May 4th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Why is global warming last on list of 20 issues that worry voters?


Greenpeace protesters hang with a banner from a construction crane in DC.(PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Stop calling it "global warming"... that's the message coming from some environmentalists.

And apparently it's because the term turns people off and brings to mind shaggy-haired liberals and issues like gay marriage, economic sacrifice and complicated scientific arguments.

The New York Times got a hold of a memo sent by a group called EcoAmerica that's been conducting research for years on how to best frame environmental issues.

So instead of global warming, the firm recommends talking about our deteriorating atmosphere - instead of haggling over carbon dioxide - they suggest talking about "moving away from the dirty fuels of the past." Instead of energy efficiency, try - saving money for a more prosperous future. And instead of the word 'environment' - talk about "the air we breathe, the water our children drink."

But it's unclear whether using different words will actually make people care more about the environment. A recent Pew Research Center Poll shows global warming finished dead last among 20 voter issues; behind things like moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists.

One expert points out that partisans on both side of the issue are essentially doing the same thing - they're using advertising techniques to try to manipulate public opinion. He calls the approach "cynical and ineffective." Maybe so, but the term 'global warming' apparently isn't getting it done.

Here’s my question to you: Why does global warming rank last on a list of 20 issues of concern to voters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jim from Cripple Creek, Colorado writes:
The health of the planet is #20 for the same reason lunatic terrorists were #20, or was it #200, on the list of stuff to worry about on 9-10. It's not a problem until it bites us in the butt.

Simon from Orlando writes:
I don't think that everybody is on board with the gloom and doom crowd about the effects of manmade global warming. Plus, this country can go as green as they want, but if other big polluters like China and India don't, it's not going to matter. There is also hypocrisy from the green crowd, like Al Gore flying around in his big fuel burning private jet and telling me that I've got to change my light bulbs to save the earth.

Randy from Salt Lake City, Utah writes:
If it can't be seen all the time, every day by the American sheeple, then it doesn't exist. Now, if it was on Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, etc, then maybe, maybe the lemmings would be concerned. Maybe.

Jean writes:
The fixes are too drastic for an inconclusive scientific possibility. It's like being told you must have chemotherapy without knowing for sure you have cancer.

Anna from Missouri writes:
We are a nation of "instant gratification." People have a tendency to only worry about what is affecting them right now. We do not have it in our DNA to look into, or plan for, the future. It will take actually seeing the sea levels threaten our coastal cities before most of them will wonder why nothing has been done about it.

Jose writes:
People are tired of hearing about a problem that’s not going to affect us today. It's sad to think that our generation simply doesn't care about our future generations.

Louis writes:
"Global warming" finished 20th on the list because global warming isn't "sexy" and calls for real "sacrifice." Who did you think you were talking to? This is America!

Filed under: Global Warming
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Ted, Beaverton,OR

    Solving the Global warming dilemma does not provide instant gratification or results. Americans have been brainwashed to expect instant solutions and results, by the media. Where else do they get the information solidly tainted by a rush be be firstest with the mostest. Of course the media is not biased..........is it?
    Is that why we get only a sliver of the news served up to us daily...the same stories delivered with only the individual biases changed on all three major cable outlets. That's why global warming is down on the list. It's not as exciting as a man throwing slot machines off a Reno Casino rooftop.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  2. cat

    Well maybe it is because we Americans can not afford to start paying more for the air we breath than we are paying now. We know that even though we support and stand by the president on this issue, we are going to get hit in our pockets hard. As long as the big corporations are aloud ot pass this on to comsumers @ 100% which i myself do not feel is fair, the corporations are the ones making all the money . sure we use the items inquestion but to pass on 100% of of the price so corporations pay nothing is unfair. what is fair and what will make a drifference is if the corporations are only alouded to pass on say 20% of the cap and trade tax to the consumers. Oh boy if they had to eat a larger slice of that pie they sure would be putting more money into research . and i know some would say no they will just do business somewhere eles. We have the largest economy in the world. w/ the money to pay for the products. China has a large economy also but there people are slaves who work for pennies on the dollar. Shame on you big corporations. may you all go to h.e. double L
    for the way you exploit our brethern.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |

    The reason the Global Warming is not a issue with the American people is that it has not been proven by reasonable doubt. The climate change is more than likely due to change in weather patterns. Global warming is being used as a scare tactic for the likes of Al Gore who would profit from it. It is just a scare tactic to lower the living standards of the working and middle class by charging exhorbitant rates for utilities. It would also be used to impose more taxes on them.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  4. Kenneth Kohlmann

    Duh! Shelter, Food, Heath, Jobs, etc. are more important that going green. And, a DEQ official revealed to me that the "green" autos with batteries have a much high carbon footprint than current autos. They don't reveal that the autos cost more to manufacture, the battery-life is limited, replacement batteries cost $5,000 and no one has figured out to dispose of the old batteries which will deeply impact the eviroment.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  5. David from Granville, OHIO

    Unfortunately global warming has become closely associated with Al Gore – and hence a political football.

    People need to wake up and take it seriously, no matter what their politics. After all, what does anything else matter if we no longer have a planet to live on?

    Look at the overwhelming scientific evidence – the world IS warming. We may argue about the causes but is it not prudent to take steps anyway "just in case"?

    May 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  6. Paul Pettipas

    Why? The media doesn't make it a major priority, so the public at large doesn't see it as a pressing issue. We also tend to prioritize in terms how it effects us personally. Frankly, this should be a major priority, and it should also be seen as an opportunity for America to leapfrog the world and become a leader in environmental technology, because it'll only become more of a pressing need for the globe as years wear on.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  7. John Becker LA


    Because global warming is just a money-making scheme by Al Gore. Only pure liberal morons believe him.

    Jack B
    Los Angeles, CA

    May 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  8. Joe in VA

    Maybe it is because the globe has not warmed one iota in the last decade. That seems to be a fact often overlooked in this debate and not often mentioned. No question , our climate may be changing. However, whether man is the cause is still up to debate. Man did not bring on past ice ages or geologic warming periods. Natural cycles brought them on. No question we need to care more for our environment but scaring folks with scientifically dubious statements like the sea level will rise 20 feet in 100 years is not the right way to go. Besides, I don't want some shaggy haired creep from Berkley telling me I have to drive a Prius. They are ugly and I'll conserve fuel and reduce "carbon footprints" other ways.

    Chatham, VA

    May 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  9. nora CC TXAS

    I would say it ranks so low on the list because there are so many other problems that affect the American people on a day to day personal level. Their daily life is being affected by the high cost of living, jobs, healthcare, and the list goes on. I worry about global warming but how I am going to pay bills and feed my family sure does place way above that. I am sure most people are concerned about similar things and not global warming.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  10. Phil from London Ontario

    Jack–global warming is not here/now/immediate

    We live in a "instant" world–and instant news at the moment is:

    -The Flu
    -Chrysler/GM–who is next
    -What did Oprah say today

    Economically–the whole world is in a mess simply because we failed to plan for the future, and only thought about how much credit could I get, how high is my 401k etc.

    Global warming is a "tomorrow" problem, just like the deficit. Not my problem–as it is not happening to me, today. This attitude of short term re-acting vs long term planning got us in the mess, and when it comes to Global Warming, we are still thinking the same way

    May 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  11. maggie from Selwyn

    Almost all remedies for global warming involve some costs to either companies or individuals and people are just to greedy to make the necessary sacrifices to save the planet.

    May 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  12. Jay in Texas

    Because the voters are wising up to the fact that global warming was a hoax. That is why those responsible for the hoax are trying to change the name to "climate change".
    Brownwood, Texas

    May 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  13. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Because the list of problems left by the previous administration are so long, it's hard to prioritize. It's all important.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  14. Daniel Indiana

    When it comes to change, people are terrified of change. They have grown complacient/ingrained about the oil, coal and a few other companies weilding so much power and molding their thought patterns for so long. Life is about change and we have fought this change for much too long.
    This fear is why it is so low on the list.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  15. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    For those of us who have just gone through an especially long and cold winter, "global warming" has lost some of its meaning. Like one of the environmentalists I have listened to I prefer the term "global weirding." Our climates are changing because of environmental issues, some of them manmade; these do have to be dealt with but perhaps advertised with different terminology that can be better understood by the masses.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  16. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Because sadly many people live in denial, or they are not educated about what Global Warming is.

    It is like when the Tobacco industry was putting out conflicting information about cigarettes and cancer! There are nay sayers, especially on the far-right that have totally confused people or lied or spewed enough 'misinformation' to muddy the truth about Global Warming.

    What's even worse is that some Americans refused to see the obvious signs, in their own back yards! For example, since when ....... is it "normal" for palm trees to grow in the gardens of the Pacific Northwest?! I saw several planted this weekend, when I visited our family! Not normal for palm trees to grow where it should snow in the winter.

    Also, IF any one "doubts" they should Google "the shrinking polar caps" and SEE for themselves proof of Global Warming. Just like people did not believe that ......... the World was round....... that cigarettes cause cancer........ etc., etc., they do not believe how fragile our Planet IS!

    May 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  17. George from NYC

    Because people don't think about the long term, just the short term. What's good for me right now? Right now people are worried about the economy, and the war, and all sorts of other things. They aren't worried about the potential for disaster 20 or 50 years from now.

