an early tipping point, beyond which there is no cure.. Making it well must be priority one.
    If you're wondering why the aliens haven't shown themselves to us yet – why, they're just waiting for us to destroy ourselves – our planet – so they can move in.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  509. Greg

    It's way up there as a priority. After experiencing and seeing the weather variances this past year it's long overdue as a universal priority. I would think that with the leadership of the incoming US President, Global Climate Change will become the priority it should have been these past 8 years. I am also sure entrepreneurs will discover that there is value to be mined in working on solutions to offset Climate Change and we will learn to embrace the work and sacrifices which are needed to maintain this planet.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  510. Pastor Oldham

    Global warning and the effects that are occuring to our enviornment are both urgent and important. Some things are urgent such as the economy the financial marget and the automotive industry. The environment is both urgent and important, because if we don't do something now and severly damage our enviornment, it won't matter what the economy, the financial market or the automoive industry is doing, we will have no habital earth to live on.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  511. Steve Dunlop

    Re: Global Warming,
    My concern about global warming is that the cause of global warming has not yet been acuratly determined. Our production of greenhouse gases may be a contributing factor, but it pales in comparison to the natural production of the same gases by means of volcanic activity and other natural sources. If we are the sole cause of global warming, explain to me why the other planets in our solar system are heating up proportionally to their size and distance from the sun.
    If we waste our efforts and resources by tackling a source which is not the main source of global warming, then we may find ourselves in hotter water down the road, when the true source of the problem is identified. To summize, it is nice to breath clean air in our cities, but it we do not properly identify the problem, our efforts may be for not.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  512. Fenix in Vancouver

    If as many billions could be made saving the environment as destroying it your question would be moot!!
    too bad money won't grow on trees!
    The Oil companies need to die!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  513. sharon goedkoop

    Global warming should be our number one concern. Nothing else matters if our planet can't sustain human life.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  514. Alexander Ramessar

    Everyone should understand that Global Warming will impact the world negativley and must recognise that this is issue number one.

    Even Obama says that the science is clear!!

    Take some leadership America....

    January 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  515. Nancy Kastner

    Global warming is on the top of my concern list simply because Americans tend to place their energy on issues that are directly affecting their pocket books, their health, and their children. The present hidden affects of global warming are not going to be #1 until they have traveled beyond the tipping point, permanently affecting our ability to care for our basic needs. Today, paying the bills seems to be more important than having clean air.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  516. Charles Forbess

    Jack. Are you kidding me? Shouldn't something that poses a real threat to the very existence of our species, let alone all other species, be the number one concern of all humans, regardless of our political beliefs, religious faith, and other purely selfish interests? Surely even those who disagree on the extent of this problem can certainly agree that the uncertainties which are now apparent in weather patterns throughout the world have created a real potential threat to global stability. Do I expect this administration and other governments in the world to take immediate, effective action? No. The capacity for denial about this problem is staggering.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  517. Donna Glaze

    Jack,

    Yes, the Obama administration needs to make global warming the #1 priority. Global warming needs to be taken very seriously. Did you ever watch the History Channel. Nostradamus has predicted the year 2012 as the year of the final clash of the earths weather systems where the oceans will rise and the mountains will fall. It is known as "Dooms Day" . This is what Hansen at NASA is talking about. This is not about some religious belief. Scientists have been warning for decades with grave concerns about chemicals affecting our air, water and lands. We lived in an era of taking for granted our earths natural resources and there is no turning back.

    But if it is going to take the United States to be the forerunner in finding ways to bring global warming to a hault, then that will only prove once again our position as world leader. If we can super fund our wacked financial industry and rescue the automobile industry, then we need to super fund the cure of global warming. Lets get off our butts and save our PLANET EARTH!!!

    Donna Glaze– Reading, PA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  518. Claudia Rinehart

    Will resend this to include where I am from: Lake Bluff, Illinois

    How can anything in this world possibly rank higher than saving our one true host...this planet Earth? There is absolutely no need for saving the economy, fighting terrorism, beneficial healthcare for all or any of the myriad of other concerns this world faces if we do not first save our only home! The earth did not evolve from us, but we from it. If we do not keep it viable in sustaining us, we will perish quicker than the economy did in 2008!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  519. kelly Billard in St.Catharines, Ontario, Canada

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, climate change deniers are this century Flat Earther's. Obviously there are going to be natural changes in the climate, but to deny the acceleration of these forces due in part to human interference is cowardly and shows no care for other people. Do people deny climate change to somehow make themselves feel better for their inaction?