    If you want proof as to how shortsighted and egocentric people are, look at Hippies. The same people who were shouting "stop the war, save the earth" in the 60s were shouting Bomb Iraq and driving Hummers to soccer practice in the last 10 years.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  18. Alex (CT)

    It's all about now and not about later for a lot of people these days. It's like doing a term paper for a college class: should you get it over with as soon as you can and deal with it or should you deal with it only when you really have to? Apparently voters today are picking the later.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  19. circy on new mexico

    Because most people believe it isn't a problem now and that we have plenty of time to adress the problem.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  20. Carl C. in Brick NJ

    Because at the rate we're going, civilization as we know it will cease to exist before global warming becomes a serious problem.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  21. Jerry; Alpharetta, GA

    This is the same organization that said frequent church goers supported torture. I suggest that their studies are not statistically sound. Can you remember the new ice age we had under Jimmy Carter? Mr Carter created lots of concerns about the irrefutable coming of his new ice age. If it happened, I missed it. The same scientist and pollsters are working on this new so called crises. Sorry, but this time I will just wait it out.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  22. Jamal Saint Petersburg, FL

    Because people aren't good at stopping big problems in their infancy. Unless the house is burning, people don't care. Hence the Economy, Bush, and so on...all those things that blew up in our face BECAUSE we didn't pay attention!

    May 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  23. Sylvain

    The answer is plain an simple. It's just not exciting right now. Let's wait a decade or so, then the media will fight over news coverage: Floodings in NY, deadly virus in Europe. Earthquake kills thousands in Canada... Then It will be exciting!

    It's like the financial crisis. It was boring 3 years ago when we heard that Enron was corrupted. Today everybody is talking about the financial crisis. Why? Because the news media is focusing on it...

    May 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  24. Sandra from Texas

    I do not know. Climate change ranks much higher on my list.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  25. Ron from SF

    Well Jack, remember that this is a country where approximately 50 million voted for George Bush–twice. I rest my case.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  26. Jerry - Fountain CO

    Pain in the wallet the first thing to get voters attention. Everything else is a distant 2nd....or 20th.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  27. Carol From MO

    The environment cannot talk or defend itself.
    When people become more into the wind and energy efficiency mode, I think it will bring it more to the forfront, but only if there is a tax break.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  28. Ken in NC

    Most voters know that if we can't agree on our own problems and solutions there is no way we will be able to convience the world that we ALL need to do certain things to correct the problem and even if we did convience other countries, it will be to late to make the corrections so the end of the world as they will know it will come.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  29. Dean in Pa


    Most voting age people will not live long enough to feel the effects of global warming and could care less about the next generation, unless you are Republican and think "W"'s deficit is not as bad as Obama's, then they care about our children. The only global warming the Repub's believe will happen is with "nuclar" intervention.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  30. DON IN MASS.

    People do not understand. We live in a bubble.
    Basically speaking, people are uneducated when it comes to understanding their enviroment and how fragile it is.
    We see the glacier's melting, sea levels rising, ocean currents getting turned around, the polar bears running out of space,the ozone getting depleted,carbon dioxide levels rising and unusual weather. What more do you need to know?
    When you were a kid, how long did your goldfish last when you kept him in a bowl? not very long. Did you ever wonder why? Did you really care?
    We are all goldfish in a bowl and we need to start caring because who else will?

    May 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  31. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Because the US thinks very short term. We only think in 4 year groups, while other countries think in 40 to 50 year or more groups.

    That is why we can never make very much progress on big issues because we do not think long term. And Global Warming is a Short Term but also a Long Term problem that people think they can ignore until later.

    Just like Noah's brother said when he purchased an umbrella instead of helping build the Ark.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  32. David

    I don't think it's last on EVERYONE'S list! The topic does seem to be taking a back seat to what most folks feel are the pressing issues today... like will I have a job tomorrow or how can I pay this new mortgage payment. It also doesn't help the argument when the morons point to a few low temperatures and say "SEE... THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING!"

    May 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  33. Christine from Ocean City, MD

    I think we are all happy to follow concrete suggestions as long as we feel they will work. But if we feel that the world is going to heat up no matter what we do, then I, at least, don't feel motivated to sacrifice and do the right thing. If only we had a charismatic leader who could inspire us all to hope and change. Yes, we can.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  34. Theresa in Atlanta

    Just let a massive ice sheet melt and flood some of the swanky communities like West Palm Beach and Manhattan and it will be back to number 1. In short, people only worry about what they think will directly affect them now.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  35. Jeff Crocket

    Climate change that we should fear is a myth perpetrated by the left for political expediency!! Al Gore who had 8 years as VP didn't say Boo! He is a fraud!!

    Jeff in New Britain, CT

    May 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  36. Mike, FL

    Food, family comes first!! Jobs! Most people I think also realize Earth is in a cycle which none of us can stop!

    May 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  37. Dan, Chantilly VA

    It's simple: It isn't going to happen tomorrow and it's expensive to fix. As Americans, we only care about immediate concerns and we avoid anything we can't fix on the cheap. If and when the first American city ends up underwater, we'll start to care. Of course, it will probably be too late by then. But hey, not my problem, right? I'll be dead by then.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  38. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    As soon as the Chinese, Indians, and other industrial polluters come to the global party; I wonder who is kidding who? I believe this warming business is contrived to make Al Gore and his buddies a ton of money and nothing more. I don't buy it.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  39. Brian Riback - Waldwick, NJ

    It's a question of order of operations. As important as it is, if we focus on it now, nothing will happen. We need to focus on this once we get the Bingo Players in Senate to finally move to Miami where they belong and have fresh young minds to help us live in the world of today...not the world these people are trying to hold onto. See John Mayer's, "Waiting On The World To Change."

    May 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  40. Bonnie in Arkansas

    At least the awareness among the general public is light-years ahead of where it was 35 years ago, when we should have started taking this seriously.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  41. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Global warming is a very serious matter, but when you put it up against losing jobs and homes, it's not that crucial at this time. People are being realistic and putting their environmental concerns in their proper place and order right now.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  42. mitchell, arkansas

    Because greed has become more important than happiness and health. More honor is given to those who have the most, than to those who give the most. More respect is given, to those who get things done quickly, [no matter what the cost to our environment] , than those who do things correctly, with much thought to the potential impact on our world. Instead of perceiving ourselves as living in one big bubble, we live in billions of little bubbles. the little bubbles pop and are soon forgotten, but, if the big bubble pops? well, it's been nice knowing you, Jack......,

    May 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  43. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    I am very worried about global warming, but it's hard to make that a top issue when I don't know if I will survive economically through the end of this month, I need decent health care coverage, and my retirement is in serious trouble. In addition to that, I have family members in the military who are either currently deployed, or scheduled to be deployed. There's a lot to be worried about!

    May 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  44. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, who gives a rip about global warming when you cannot even warm your house because 1) You don’t have any money (i.e. no job) 2) You cannot afford the fuel (i.e. no job) 3) You have no home because you could not make the payments (i.e. you got it, no job). Global warming is something that should be addressed, but as part of tackling our dependence on foreign oil and creating the energy here (i.e. create jobs).

    May 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  45. Dennis North Carolina

    education or a lack of education or the ability to think is the problem. people do not realize that with out clean air,water and food,the earth will come to a end.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  46. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Oh I wish I had a job to support me that is what I'd truly like to see and if I had a job to support me I would be really really free.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  47. michael armstrong sr.

    hears why no.{1} putz all these deseases are coming from prehistoic ice when and where it melts it releases a deadly influinza from that time frame and sooner or later its going to release the ultimate decease . our death is in the ice.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  48. Kevin in Alabama

    Global Warming is big business. Some of those liberal freaks have been getting rich by running around and crying the sky is falling!

    May 4, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  49. Darin

    It's too bad that there aren't enough people who care about the air we breathe or water we drink. It's going to hurt the people of the future, but those living in the now don't care. I guess if there is no profit in "caring" about your environment, it will always rank last.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  50. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    With all of the other crises facing us, it seems that the environment can still wait for someone else to handle it. It has also been the decades of conditioning from staunch industrialists & their political reps. representing anyone that has concerns about the environment as "wack jobs". Now, the public is supposed to do a 180 degree turn and accept that the "wack jobs" have been right all along. Some of them just can't do it. Also, many workers are affected by the need for policy changes to help the environment. Many just will not accept change & embrace new technologies. Change is hard for many people and they just do not have alot of patience & faith in government to get the ball rolling.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  51. Mike – Denver, CO

    Shortsightedness. It is a feel-good concept that takes a back seat to money. Lots of people care, but they would rather have a couple extra dollars in the bank than breathable air.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  52. odessa

    no one isn't discussing global warming because mainstream media or politicans are afraid to talk about it.at least president obama is speaking about global warming and wants to deal with it.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  53. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    It’s like watching the grass grow, that’s why. We see it coming. We know it will probably change everything we do. People won’t know it’s time to cut the grass until it gets too high. It might take Manhattan going under water before people know it’s time to save the Earth.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  54. Otis Maynard

    If recent economic history is any guide, this so-called Christian nation will remain apathetic to the global warming issue until it hits home...hard! Maybe, one day we'll wake up to sustained record temperatures, icreasingly devastating storms, beach or lakefront properties and simply think like the may-saying GOP that it's all part of God's plan. Well, God had a plan for the dinosaurs too and we all know how that turned out.

    Otis M.
    West Hartford, CT

    May 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  55. Grant Bakersfield, CA

    Jack, everyone is aware we need to respect our planet, but these enviromental extremists have no credibility. Not long ago there was a group in California trotting out there scientists saying black and dark colored cars are worse for the enviroment because they are harder to cool in the summer...a total crock. We need to respect the environment, but we also don't need to wreck our economy over slanted half-truths. Until I see all these activists riding their bicycles around, growing all their own food, using cloth diapers, living in solar houses, and cooking with nothing but a magnifying glass and the sun, it doesn't matter what those hypocritical, self-serving, gas bags have to say or which words they use.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  56. Allison Sloan

    Possibly because global warming was utterly dismissed for 8 years by the Bush administration, so there are many who don't believe it's happening. Possibly also because many people are egocentric, and don't care about anything that doesn't directly affect them in the present, and don't care about the future, because they will be dead.
    Allison Sloan
    Vancouver, B.C.

    May 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  57. Robert Yates

    Because we Americans don't take issues seriously UNLESS it directly affect us today. Point in case–The economy. All was swell until their pocket books were picked!

    May 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  58. Andrew, Tampa, FL

    Bottom line:
    People do not understand the severity of what is at stake. Most people are uninformed or misinformed.
    Also, if you are Republican, you are 3 times more likely to think global warming is exaggerated, compared to a Democrat. Just 10 years ago, this figure was almost the same...

    May 4, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  59. arlene in iowa

    If global warming ranks last on a list of 20 issues then our world is a lot worse off than I thought.It's not 20 on my list , but they didn't poll me.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  60. Pugas-AZ

    We are dealing in the present with all its attendant problems. We also know that the party is probably over concerning our past life style; not to mention the upcoming battle with emerging countries over resourses, pollution, etc.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  61. Linda in Arizona

    It's a big issue, too big for tiny minds to wrap themselves around. It won't help to dumb it down either. People, for the most part, can only think about what is in front of their faces. If Global Warming meant Joe Schmo was going to lose his job, then you MIGHT get his attention. Unfortunately, by the time it is clear to the general population that we are destroying the earth, it will be too late. Actually, it already is too late, but nobody is ready to admit it.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  62. anthony...swedesboro, nj

    Americans see problems only on the short-term. It's our nature to prioritize immediate concerns and solve them accordingly.
    When it comes to Mother Nature, progress is glacial and ephemeral. Are global warming and ice ages just a normal cyclical event or is man really capable of making the slightest dent on nature?
    It's just too esoteric for a layman and too insolvable for our geniuses.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  63. Simon Cheung

    Because companies who are "green" have this last on their list of their concerns too. They don't make the choices affordable, and in this economy, that is key. It is all about profit and cashing in on an idea, which most consumers cannot afford to be concerned about.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  64. tyler w (portland, OR)

    yeah... lets change it from "global warming" to "EXTINCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE"

    that got your attention?

    May 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  65. Bertha in SC

    It's simple. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs at work. People must meet their basic physiological needs before they can move on to anything else. People care. They just have other concerns they MUST take care of during this time like feeding their families and hanging onto their homes. When things settle down, Global Warning will climb up on the list.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  66. Carl from Citrus Heights, California

    It is hard to be comprehensive on the subject of global warming because no one is actually linking all the dots necessary for all of us to understand how this one issue is more likely to solve almost all of our problems. By addressing global warming we begin to inform all people that we are in this world together and we need to all treat the earth the same way we need to treat each other. Hard to think in global warming terms when food, shelter, clothing, transportation, health, education........ are our more immediate needs. Good luck to us all.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  67. Ed in RI

    There are many reasons; but the foremost is the fact that the Bush administration in league with Big Oil and the coal industry, spent many millions on propaganda campaigns against global warming advocates. Also; please remember that Bush appointed non-science propagandists to "black-out" numerous details from NASA's leading scientists. 60 minutes explained this in graphic detail.
    The other problem is the terminology - "Global warming vs. climate change". The latter, not getting the proper focus. Rush, Beck, and many other right-side conservatives use this as an excuse to convince their audience that there is no such thing as Global Warming!
    Ed S. North Kingstown,RI

    May 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  68. Jerry A - Toronto, Ontario

    Hi Jack, for the most part we can still breathe without gasping (sort of), can look up and see a blue sky (well, maybe not in L.A.), and city tap water is still drinkable (if they have any left). Now change one or all and watch how fast environmental issues move to the top of the list. We’re like a virus on this planet, we destroy, consume and pollute just about everything we touch, and unless it affects our wallets, we just continue down the same path. It’s pretty sad that we always wait till the last minute then scramble around yelling and screaming that the sky is falling before we act. I honestly wonder at times how we as a species made it to the top of the food chain.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  69. Matt from Kansas

    When the last presidential administration began its work, we didn't have so many concerns and had more time to worry about New York City sinking into the ocean as sea levels rise. Thanks to the bang-up job our government did over the last 8 years, we are now concerned about things Americans wouldn't have dreamed of worrying about during better times. Now the threats of terrorism, nuclear fallout, and the legs being knocked out from under the global economy no longer seem like worst case scenarios, and if you live in New York City, these things probably seem more real and impending than the waters encroaching on Battery Park.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  70. Marietta

    because there are serious crises 20 things ahead of it on top ...Pres Obama is dealing in his plans with global warming crises-new energy and caps on companies–etc etc..

    May 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  71. Tomasz


    The People of the world are concerned and worried about how they are going to find the ways and means to food and shelter. Solutions to problems like Global Climate Change are not going to find them food and shelter within the next 6 months to, possibly, 10 years.
    There is plenty of talk about "Getting away from dirty fossil fuels." I tell you that there are economies and nations that obtain GDP only from the sale of Fossil Fuels.
    There is plenty of hatered against Oil Producing Nations, namely the Arabs intermingled in the Green Movement.

    Ma Salama

    May 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  72. Roy - Chicago IL


    Issues to people rank in importance as to how immediately they impact your life....if you have no job, no health insurance, and no money.....how could a climate trend that is measured in terms of decades be important to you right now?!?! Our lives are so 'right now' that we can barely think of next week!

    May 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  73. Derek Wayne, NJ

    all you need to do is look around and drive around places to know how the environment is. Personally, I think the planet is fine. The people aren't.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  74. Dick B

    Being from Indiana and just now getting through a very cold and nasty winter, I would welcome a little global warming in my area. Maybe the two coasts will go under water, the polar bears might drown, south america may bake away, and lots of bugs and things I have never heard of could die, but my heating bill will go down and that will make me happy.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  75. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    There are so many issues that are more immediate and visible that climate change seems less important. Unfortunately if global warming continues at its current pace there will be no humans to worry about it in the near future.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  76. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    The concern for the future by the majority of the US populace is about as long as its attention span, about 3 seconds. Even our business leaders have little concern for anything beyond the current quarter, or their next bonus enumeration. Unless the spectre of all the displaced, starving, thirsty humanity arriving in one's neighborhood next week, can be raised, one will care not.

    What's needed is a Republican style catch phrase like "Tax and Spend Liberal", "European Style Socialism", "Supply Side Economics", "Drill Baby Drill". It must be very scary like "Eco-Holocaust" that conjurs an image of the Earth surface aflame. How about "civil annihilation?"

    May 4, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  77. chas

    Why? Stop calling it “global warming”. Stop calling it Global Cooling. Let's try climate change and see if that sticks to the wall.

    Over thirty years of wrong conclusions and still working out the way to control and exploit the American Tax Payer. Worse, still wasting tax dollars, which as long as you do, these climate change people will find things wrong so they recieve more money.

    How much has Al Gore made so far on this?

    May 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  78. Amy, Stevens Point, WI

    There are only so many things one can care about. Something has to be last on the list.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  79. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Sleeping indoors on a regular basis i.e. owning or renting a domicile, eating on a three meal per day basis, medical care for the family, ensuring an income in an age of downsizing, educating children so that they can measure up to the needs of the next generation, viral pandemics, Global Warming number 20? I'm surprised it's that high.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  80. Mr. Miller

    The reason "global warming" ranks lowest on the list of things people worry about is that it's bum science. Most folks have enough common sense to understand this and are turned off by the environmental extremists. The message should be that we, as individuals and a nation, must take rational, prudent steps where possible to reduce our impact on the planet. Approach it in a reasonable way and more people would take it seriously. However, we mostly hear from the ultimate-believers who sound like crazy, out of touch fear-mongerers. Finally, if Al Gore is a chief spokesperson, how can you take global warming serious?

    May 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  81. Rene

    It is last on the list because only Al Gore and his left wing "get rich", cronies are singing this song.

    You can't sell it, if you don't do it!

    May 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  82. dave

    They can't eat it, can't smell it, can't spend it and they think it's a long way off. The old saying leave it for someone else let them fix it.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  83. Geri - Mead, OK

    Personally I don't think the people at this particular point in time really care to change their lifestyle all that much particularly now that they have far more pressing issues to deal with. They also feel that there is something insincere about the whole thing. We also know that those who run the non-profits and ngo's are getting mighty rich off this cause, yet for as long as they have been supposedly fighting for environmental and lifestyle changes, they have accomplished very little if anything at all. Moreover, it's a little difficult to get worked up about something that may simply be a natural phenomenon in nature that occurs every 26,000 years or so, like Mars this coming August behaving and looking like we have another moon, which hasn't been done in about 27,000 years, or so the cosmologists say, and may not occur again for another 27,000 years.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:26 pm |

    I don't understand why. If we don't take better care of our world, there won't be anyone left to worry about moral issues and lobbiest. They are a concern too, but when the glaciers etc. are deteriating so bad, we need to take care of them too.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  85. Weldon from Canada

    Global warming is probably the last thing of concern to the voters for the mere fact that there won't be a globe to worry about unless a mass of other worldwide problems are resolved.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  86. Jeff, Cape Coral, FL.