    January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  520. Teresa Parent

    Global warming is ranked #1 on my priority list, and it should be #1 on everone else's list too. If we destroy the Earth and all of it's creatures, where will we live? It is tragic to think that everything humankind has worked so hard to achieve throughout history will be lost, and all because people are selfish and distracted by computers, cellphones, TV, movie stars, cars, and cash. Has our way of life become more important than all life itself? I just don't get it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  521. paula dailey

    Jack, number one with me, I know trillions will be spent on financial recovery, but where will the money come from to repair damage from floods, storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, all caused by global warming?

    I just don't get it, money is not the cure to everything, that type os thinking is what got us here inthe first place, too many shoddy manufacturers cutting corners to the detriment of our magnificent world.

    We are leaving nothing for our grandkids to inherit, grass, trees, rivers, mountains, freedom in the sun. I predict the oldsters just did not care, well I am an oldster and I care like hell......I don't want to have my next generations perish from this earth. Keyword here is S.O.S.
    and CAUTION, with intelligence. That is if it is not too late, I pray it is not.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  522. Nate Quicksall

    Global Warming?! Jack, if we can warm the Earth, what are we waiting for?!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  523. Alex from Upstate New York

    In the end, Jack, we humans are like any other animal. Our biological priority is to reproduce. As a 33 year-old, given the potential situation of the planet one generation from now, I have strong reservations about having children. It's enough to start a downward spiral of thinking, one where the only conclusion is that if people really do screw up the planet as much as scientists are warning we might, what makes us think we should survive in the long run? The side effects of our exponential "progress" over the last 100 years have been extremely destructive. So I guess my answer is that Global Warming should be treated as a life or death issue, like every one of us has cancer.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  524. Heather

    #1- Global Warming is a threat to all living creatures, and we should be doing something about it now!!! Before it's to late. The earth is our home and we must preserve her for future generations. Do it now go green, recycle, reduce and reuse. Our planet is counting on all of us!

    Heather
    Clarksville, VA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  525. Alonzo Coombs

    Many of mankind's mistakes can be repaired or rectified in a few years, if not a generation. Global Warming is a mistake that, if not addressed immediately, will be irreparable for generations to come.
    There is no more urgent demand on our global community than to begin the process of mitigating the growing fireball of global warming. All of our other global ills, issues and problems will be rendered moot if we do not come together and address global warming. We have the minds to develop powerful technologies, we must now develop the maturity to manage them wisely.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  526. Sandra (B.C. Canada)

    It ranks right at the top for me, and I am very fearful for my grandchildren and others that follow. I am embarrassed and ashamed that we have come to such an ominous place in history without much care or vision for the future. The future is in all of our hands and I clearly hope there will be changes made soon.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  527. Roxanne

    To anyone that doesn't rank it as #1. What the hell is wrong with you? If Global Warming isn't taken care of first then forget jobs, wars, you and me. Most of us will be dead. Almost all Americans are brainwashed and too busy worrying if they have the nicest clothes, if they're attractive enough. Glowting about how much money they make or crying about how much they don't make. If a flood, earthquake, what ever was to happen they wouldn't know what to do but cry for help. Global Warming ranks at #1 and survival stradegies should be taught instead of what number should be called to be rescued.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  528. L Marie

    I wonder why after all these months is global warming now being mentioned again. It has been a huge concern of mine and others for some time, but for some reason the fact that our planet might be in harms way doesn't seem to make the news very often. I don't know if it is all mans fault, but we do play a huge part in the earth changing. We must change in order to save our planet...not talking about his issues only makes the issues surrounding global warming worse. Lets get together, come up with solutions and clean our planet up. If not for us then for future generations. In less then 100 years we have possibly screwed up the planet with polution that will take many more years to clean. In the mean time, my son has a hard time breathing, I worry about how clean the air is I breath and the weather patterns get more extreme. We are stripping the earth of her riches and she is mad. Lets get technology going to actually benefit us and keep it out of the hands of the government. They will keep all the possible sololutions in committees for years. We don't have time for them to debate who's problem it is and if it can be reversed or not. We just get the task done and at the end we have a cleaner planet. Hopefully then at least we have slowed global warming.

    L Marie

    January 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  529. Stephen

    Jack,
    Global warming is the last thing on my priorty list, what is on my list right now is finding a job. So I do not think this administration should focused on global warming right now until the economic is back in gear and running. Global warming is an issue for NASA and its scientist who is predicting that in four years the world will come to an end. This tatic of scarring the public with global warming will not work this time. So Jack this is what it has come down to, let's give all of our savings to NASA and their scientist and donate our houses, cars and what ever we own to prevent this human disister from taking place in four years. Or else we are all doomed for distruction in just four years.