    The earth has had warming and cooling trends for billions of years. Why is it that mankind is now responsible for it? I don't want the pollution China has, but at the same time, I think killing of industries because of their emissions is is shooting ourselves in the foot. There has to be a way to lessen emissions without finishing the job of killing our economy.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  87. Rob, Saint Lucie, FL

    Jack, It always gets warm this time of year, anyway we have more pressing issues, steroids in baseball, amnesty for lawbreaking illegals, letting more cheap foreign imports into the US, trying to outsource our jobs, and any other useless issues congress can think of.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  88. Ralph Nelson

    Ask Adam Smith, he knows. Why is America one of the few remaining places with virgin forrest? Take a bow Teddy Roosevelt. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  89. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    It's "DEAD LAST" becasue it's nothing more than a left wing wacko notion, not proven nor real! It's only news because you left wing basised media chooses to promote left wing wacko agendas!

    May 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  90. Andy Gaskins


    Like many things in life people just do not fully comprehend them until they happen. Out of site out of mind i suppose.
    Real or not we should probably take care of our environment much like we take care of our own homes/cars to possibly prevent a collapse.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  91. Patsy

    When President Obama pulls us out of the recession, that is when "Global Warming" will get the attention it needs.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  92. jim Toronto

    keeping my job, is number one
    putting food on the table, is number two
    education for the kids, staying healthy, having some kind of lifestyle, paying for a car and putting gas in it will be numbers three through number 19.
    worrying whether it will be a sunny day today is,.... number 20

    May 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  93. Hernan from Richmond, VA

    We have too many isues to deal with right now. President Obama is willing to take this issue as soon as this recession is over.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  94. Dan

    Its very simple Jack, the problem is one that is will rise down the road and not now. Voters generally are looking at the issues that affect them today and the challenges of tomorrow can be dealt with them. The problem with this is that global warming is something that can only be solved through prevention once it becomes a serious problem there are very few solutions.
    St. Louis

    May 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  95. John - Houston, TX

    Why would they care about global warming, Jack? Our society has become so egocentric that they don't care about what kind of world our next generations will inherit from us as long as they can keep their current luxury and conveniences. Specially because rich people can always move to somewhere else when things start to get tough with the environment. Poor people don't have this privilege. But, who cares ???

    May 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  96. Steve Dressler

    I think depending upon what side of the political spectrum you come from gloabal warming was either invented by Al Gore along with the internet and doesn't exist at all if you listen to Limbaugh or we are approaching the point of no return. Jack, correct me if I'm wrong but CNN had fuests on a few months ago who said we might be experiencing global cooling. People don't know what to believe anymore. I think we have to state the case clearly with scientific empirical evidence and not make it a political issue. Besides, it's the duty of world leaders to take action if they feel this is an emergency as opposed to listening to what the people think. That's called leadership.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  97. Mark

    I'll be dead by the time anything catastrophic will happen.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  98. david from virginia

    People have difficulty taking immediate steps to address a future problem. Even if that particular future is very near. Add to that the intentional obfuscation of special interest groups and many Americans are throwing their hands up in the air.

    Personally, it breaks my heart when I think about the world we're leaving to my young sons.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  99. Trevor in California

    I think this is because there is no feeling of danger involved in the idea of a warming planet...who doesn't like to be warm? If they want to get serious, try Catatostrophic Climate Change. Scare me! Dang it, this is a serious issue...it needs a serious name. Make me afraid, then maybe I would be more willing to make the effort. Worked for 9/11 and Iraq.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  100. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    Because to many just don't care, i guess that they think it will just go away or something and that's a shame.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  101. Chris in Alaska

    Because global warming, climate change, whatever you call it, is at best exaggerated, and at worst, a complete sham.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  102. Paul Gohranson las vegas

    Jack, I think the reason this is so low on the list.is because we in this country tend to look at the imeadiate rather than the future. we are spending our great grand kids money right now, we are ruining their place to live as well. If it doesn't directly interfere with our quality of life right now, let someone else worry about it. Thats America!

    May 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  103. Karen in oregon

    We only have so much capacity to worry about stuff. our bad stuff meter is pegged full right now.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  104. Karen - Missouri

    Probably because Bush left us with so many disasters to clean up that global warming had to go last on the list. But then, it's not REALLY last because ALL the issues are TIED together and working energy independence with CLEAN energy will help with global warming...and the jobs will help the economy along with the energy independence and the global warming. Only a simpleton would think all items on the list are "stand alone" issues.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  105. Kim

    Because we humanbeings are stupid sometimes. We are not that scare when it is not effecting us in a big way yet. We wait till it gets to the point where all hell breaks loose.

    May 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  106. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    I don't have a clue, Jack. It sure ranks higher than that for me!

    May 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  107. Joy

    Do they understand the impact it has on the entire world if we continue to behave irresponsibly? I don't think so Jack!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  108. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Because many people have a dislike for Al Gore's condescending manner and have legitimate questions about the science behind global warming, I think it would be good to find a new spokesperson and change the focus to the harm caused by pollution and wasteful energy consumption. I voted for Al Gore for President only because there was no other choice; he drives me up a wall. Admittedly I barely passed organic chemistry, but I couldn't find much real science in his award-winning documentary–I just kept hoping he would fall off the ladder when he climbed up to the top of the giant graph.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  109. Mabes

    Why is this a hard question? Should it rank any higher? Explain to my why disagreement in the scientific community, an abysmal job market, and a mammoth problem (which requires a complete change of lifestyle) would combine to rank the problem any higher in the minds of Americans?
    Combine that with a traditional anti-academic nature of Americans (and the fact that many people, including me, think the problem is overblown), and you have your answer.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  110. Altay Otun

    Jack, step into my shoes for a moment.

    I have one girl about to enter college without any financial aid from the government and I have another girl on the way. My wife was laid off from her job and my pay check alone wont be able to cover hospital bills, diapers, food, and clothes for the baby. At least if the ice caps melt I'll get a free swimming pool in my backyard where I can blow off some steam.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  111. Randy from Salt Lake City

    If it can't be seen all the time, everyday by the 'Murikan sheeple, then it doesn't exist. Now, if it was on Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, etc, then maybe, maybe the lemmings would be concerned. Maybe.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  112. Roland - St George, UT

    Because as long as we have enough to eat, and as long as it's not our coastline that's being submerged by rising sea levels, as long as we are not the ones having extended droughts and famines and record-strength storms causing massive flooding killing hundreds of thousands...then it's really easy for us to just tune out. Now, I'm NOT suggesting that Americans are incompassionate, but rather that we have a detached compassion. It's much easier for us to continue with our consumerist lifestyle, but watch an infomercial about suffering people affected by global warming, write a check and send it off in the mail, and go on about our business. Maybe that moment of conscience will prompt us to recycle a few more bottles, cans, and newspapers...but to make bigger changes than that? Seriously, it's got to come from higher up because the average person can only do so much. (Roland/St George, UT)

    May 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  113. Randy

    I'll take a wild guess. Millions on the verge of homelessness, joblessness, bankruptcy, bad insurance, worsening education, and even less "hope and change" from the last gov't., people just don't have the time to add more to their plates. Most people tend to focus on the problems that are immediate rather than the ones that are pending.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  114. Ken in NC

    Voters know that if we can’t agree on our own problems and solutions there is no way we will be able to convience the world that we ALL need to do certain things to correct the problem and even if we did convience other countries, it will be to late to make the corrections so the end of the world as they will know it will come.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  115. Fred May Sr Spanaway WA.

    Who's to say there is such a thing as Global Warming? How far back do the weather records go? Who's to say the increase in global temperture is not a normal thing? I have seen summers when the asphalt in the street became so soft auto tire treads colud be seen. I have seen days in the mid summer here a light jacket or sweater felt good. I thing this warming we see is just a normal swing in the weather cycle. Could our air be cleaner? Yes. Lets get back to mass tramsportation and watch how much cleaner our air would be. Global warming may be real. It may may be created by the increase in world population.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  116. Alexander Titus

    I'll tell you why. The Majority of the public do not know the real truths to global warming and are not educated. If they actually learned about it they would be concerned about it as I am.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  117. corey watkins

    It sounds too much like a catastrophe! thats why. Voters do not want to relive the horrible moments of Waterworld (1995, Kevin Reynolds). We don't want to worry about growing gills. Its not melting now is it?? The media's obsession with making the viewers feel that we are all on the brink of extinction needs to be dimmed down a bit. If we need new fuel and that is the next step to take towards saving our worlds health then it would make total sense for voters to decide on one thing at a time instead of a vague phrase that is far from scientific.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  118. Scott

    because Global Warming is a lie, wake up you closet drunk.

    Your mind is all wet

    May 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  119. Jose Crespo

    People are tired of hearing about a problem thats not going to affect us today. It's sad to think that our generation simply doesn't care about our future generations...

    May 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  120. Nicholas Miller

    Why does global warming end up last on the list? In case you haven't noticed...if you ask a group of 'average' Americans virtually any question.....you will find out that they are, essentially...and sadly....dumb as stumps. If it doesn't "hit them in the face" they tend not to even notice!!! sad..........

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  121. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Because they think it will get worse far later, and they do not want to pay to keep their children and grandchildren safe. They want to spend theirs and the peoples money on things that they can enjoy right now. In short they do not want to look to the future, because the future cost too much. So they are willing to let the planet become a garbage dump as long as they do not have to pay to clean it up!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  122. Jean

    The fixes are too drastic for an inconclusive scientific possibility. It's like being told you must have chemotherapy without knowing for sure you have cancer.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  123. Jill

    Americans were subjected to 8 years of propaganda from the Bush administration that global warming did not exist. If a responsible conservative (surely one or two still exist) stepped up and spoke honestly about the situation, it would push the discussion away from liberal / conservative debate toward facts, expalantions, and solutions.