    Stephen
    Jacksonville, Fl

    January 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  530. Bill Welsh

    Jack,
    In my opinion, there is nothing more pressing than the environmental issues that we now face. It far outweighs the economic issues of the day. The United States uses about 28% of the world's energy, and has only has about 4% of the world's population. When one looks at the exponential growth curve that the world's population is currently experiencing, it does not take much imagination to see where the planet is heading. Where will we be when China, a full 1/5 of the world's population, acheives a living standard equivalent to the United States. They have every right to live as well the US, but I doubt the planet can support it.

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    January 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  531. William Nyden

    As a volunteer with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, concern over the world's environmental state has been a major part of my life for years, and I have been aware of the effects of global warming much longer than it has been a subject of popular discussion. Even if Dr. Hansen is being overly pessimistic (and I don't think he is), working to reduce human additions to the heat-up is vital. Concerns about the economy and wars are distractions that need attention, but not at the expense of the world's climates.

    - William Nyden
    Mountain View, CA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  532. James A Johnson

    Global warming is at the bottom of my list. I beleive God is complete control of this situation. J A Johnson

    January 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  533. Thomas Gant

    Global warming needs to be addressed if mankind is to survive. The U.S. must make this a priority and lead by example. However, we have other dire needs as a nation to address, the economy, healthcare, energy and education rank higher because we control their use. The U.S should address global warming through its new energy policy and the United Nations should take the leadership role to resolve global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  534. Scott in North Carolina

    As a scientist, global warming is near the top of my priorities. In the wake of the September 11 disaster, plane flights were grounded nationwide. Insolation (sunlight) measurements during that period showed that particulates and condensation from airplanes have masked a greater rise in temperature than previously estimated. Extrapolated to similar emissions from global industries, this leads to the terrifying possibility that global warming has already proceeded beyond our everyday observations. Anything less than immediate action could be catastrophic.

    To those who point to a cold winter as a counter argument to global warming, please be mindful that global warming will lead not only to an average rise in global temperature, but also to a greater variability in local conditions. That means colder winters in some places and much hotter summers elsewhere. If you live in a cold climate and would welcome a little extra warmth, please think of those who live on coastlines, in semi-arid climes, in marginal conditions elsewhere, and have a little compassion.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  535. john mcaulay

    Jack Its the sun

    January 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  536. Paul Bernucci

    HELLO PEOPLE!!!! If its not already completely obvious that the world is heating up and we are under going a period of global natural disasters and increasing global threat of terrorists, then you should be concerned. Nasa says 5 years until all the ice on the poles melt, but what they don't tell you is that by the end of this year the northern pole will be completely melted for the first time in a long time. Global warming is not only being caused by human error some say, but in fact a planet that has never been discovered or at least told to the public about, that is on its way here from its 3600 year orbit in our solar system. This will cause an increase in temperature as it approaches us, due to the magnetic fields colliding as it approaches so very close to us, if not hitting us. Some may think that this is not true, but it is. The more we educate ourselves the more we can understand these Global threat. If we can put a stop to this Pollution problem by reducing factory admissions globally, like they have already done in China. We will notice a temperature drop, and less natural disasters, but if we continue on the path of gas giants, instead or Prius's, and the disbelief of global warming, we will all be doomed for disaster in the next five years. NASA says so!!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  537. Eugene

    The issue is maybe 5 on my list of 10!!! This SCIENTIST IS REALLY BEING ALARMIST. We are not warming up the planet . Only one body in our solar system does this. Our Sun!!!!!!! The sun makes up 99.86% of the matter in our system. The planets, asteriods, comets, dust etc. combined to only make up the other 0.14% of the extisting matter in our solar system. Contrary to what people like to think "our planet is so small". Yes, it is in comparison to other bodies in the system. WE ARE LIKE ANTS ON THIS PLANET!! WE NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OUR SUN AND THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT SCIENTIST AT NASA KNOWS THIS ALREADY!!!

    How can we even begin to think that we can effect the HEATING AND COOLING OF A PLANET!!! Its just mind blowing to me. There are so many contradictions in the numbers and the thoeries surrounding the subject. It seems to me with the on going economic recession we're going through, there's this movement out there to come up with more revenue and more regulations and what better way than through climate change/ carbon taxes.