    Jill in TN

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  124. Gwen of Tucker GA.

    because most americans see the world as Palin does?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  125. louisrichards

    "Global Warming" finished 20th on the list because Global Warming isn't "sexy" and calls for real "sacrifice". Who did you think you were talking to? This is America!!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  126. Bernadette Loesch

    Jack, It is scary and simple. People know that we may be past the point of no return in trying to undo the damage done by global warming. The best way for a majority of people to cope with the situation is to ignore it. That is the very sad fact of life.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  127. Hugo, Williamsburg, VA

    It's very simple. It's a long term issue. Most people cannot think past three months!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  128. Ed in Iowa

    It's a red herring, Jack. The problem is the term "global warming" is too generic. Folks care about how they'll overcome it, and that's why things like limiting lobbyist influence are so high on the list.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  129. Larry

    Hhmmm, Could it be because americans are idiots, waiting and having "faith" that God will save us. Are we the only animals that live in our own droppings.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  130. Anna

    Because we send all our pollution to China and we think that this was already solved. If they had smelly factories in their back yard then global warming would be number one.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  131. Gary Chandler in Canada

    For one thing, Global Warming is a myth.
    Instruments in the North Atlantic for the last 3 decades have showed a coolling of 0.4 C.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  132. Bill Alford

    Because Jack, since we can't afford our heating bills, we'll look for the silver lining and a little help whereever we can find it.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  133. Adam Louisville Ky

    Dont call it carbon dioxide anymore? Fine. Lets call it the "stuff plants breath".

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  134. Bruce - Ontario, CA

    Because pollsters will not rank 20 number 1 issues. It is that simple.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  135. Tom

    The reason global warming doesn't resonate with people much any more is that they are finally become educated on the issue. The temperature of the Earth is set by the Sun, and in the realm of global temperature, as with the climate as a whole, humans are pretty much along for the ride. It is incredibly arrogant to think that we can (or should even attempt to) change something so fundamental to life as a whole on this planet. The Earth has been warmer in the past, and cooler in the past, and life has always adapted and thrived.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  136. Kelly in Moline, Illinois

    The list is an intelligence test, and we are failing.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  137. Gail

    Because Pew's sample is skewed. . . if they had asked me, I would have put it at number 1.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  138. Mark in NY

    Jack, "global warming" is not an issue that has immediate feedback, because it is a longer-term issue than most. If people in this country were concerned with long-term issues, they would not have wound up in so much personal debt. We as a society are terribly myopic when it comes to sacrificing now for the greater good later. It's called "socialism" these days.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  139. Christine B.

    Global warming seems remote and far away. The dangers don't seem eminent or part of our daily lives or annoyances. The problem is that by the time the dangers are part of our everyday lives, it may be too late to change things.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  140. Daniel

    Whys it have to be called Global Warming? Why cant we just say we are destroying our planet, does anyone doubt THAT? Its about nothing more than taking things for granted, we all do it, and we have been doing it on a global scale, literally, for decades.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  141. Jim Bailey

    The health of the planet is #20 for the same reason lunatic terrorists were #20, or was it #200, on the list of stuff to worry about on 9-10.
    It's not a problem til it bites us in the butt.
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek CO

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  142. Mizzybii

    The reason global warming ranks last is because any educated person knows that the solar system is heating up, this phenomenon isn't limited to this planet alone! It has to do more with the sun and less with carbon dioxide!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  143. c applewhite

    Voter stupidity–they will not notice until the diasters start

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  144. Richard

    Cause it's May and cold.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  145. Roanna Martin Peoria, AZ

    Many years ago after much study the GOP figured out that "global warming" sounded warm and fuzzy and they managed to replace "climate change" in the lexicon After all, many people live in cold climates so a few extra degrees would be great. The term global warming is the problem. It denotes a safe change, nothing to worry about, no reason to charge Big Business an extra penny for environmental clean up etc. It is listed in 20th place because the propaganda worked. Yet another gift to the future from the forward-thinking GOP.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  146. Liam Schiffmann

    It is not unbelievable that Americans place global warming at the bottom of the most important issues, it is complex, depressing, and takes an international effort. With many other issues to distract us from real problems, it is not wonder that the greatest security threat to every nation and every individual is something to shrug off.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  147. Dean Patton

    The reason is simple, it is not real, it is NOT man made as many wish for us to think it is. People are beginning to realize this and see what a political sham it really is.

    Why does this administration want to tax PLANT FOOD! Carbon dioxide.

    The real cause, look to the sun for Pete's Sake

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  148. Richie from Wisconsin

    Jack, I think it's mostly because of the muddying of this whole "global warming" business. The scientific community can't quite decide whether it should be "global warming" or "climate change" or whether we should be focusing on the dangers to future generations or saving money for ourselves. It's purely a public relations problem, and people mistake this discord in nomenclature for a lack of consensus on the actual science.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  149. Don

    Jack, global warming is issue #20 because thanks to the previous administration, most Americans are worried about where their next 19 meals are coming from.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  150. Gary

    Maybe because the US public is smarter than most think. Because we understand killing a job here to help the polution will only create a job elsewhere that is more poluting. Somewhere like China where there are no environmental laws.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  151. Bill from pa

    When "overpopulation" reachs number one on the list, our young people might have a more promising future. It's all relative.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  152. Gail Bramer

    I believe it is last on the list because many have not been taught as children or young adults to experience and understand the environs in which they live. Changing the words does not matter. Education does.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  153. Chris McCarthy

    Why can't we all be like President Obama and..."Do it all!" Come on! Most resonses on this blog mentioned 9 to 10 issues so let's just get it all done once and for all!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  154. Janne from NC

    Because I'm tired of being beat over the head with it. Most of us do all we can, we recycle and all the other little things. Unfortunatly I can't afford a hybrid car, solar panels on my house are not an option and the last time I checked windmills are not allowed in my neighborhood. Just what is it I am suppose to do? That and the fact that the people pushing global warming spend more time yelling at me about all the bad things I am doing instead of explaining just how they know that we actually have a declining atmosphere make it very hard for me to take seriously.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  155. Kiyana

    Because us humans don't understand that even with a awesome government (not that I'm saying it is) our world will one day be inhabitable. I don't understand why politics are more important than our WORLD.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  156. Michael Waters

    Because it's not immediate enough. We live in a hyped up, over drugged world of instant gratification. If we were less wrapped up in ourselves, maybe we might ponder on the current effects (extreme weather) and future effects and how future generations will be impacted. But this current culture is still trying to accumulate all the "stuff" it can and live for today. The ironic thing is...you can't take any of it with you. We might want to leave a legacy, but we need to start thinking about the environment those legacies will grow up in and stop taking it all for granted.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  157. Zachary

    Hey jack,

    The reason that global warming is last, is because Americans are more concerned about their economic shape, than the planet's shape. If environmentalists got their way the word economy wouldn't exist. The only way to get the average American to think about the environment is to have incentives for helping the environment.

    Tampa Bay, Florida

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  158. Sasha

    Why is global warming last???????I'll tell you why because most people alive today dont give a damn since they wont be alive when things get bad and believe me they WILL GET BAD

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  159. Heather Lamborn

    People don't worry about things that may happen in the future, even though it may mean the end of life on earth. If it doesn't affect you within the next two years, why worry about it?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  160. Mike W

    Global warming is low on the totem pole for two reasons, its not in your face every day like the risk of loosing your job or home and many people belong to religions who believe the end of the world is coming and they believe its all part of the plan. Many embrace the end times as a "Good thing".

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  161. tom farrelly in Seattle, WA

    The public understands that there really is no "consensus" about man-caused global warning. The consensus exists among non-experts, like journalists and TV pundits, and green politicians. But anyone who has access to the internet and good newspapers knows that the evidence is dodgy, and that many qualified scientists are not at all convinced. One example is a tenured professor of climate studies at MIT; we consider him more qualified on the subject than
    Al Gore or Barack Obama, or even you Jack. (Lundgren is his name.)

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  162. jen

    Nobody wants to pay for the clean-up after the planet-busting avarice-a-thon. It's always about money, Jack. You know that.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  163. Kevin

    I think that global warming is last on the list because if you think about it 10,000 years ago we were in an ice age. If you look throughtout history the climate of the earth constantly changes. Maybe it's just time for the earth to get warmer. The earth's surface constantly changes as will the temperature. Maybe when the sea levels start to raise or people skin starts to bubble up will people start to take notice to how serious global warming is.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  164. Ashley

    Being a major in biological conservation, the Global Warming term probably affects people very little due to the fact that the earth naturally goes through warming and cooling periods. In reality it is in fact Global Wierding, causing flooding some places, severe droubts in another and warming and cooling where it isn't supposed to be. Although it seems quite silly that people can't wise up and get the idea that there is something wrong with our planet, they probably think it will fix itself on its own. What they don't know is that they might not be here after it decides to do that.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  165. Scott

    It's not the way it's phrased it's the reality that many view it as an obscure concept, something that is beyond our control. With the myriad of issues affecting our country today, we can more easily focus on the one's that need to change now. Moving global warming up on the priority list may require Americans to make changes they aren't willing to, or they see a disconnect between going green and fighting global warming. It's cool to be green, but global warming is hotly debated.
    Kalamazoo, MI

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  166. Ed Bassett Sr

    Global warming?? Don't use THAT term to a man shoveling 18 inches of snow from his driveway-CLIMATE change is more to proper and it happens naturally–all of our pollutants are simplly speeding it along!
    Ed Watertown CT

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  167. Stephen Charchuk

    Jack, as we all know a person is smart and people are stupid. One reason why religion is still popular in many places.

    If it isn't happening to them right this instant than it doesn't exist for them. This is also why evolution is such a hard sell in many areas of America as well.