    We do need to change our energy policies for the health of you and I and the other species on this planet. We're in direct contact with the species of our planet so yes were going to have the effect on the organisms including ourselves on this planet. we have the technologies right now to make this change.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  538. Jacob Grinnell

    Jack Global Warming ranks huge on my list, the World has already saw change by electing Barack Obama, what we need now is for the World to see change in the way that America looks at it's environment, we are one of the leading nations of the world, what we do influences many other countries, small and big. If we don't act soon than say bye to polar bears and a lot of other species, the trees are already budding outside, I can already see the changes.
    -Jacob Grinnell
    Yuba City,CA

    January 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  539. martha majik

    martha, beeton ont.canada
    unfortunately, most people can't really relate to the issue of global warming, which actually is climate change and should be referred to as climate change. people should stop and think about why we are having such cold temperatures and winters so severe. it's climate change people which we are contributing to. unless people can see,touch it or have it directly affecting them now they just ignore it. the same people will scream in 50 years "why did they do something to stop it". God help us all.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  540. Dameon

    I honestly believe that it will need our attention, but I think we need to have more evidence before we can truly make a move as to what should go first. We can't just jump on a whim.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  541. Frank Logerfo

    Sooner or later we have to create an entirely new source of energy. Fusion is it and now is the time as part of the economic recovery program. Dr Chu should get 5 or 10 billion and put out a request for creative proposals. Success would change the future of the world for the better. Dr Hansen is probably over the top with his concerns.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  542. Monica

    I personally feel that global warning should be listed on the top three! We all want to be here and our children and grandchildren, and further down the tree line. We need to stop being to greedy and just want and want. Other countries are in worse situations. We have so much to be grateful for! We need to start saving our EARTH!!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  543. ralph hughes

    I put Global warming as an ice cube behind our frozen stiff economy.
    r hughes ,san diego

    January 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  544. Tom in Wisconsin

    It ranks close to the top. It wouldn't have to be that way if we would not have had a president who in his farewell address brags about the fact that we paid less taxes while we went a trillion dollars in debt. How could you expect a person that can't add and subtract incoming money and outgoing money to understand global warming.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  545. liz

    global warming ranks in the top ten important issues.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  546. Steve Hochman

    Global Warming is at the very, very top....of nonsensical scares. So, in the scheme of things, it rates somewhere below Y2K on the list of concerns out there.

    To your viewers who write about the ongoing misinformation campaign, they are absolutely correct. However, they have it upside down. Anyone with a semblence of scientific understanding knows this is the most overblown, overhyped issue in the history of humankind.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  547. Steve - California

    Well Jack, I had no idea you had so many "bright" people following your blog.
    First I want to respond to a few of these responses.
    1 – Weather does NOT equal climate. Just because it snowed for a day in Las Vegas or because it's very very cold in ND means just one thing. Weather is becoming more extreme. Check out the rate at which the Glaciers are melting for a consistent indicator of climate change.
    2 – Yes it's true that the Earth goes through cycles changing from hot to cold and back. Only one difference. It took thousands of years for climate to change. Now it's happening over decades or even less.

    So to answer your question. Nothing else will matter, not the economy, not healthcare, nothing unless something is done to stop Global Warming (and everything else related, like destruction of rainforests, overfishing, overconsumption)

    January 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  548. Nora

    Extremely High. I'm still a student, not looking for a job or trying to support a family, so I haven't felt the full burden of the economic crisis yet. Thus, I still feel that dealing with global warming should be at the top of our list.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  549. Colton Cascone

    I am not concerned at about global warming at all. First of all, average global temperatures have dropped and if anything were entering a cooling period. Carbon Dioxide follows temperature not the other way around as Al Gore and his global warming cult claim. The greatest emitter of CO2 is the Sea and only a small amounted attributed to human activity. The sun is what governs climate change. Its quite simple the more sun spots there are combined with the amount of cosmic radiation that reaces the earth the more the temperature increases and vice versa. Its the arrogance of man to think he can can make a huge impact on climate, when its obvious these things occur through natural cycles and have long before the human race existed. So stop the fear mongering. Sincerly, Colton Cascone from Newburgh, NY.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  550. Ebenezer

    I rank global warming as number one, and if something is not done about it, we will not have any where to live.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  551. Lorenza McCants

    Jack...the sad truth is the whole Global Warming issue is nothing but another way for the governments of the world to take more of our money and waste it needlessly.

    The "consensus" of science is not one at all... When any scientists came out and tried to dispute the flawed science they were ridiculed and called "deniers" by the so-called experts.