    Stephen in Canada.....

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  168. Shawn

    It's simple...In times of more pressing matters such as the economy and job security, global warming problems are placed on the back burner. Moreover, global warning problems may even appear to be part of the problem which further dissociates public concern.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  169. StormerF

    Jack..Global warming is Enviromentalists way of promoting bigger government with more expensive energy and more government control of our lives......Read the Book: GREEN HELL,,and you will be enlightened,about how the Socialists have become Enviromentalists,and their ever consuming plan for government control of our lives..

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  170. flying wolf, Manchester NH

    Jack, in my opinion it's because that in so many Northern states where heating your home is such a financial burden, a lot of people are hoping for some global warming just to ease that struggle.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  171. Wally

    Because talk radio and Fox News have constantly ridiculed the idea that we could be destroying the environment. People tend to believe those who tell them what they WANT to hear. It is far easier to hear that global warming doesn't exist or that it is natural and there is nothing we can do about it than to accept that we may have to spend money and change our way of life to save the planet. Global warming is gradual enough that we probably won't be sure of the result until it is too late. Of course, we all know that the EARTH isn't in danger, only the people that live on it.

    Youngstown, OH

    May 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  172. Paula

    Being #20 on the list is not the issue. The issue is that "Global Warming" or, more appropriately, "Climate Change," or "Our Deteriorating Cimate" is still even being questioned as an issue.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  173. Collins Atlanta

    Because its too damn cold! There is a reason everyone moves to FL. Now gobal chilling, thats a crisis.

    Atlanta, Ga

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  174. Ken in NC

    Bigotry, hate, hangings and the like were not on the fore front of America until Southern Whites began to murder Northern Whites and those pictures began to make the 6PM news.

    When a problem smacks Americans in the face, they have no choice but to face it then. Until such time as the environment slaps us in the face we will continue to push it down the ladder of priorities.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  175. scott wagner

    maybe because the concerned voters of this country, #1 do not believe that global warming is the major threat to our society, #2 we may also feel that it is just a smokescreen being used by the current administration to ramrod bad legislation through the congress. there are definitely more pressing things on the list. By the way, what was the number one concern? why don't you report that?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  176. Frank

    I have to agree that Global Warming just doesn't sound right. I propose we call it Hawaiian weather for everyone or if it's good for the equator, it's good for all of us.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  177. Don in Toledo

    Sorry Jack but it's kinda hard to get all worked up over something that may have dire results in the furture when you don't have a job today. Let the economy turn around and people have a little more disposable income and you'll see a lot more concern about this planet. Once the "GREEN " jobs kick in and people see that they can have a career protecting our habitat, then more people will start thinking "GREEN".

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  178. Criag Eyles

    Four words...Global Warming doesn't exist.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  179. Drew from Pittsburgh


    Why would anybody be concerned with things they can't see. We can't visibly see the atmosphere deterorating or glaciers in the artic melting. Many average American's like myself want our job security and our homes to be first priority. Sorry Al Gore, we're just not ready for you yet.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  180. Never Again

    Global warming is caused by the Sun and the Earth expanding. The Earth will be here the people won't. People are smart why pay for something out of their pockets. And remember a liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man and earth, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  181. Rebecca

    It's last because it is only a theory. Global Warming is not an actual fact; the climate is constantly changing and always has been (Remember the Ice Age?), and it's not something that can be stopped. Why worry about something we can't control?

    Prattville, AL

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  182. Tyler

    I strongly believe that global environmental issues should rank in the top 3 if not higher. We've been far too casual for far too long. We need to get serious about it. It effects the health of every living thing on this planet. However, I believe, and many Americans believe, that "Global Warming" in itself is a Myth. That may be the reason that people are turned off about the subject and are not placing it high on their lists.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  183. nancy g

    I'd like to know what the other 19 issues were. Can't imagine why Global Warming is last–maybe Global Warming rates higher if you live in New Jersey. My fear is that we are prone to not dealing with anything that's down the road, and that it takes a catastrophe to motivate people.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  184. Jackie Frankovich

    It is somelese's problem, namely my generation's. Right now, people are concerned with their 401K depleting and paying their mortgages. Climate change is the unifying human issue and unfortunately, people today are selfish, greedy and above all, inhumane to the concerns of the common good. However, look at how much that strategy of greed worked out for those hit by Katrina. (Largo, FL)

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  185. James

    Here's why global warming OUGHT to rank least amongst voters: Because it's farcical nonsense bearing no credence in reality!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  186. James Fieber

    I think it is because people are ignorant, I am a meteorology student and am surprised how little know about what they are doing to our planet.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  187. Alex

    The work of Milutin Milakovitch shows that the Earth has been warming and cooling in 100,000 year cycles for the past million years. So hmmmm... I wonder who was driving Hummers and burning coal to cause "global warming" over this vast time period. The answer? NO ONE!!! The Earth's climate oscillates and shifts in ways that are poorly understood. Al Gore, Robert Hansen, & co. would like you to believe otherwise, but I am not so easily fooled. By the way, I happen to be a student of paleogeology, so my opinion is formulated more by science than by politics. I am generally liberal, but climate change has been so politicized that people like me get written off as kooks. Too bad I'll be dead before the next cooling cycle happens – I would have really liked to tell Al Gore, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!"

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  188. rick

    The environment has been here and its going to remain the same as it is forever. This is the crazy belief that the majority of society has today. I dont think that people centuries ago dealt with what we are dealing with today such as gas guzzling Suv"S.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  189. Michael, Cape Coral, FL

    Unfortunately, people today are now faced with so many immediate needs that global warming is displaced and slowly descends down the priority list. No one will be concerned with the melting ice caps or starving polar bears while their savings account reads $0 and their house is being foreclosed on.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  190. brad downing

    Environmental issues are not the responsibility of the government. The role of government is not to protect us from ourselves.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  191. Bueno

    Jack, in the long run we're all dead.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  192. Bob Ashworth

    I am an old chemical engineer who analyzed global warming like I have a lot of other data. Never before have I evaluated a scientific premise wherein I found absolutely no empirical (real measurements) data to back it up. Global Warming from CO2 is the biggest scam ever attempted to be imposed on We the People. What is the reason for the scam? Carbon taxes, so a few people can become very wealthy at the expense of the many. Here are some major findings of my analysis.

    1) Most scientists do not buy into global warming from CO2; over 31,000, including Dr. Edward Teller, signed a petition rejecting the Kyoto Global Warming Agreement.

    2) The earth's temperature and CO2 concentration do not correlate at all with one another. Further, the average earth temperature in 2008 was the same as it was in 1982.

    3) Gore had the cause and effect reversed in his Inconvenient Truth documentary concerning the Vostok Ice Core data. He conveniently separated the graphs of CO2 concentration and earth temperature so you could not see which came first. A spike from the sun occurs first then CO2 increases later after the oceans heat up, CO2 solubility decreases, and more CO2 is released from the water to the atmosphere.

    4) Nature absorbs 98.5% of the CO2 emitted from nature and man and thus effectively regulates the CO2 in the atmosphere. No need for man to do anything, for man's activities account for only 3% of the total – a mouse milk effect! Nature emits 97% of the CO2.

    5) No “Greenhouse Signature” is found in the atmosphere as the IPCC predicts.

    6) The greenhouse effect as described by the IPCC is also thermodynamically impossible. It violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics which in essence say you cannot get more energy out of a system than you put into it.

    Is that enough reasons?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  193. Matthew

    an old saying comes to mind:

    Only after the last tree is cut
    And the last river poisoned
    Only after the last fish is caught
    Will you find that money cannot be eaten

    it seems only after the Global Warming issue becomes a crisis, will we give it any thought.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  194. Fred Raulli

    Having lived near thr Great Lakes,(FORMED BY THE LAST ICE AGE)
    I will start to worry about GLOBAL WARMING, if Al Gore can explain what made the last Ice Age receed.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  195. Steve P.

    We are an immediate reward society. Planning and saving for things we want in the future isn't taught to us by our parents nor schools. We spend when we have credit cards or cash and put the responsibility of saving the future on other peoples backs. Give us our immediate rewards such as a good economy or ending the war and we'll be happy. We need to be retrained and learn to save for the future, either environmentally or personally. Thanks

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  196. Carolyn Reichel

    The reason global warming is low on the list is that it has never been proven that global warming actually exists. It would be nice to have dfebates to determine whether we have global warming or is this just a hoax.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  197. Nick Metrowsky

    There are much more important things to worry about, for one. Also, while Global Warming has been reported well in the press, and on various cable channels, there are several scientists who debunk Global Warming. Not to mention, the Bush Administration also debunked Global Warming. So, until politicians and scientists can come together to definitively say Global Warming is real; the issue will remain on the bottom. Finally, human nature is effectively sit around and do nothing until an issue becomes a crisis. Therefore, when the polar icecaps totally melt then people will believe that Global Warming is real.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  198. Braxton

    I wish I knew why people would consider global warming not as important than other issues. Now watch me laugh at all the nonbelievers when people have to wear anti-sun clothing in the future to go fix everything else government involved.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  199. Pascual, Florida

    When you have individuals like Al Gore making millions off of Global Warming the rest of "US" become suspect. What's immediate on my list? The deterioration not of the planet but of the family.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  200. jack streepy

    Because those who claim global warming do not cite any credible evidence to support their claim. Earth's surface has about 200 million square miles, with about 70% under water. Have they measured all those square miles with thermometers? No. Then how have they measured the temperature of our entire globe? Show me the EVIDENCE, not opiniion!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  201. derwin in VA

    jack, everybody is chasing the GREEN–money not eco-issues, What good is having all the money if you have no world to spend it in!!!stop being so greedy!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  202. Nikolas

    I think before you can expect us to answer your question, you need to share with us, the 19 other items that people could choose from in the Pew Research Center Poll.

    Without being able to see what the other 19 choices were, I'll just fall to this answer:

    People know that Global Warming is a giant SHAM. 30 years ago, the same eco-freaks were scaring the world over Global Cooling and warning of the next ice age. Now it's chic to be concerned about Global Warming. It's junk. People can see through the BS. They are concerned with topics that actually MATTER and actually AFFECT them.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  203. Tay

    It's because we can feel the effects of the first 19 issues right now–we don't feel the effects of the 20th. We have what I like to call "lazy legislation" in America. We only patch things up only when things go wrong, instead of being preventative.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  204. Peter Rosenwald

    Jack: the problem is that no one really minds being a few degrees warmer. If the problem was global cooling, then it would climb to the top of the list. As far as all that verbage created by ad men. Blah!

    São Paulo, Brazil

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  205. Cody NJ

    It's because no one cares. Not until the day people are forced to move because coastal cities get flooded out due to the sea level rising will they realize that it's a problem. But by that time it'll be too late, just like the scientists are saying right now.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  206. Mac fromJackson MS

    Global warming ranked last amongst 20 other issues because the impact of global warming is not apparent to the majority of Americans. As a country, we've pushed a lot of problems onto future generations. The majority of Americans only think of imminent issues, or those issues which involve their personal moral beliefs. Not enough people are morally conflicted over their contribution to global warming. Maybe instead of preaching from the pulpit, religious leaders should be telling their congregations to ride a bike to church.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  207. Mark J Prentice

    The Truth Jack, 78%Nitrogen21%Oxygen and whats left 1% and of that we are concerned about .338%

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  208. Matt from Green Bay

    No matter what you call it people will still associate environmentalism with youth, hippies, and the like. It's a stereotype just like every other. Don't get me wrong, I'm doing my fair share to cut my environmental impact, but maybe that's the problem. People are only doing what they think is their fair share, not enough to truly make an impact. Peace, Love and Cheese from Wisconsin, Jack.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  209. Jay

    Because Al Gore wasn't President for the previous 8 years!
    Out of sight, out of mind!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  210. Nancy from Arizona

    It's rated lowest because it won't happen in many, many years to come. We will probably all be dead by then. There are more important and pressing issues that Americans have to deal with. Like eating and surviving the economy crisis. It's hard to think about buying a $30,000 Hybrid to save the planet when you don't have enough to eat or a roof over your head. Get real!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  211. Herb, Tampa

    It ranks last because the public knows that energy conservation is just plain smart and that it will benefit mankind as well as the Earth. The name "Global Warming" is irrelevant. Renewable energy sources, solar, wind, tide, etc., are our future.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  212. June Albuquerque, NM

    We still are too comfortable to see the consequences of our actions.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  213. Bob Brundin

    because the potential destruction of life on earth is not being explained clearly by folks who have enough vocal and literary talent to inspire belief.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  214. Kevin-NH

    I cannot believe how short sighted the comments are on your blog are Jack. Yes there are pressing concerns lately but it's about time we have an Admin. who has greased the wheels and provided a realistic goal of no foreign oil within 10 yrs. I'm 25 and within the last 15 years I HAVE SEEN "GLOBAL WARMING" reduce the winters there by 30 days. Forget this earth cycle bull, it's called GLOBAL WARMING! Think about your children's futures not your own.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  215. Herman

    It's your fault, Jack. You ask more questions, and your cohorts spend more time talking about, the issue du jour than the more important, less sexy issues. Cover global warming more, and it will rank higher. The media controls what we think important rather than the other way around.
    Fresno, CA

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  216. Lee In Minnesota

    Why?? Because we have become a very selfish society and everything is someone else s problem. No one wants to be inconvenienced except you and I Jack. We care for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  217. Rich

    That’s easy the media has overblown the situation so much there are just as many scientist that disagree with the argument as there are for it. You can only scare the people so much before they start realizing you guys are full of baloney.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  218. Kelly

    1. Most people don't understand the meaning/implications of the term
    2. The remedy to Global Warming requires an effort for EACH of us


    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  219. Deb

    What's the problem with global warming? Simple, Americans continue to remain painfully myopic and reactionary in their thinking about most "issues." One need only look back at the recent "gas crisis" for an example of this. Prices went drastically up at the pump; people ran, in droves, to sell or stop buying SUV's and other large vehicles. Interest in smart fuel cars and sales of same went crazy....well, at least for a few minutes. The moment gas prices starting coming down, it was if the big gas guzzlers hadn't ever lost their appeal in the first place! The whole country is suffering from massive ADHD; we couldn't think our way into the future if our lives depended on it...oh, wait, our lives do depend on it. Too bad we're too ignorant to see it!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  220. Dimple Kundiyana

    I believe people are being stupid and ignorant of the current climate change. It has not ranked because it has not become a life and death situation. Probably such people should see recent airing of fate of polar bears on Animal Planet and melting glacier.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  221. Snip

    I think the issue being reflected here is largely one of credibility: the folks doing all the jumping and yelling about "global warming" are, by-and-large, not the most credible folk. In the US you have Al Gore.... really? HE'S a poster-child for the environment? Not hardly. Up here in Canada we have David Suzuki... a scientiist who has real cred, except that he regularly bends the facts of science to meet his agenda.

    And that is probably where this issue breaks: a good sector of the great unwashed rightly smells 'agenda', and we've been burned too often by that motivator to come running this time... ESPECIALLY given the potential to make credible arguments contrary to the "global warming" contention.

    And really: it's about corporate potential, isn't it? If this was REALLY an end-of-the-world scenario, those with their hands on the levers would most certainly have 'shock'n'awed' us in line on the agenda, and that has CLEARLY not happened. Ergo: the facts are not sufficiently compelling even to those within administrative or corporate ivory towers to make them scream at us to "get it right... or we all die"

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  222. Bob

    Maybe because lack of interest in "Global Warming" issues is actually a symptom of increasing moral decline? If you're not interested in your children's future, I would call that a symptom of moral decline. In fact, increasing moral decline probably covers a lot of the items on the list.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  223. Matt in Boston

    Changing the name of an alleged global crisis won't do anything. And neither will changing every environmental term relating to global warming. People put this at the bottom of the list either because they are too confused to care due to so many theories with no solid proof or are informed enough to realize that it's all a load of crap

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  224. Matt R. Statenville, GA

    Jack, Global Warming is not important to the American people because they see through the lie that has been handed down to them by the corporate and political elite who seek to use the hoax for profit. If these crooks can convince our representatives to accept the theory, we will all begin to suffer the harsh effects of opressive carbon taxes. The only way to escape the stifiling grip of those taxes will be to purchase the products manufactured by the corporate elitists that forced the taxes to be levied. (These statements are in no way focused at the "inventor of the internet".)

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  225. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    A new car is on sale. If you trade in and buy it, you will have to eat beans for the next 2 years. Why is eating beans for two years last on a list of 20 problems with this decision?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  226. Penny Scott in Dublin

    If global warming is caused by humans and is really happening, nothing the US does can stop it. China builds a new coal-fired plant every week. Countries with a majority of the world's population say it is the industrial world's problem.
    So, we can't stop it, and might as well just prepare for it.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  227. Scott

    Global warming is in 20th place because people now realize it is a SCAM to get more money from us. Shut up Al

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  228. Larry Mollner

    There is and has been global warming as well as global cooling over the long history of the earth. The American public is smart enough to realize that each occured without ; aid, help or assistance of the population of the earth.

    In addition the American public is starting to ask for a cost benefit analysis for the projects/restrictions that are talked about.


    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  229. Mark Lovett

    .Until we see the planet melting like a ice cream cone, people will still be more concerned about when their next paycheck arrives than some future event that has not arrived.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  230. Joe

    Global warming does not resonate with voters because scientific data indicates that we have started into in a period of global cooling. Quite possibly a mini-ice age.
    Global warming is a scare tactic of the far left, including Hansen.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  231. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    on top of clean air and clean water I also think moving away from the dirty fuels of the past will give us clean air and clean water!
    As for you being surprised that global warming is being rated as the 20th issue does not surprise me when since the early 80s I have been talking to empty ears from top to bottom and from bottom to top!
    I only know that we need to unite the top and bottom that get's it about the new economy when you look back at history!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  232. Kyle

    Global warming rates exactly the same as gasoline for most people. When gas is less than $3.00 a gallon life is good and who cares about fuel economy. When it gets above $4.00 the american people cant understand why the car companies havent done anything about gas mileage. For a majority of people it will take something that actually affects them before they care about it.. Unfortunately by then it will be WAY too late. My REAL issue is that I cant eat Tuna more than once a week without worrying about Mercury poisoning, and the only Salmon you can find is "farm raised" and colored to look like Salmon?? WOW now thats SAD!

    Sacramento, Ca

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  233. Chris McCarthy

    The air and water should be #1 because without it, where are we?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  234. joyce

    global Warming" is probably last on important issues is because according to the Bible ; The World is supposed to end in fire. Global Warming is a reminder of that and something most people would like to forget or nor believe.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  235. Mike Taylor

    The problem is that the voters don't understand what is at stake and they are short sighted. If it can't be fixed in the 24hr news cycle, then it is just to big to worry about. Americans only care about not paying taxes and high prices for engery.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  236. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    It ranks last cause people are too busy worrying about their jobs, 401K's and the "Global War On Terror". People still don't get it Jack, until a storm comes along that takes out half a state or two by a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane. Or if they went to Australia and witness the hundreds of thousands of acres burned last year or droughts that have decimated Iraq, Africa and so forth.
    But in all actuality our climate has begun to change from Global warming and since this is an experiment on mankind's part then the only person that knows the outcome is God. People need to be educated about the effects man has on the environment. But, then again, our children suffer from knowledge due to their lack of schooling in our country which was pointed out last week.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  237. John Duddy

    Since the year 2000 global temperatures have been decreasing NOT increasing. What data have you been reviewing? In addition, nature puts more so called "pollution" into the air than human beings do. If your'e worried about warming then you really have to much time on your hands. Do some volunteer work.