    There are plenty of reputable scientists who feel that the global warming that may or may not be occuring is part of a natural cycle and there is absolutely nothign we, as humans, can do to counteract it.

    Let us all remind ourselves that if it weren't for the cycles of natural climate change, the North American continent would still be covered by a layer of ice over 1 mile thick. Hello!!! Great Lakes.... formed by the movement of glaciers over time.

    We all have many more important issues to throw our tax dollars at. Global Warming is not one of them.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  552. Barbara, Miami

    Jack, it ranks on the top of my list. It is the responsibility of the world community to put all possible efforts towards improving the situation. The United States of America have to take the lead just because it is best equipped to do so and has the highest chance to succed. Besides, it is time to secure the position as the world leader for technological advancement and innovations. I do not want those millions of business opportunities taken advantage off in countries that are not really our friends and that we already depend on enough. Europe is another contender for leadership, but it won't succedd, it is to devided and doesn't have a strong enough common government. America let's takle this, my house is in Florida not to much above sea level!

    January 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  553. whatchathink??

    This is a fact that not many people know about, and quite a few people, would like that there was no evidence to back this fact, because some people would like the world to believe that human activity is the cause for global warming on Earth. I am not advocating that releasing harmful gases, and chemicals in the oceans and atmosphere are good, but after a few years of research, I have come to understand that global warming is happening in the Solar System, not just on Earth.

    Some people just want to listen to what some environmentalists are claiming, that global warming is happening because of human activity, and we are the cause for the extreme changes in climate we have been seeing lately getting worse and worse.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  554. Katherine Hannauer

    If this issue is not addressed soon, and with serious commitment, none of the other issues will matter at all-not the economy, war, education, social justice, none of it.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  555. Ron Crock

    It ranks near the bottom when I'm worried about keeping a roof over my head and my ever shrinking 401K. It ranks near the top when my personal economic situation improves. I love your segments, Jack. You don't sugar-coat anything. Keep up the good work!
    Ron in Kuna, Idaho

    January 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  556. Jim Pollard

    Jack,

    Global warming is a great question ...it's been confirmed for years now by the top scientists of the world. Yes, it exists, it's critical, we can't wait!!!

    The best immediate advantage for defeating global warming is: getting rid of george bush. It would be very helpful to get rid of rush limbaugh and senator inhofe of Oklahoma.

    I think we need it to be a top priority, right up there with the fiscal crisis. We do need to have a planet around that is inhabitable for our great grandkids.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  557. peter

    Jack, didn't you know the physics has all the answers. Want to lose weight, 1st law of thermodynamics works all the time. Global warming, measure the albedo of the earth with a dedicated satellite (no astronauts needed).
    Peter, TN

    January 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  558. sherry

    I would like to see pres. obama address and make into law the "healthy workplace bill"

    In todays workplace climate it is to easy for bosses to treat employees like slaves and cattle. as long as they dont break eeoc or osha rules they can and do get away with it and its time it stopped and i hope pres. obama works for that goal.

    bosses who committ workplace bullying kill the workplace and cause alot of damage to the employer and the employee.

    i want to see pres obama and his cabinet work to stop this and actively address this horrible travestity of human beings. for more information look at workplacebullying .org

    January 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  559. joanneW

    Global warming ranks up there with the immediate financial crisis. Several extinctions have already been noted in the earths long history. If we don't change our current trend then there will not be anything else to worry about. Mother earth has her own ways of expunging the detriment.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  560. Cavalas Allah

    it ranks high,but why investigate tha effect.? Can you talk to your reflection in the mirror? You can try but it's like money burning.Listen,look, an be honest,Here they are like jet planes owned by rich CEO beggars,as they display there lack of mojo. Clearly the governed,and it's goverment in typical biblical forecast fall mode.So if you want to merely reduce your carbon footprint from gods water force of life stop urinating human waste an defecating fecal faces down your throat.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  561. James A Johnson

    Jack; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would just be thankful for The Dream being realized. I am sure there would be much praise for a successful new summit realized. JA Johnson , May, Texas

    January 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  562. Eileen Curras

    Again the Media Communication is pushing for a quick fix. I wonder if Hansen had done his work. Have Hansen notified the proper person or simply cutting corners?
    How can we combine this situation with the economic situation on the United States?
    I wonder if the economic situation has created this attitude from the British Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences.
    Seems to me that Hansen has waited too long to ask the United States to take leadership role. For me and many other citizens the Health Issue is more important.

    January 19, 2009 at 5:52 pm |