    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  238. kaveh k

    there are two strong reasons for this.

    1) It is human tendency to not take action on something until they see it as an actual concern (procastination). If they were aware of, and felt the effects of global warming, there would be enormous support to help combat it.

    2) The media is not focusing on it enough. The message regarding global warming is fit between the last news segment and commercials. If it was spoken of daily, it would be.

    strong example: Swine flu is an immediate problem. It is shown by every media outlet every minute. 'We need to take action this moment' is the message sent out to people. Daily focus on global warming would have the same effect – Take action now.

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    May 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  239. Mindy

    As a Minnesotan, I can tell you that when people start talking about the threat of global warming when it's like zero degrees outside, global warming doesn't sound much like a threat. In fact, it sounds sort-of nice. In reality, what global warming is referring to, the deterioration of our planet and the very air we breathe, is a huge threat, but the name just doesn't effectively communicate that.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  240. jerry (muskin)

    Does your "being surprised" at the ranking assigned to global warning mean that you have a higher expectation of the intelligence of the American public? Save "I'm shocked" for Casablanca. At least give attribution. If the assault on our well-being does not appear to be immediate we disregard it.... at our peril.,

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  241. steve in scappoose or

    When people are having a tough time drinking the water and breathing the air, the environments stock will move up, probably all the way into the top 10!
    Like the song said . . ."when the sun is just a dark spot in the nighttime . "when the rivers cease to flow . ."

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  242. Bob

    Global Warming is last because it's the ultimate scam being perpetrated by the likes of Al Gore and GE to line their pockets and continue the fleecing of the American people.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  243. Rebecca Minnich

    Unfortunately, the term Global Warming is just too intelligent – sounding for mainstream America, which is repelled and insulted by anything that smacks of scientific theories. There is a seriously large cross-section of the public that thinks climate change is a hoax concocted by liberal elitists and polar bear-huggers, and they will continue to think this until Florida is under water. Of course, by then, it will be too late. Perhaps, we should call it the "your grandchildren will have no planet to live on" issue.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  244. Jacques Duhamel Montreal, Quebec

    Because you're not doing your jobs. Nuff said.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  245. kim

    It's at the bottom of the list, because people drink bottled water, put out some recycling, try and remember to turn off the lights when television when they aren't watching it...so, they feel like they're doing their part for environment (er...planet we live on). Might be enough to clean up peoples conscience a little, but not enough to clean up the mess we've made at large. I think the hardest part of getting people to take 'global warming' seriously...is getting them to move out of their comfort zones.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  246. David from Orlando

    When you have to redefine your terms it shows you lack credibility. Perhaps more people are on to the "Global Warming" scam so they want to add "dirty fuels" and "for the children" to pull at our heart strings. Please, when carbon dioxide got classified as a pollutant they lost me. Check out the real culprit, its the sun, people!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  247. Malcolm Baird

    Strategic thought (beyond next weekend) is dead in America. The population has lost the ability to relate to anything that is not an immediate crisis. I believe the media is mostly to blame and that you (collectively) need to help reprogram the population. Global Warming or Climate Change isn't going to have much impact on generations living today. Until we are choking or drowning, it is not a real problem.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  248. Bill in Louisville

    It's simple Jack. No one, including me, believes that the whole planet, in wondeful cooperation, can stop or slow global warming. We put it at the bottom, because we know we can't fix it, and we know that no one else can fix it either.
    Bill in Louisville

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  249. Dennis Jaques

    Jack, the reasons are two and they are simple. Number 1 is because "global warming" is not occurring (the warming trend which began in 1978 and ran thorugh 2000 has ended and we are now experiencing "global cooling"). The second is because the American public have not been fooled by self-serving people like Al Gore, Maurice Strong, Paul Demairias Sr., Barack Obama etc. who stand to gain financially or in power from charging working people for CO2 emissions. They understand that CO2 is dwarfed by water vapour as the dominant "greenhouse gas" (i.e. about 90% for water vapour to at most 5% for CO2).

    The carbon tax is a very repressive tax which will disproportianately affect the poor and lower middle income people of this country. We would be happy to have clean efficient fuels that cost us less because we get much greater miles per gallon.

    Our government must encourage innovation not increase taxes.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  250. Tim in NJ

    It's because as a society, we have never been more dettached from the natural environment. From buying our food in the sterilized isles of a supermarket to keeping up with the Jones' by hiring a landscaper to mow our lawn. We build cities below sea level and complain when they flood and dump chemicals on our lawns and complain when we cannot see fish at the beach. Being in touch with nature is not cool and if you even so much as hint at environmental responsibility you are labeled a liberal hippy. People have never before had to think about the environment as crucial to our survival, but now we do; we must.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  251. Greg

    Simple, gas prices are low again so nobody cares. Americans are motivated, above all, by their wallets.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  252. jennifer krell

    Why does it rank last? Because the average American has very little idea how serious the problem of climate change actually is.Or, how backwards we are for still using fossil fuels in the first place. People still think "Oh, the Earth is huge, nothing we do could really effect it." They're afraid they'll have to sacrifice some of their precious comfort and convience to be green. Awww, let's see how they like it when the temperature is 120 F in Chicago. Can it really do that? Yeah, it's a planet!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  253. Shawn-Santa Cruz, Ca

    It's simple...more pressing issues are at stake such as job security, home mortgage, and other economic factors. Anti-global warming rhetoric and various liberal agendas piggybacking on global warming efforts have dissociated global waring problems from immediate public concern.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  254. Christine K.

    People seem to care more about issues they feel they can have some level of control over and can see results in the immediate future. They feel they can affect change to moral decline and see results almost instantly. With Global Warming they feel as though those changes won't happen within the next five to ten years so why even bother. They believe the only ones who will see any changes to the environment from all the green products being put into use are their great grandchildren's great grandchildren. They don't believe any effective change can happen in their lifetime so they don't care to change their lifestyles in order to begin to heal the damage to the environment. Add to that the number of people who believe that Global Warming is a government hoax and the planet is in a natural cycle that man cannot affect or change and you have a generation of disenfranchised people where the declining global environment is concerned.

    This is not just an American issue. It's become a global issue. Programs from all over the world are reporting environmental apathy because people feel they're being mislead and lied to by their governments and environmental groups all over the world. Americans aren't the only ones to feel they shouldn't bother with environmental issues because they can't make an immediate change. All over the world people feel changes to the world's environment won't happen for hundreds of years. It's a sad situation when you really stop to think about it.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  255. Ruth

    Does anyone really listen when the American people speak? At the forefront of the "global warming" issue are people like Al Gore and all of Hollywood. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon show up at an awards show in a tin-can-of-a-green car and expect me to believe they "tool" around Hollywood in that thing. How stupid do they think we are? Noah Wylie begs me to save the polar bear at a time when hundreds upon hundred of Americans have lost their job. My dollars are better spent helping my fellow man–at least while Obama allows me to actually keep my dollars. Frankly, the Hollywood-types just don't carry a lot of weight with the American public, and scores of people question whether global warming is as serious as the experts tout. The problems with "the water we drink and the air we breathe" need to be addressed by spokespeople with credibility. It's no wonder global warming is at the bottom of the list.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  256. Anna

    Because the debate is not over as some (Al Gore) claim. We know jack about natural cycle of the planet and to stake our future on the prediction of COMPUTER PEOGRAM is ridicules. Some are plain dangerous. Some recently suggested that we should prevent global warming by pumping sulphur dioxide into atmosphere. My God! All of us want clean environment but global warming lobbyists made business out of science and they are in shock and awe that people are tired of them. Let the scientist do their jobs and politicians like Al Gore stay out of it. Ps. Who else got Nobel Price for making a MOVIE???

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  257. A W Garland Sr

    Jack, Jack, Jack, the real reason we put "gobal warming at the bottom of any list; for the past decade, the earth has been actually cooling according to real climate scientist. Anytime you use AL Gore, without any training in climate science, to testify as an expert befor Congress, something is truly amiss. Has he cleaned up rge enviromental disaster at his mining operation on the banks of the Harpeth River on his ancesterial home????

    (of course you will not use this,because it puts Gore in a bad light.)

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  258. David Schreier

    Global anything is usually the least of anyone's concerns. As Tip O' Neill said – "All politics is local". He would have said this in Manx had he been on the Isle of Man – which comes from a Celtic word called Mhannin, but probably has nothing to do with the English word "man".

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  259. Andrew Winsor

    although "global warming" or what ever you want to call it is a real issue most people see it as a issue that can be put on the back burner. Most people see the economy, health care, equality etc as more important issues that need fixing now. Until the day these issues are fixed or the ozone layer becomes so thin that you need to wear a sun block suit to go outside, I don't see people taking it seriously.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  260. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    Most voters realize it is scientific fact, but now they think that someone else will take care of it, not realizing it is a collaborative effort. People complain about big government but don't realize their lack of effort is the reason for the govt intervention!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  261. Guy Devyatkin

    I think it comes down to two primary factors: most Americans are rather ignorant of the actual scientific issues of climate change, only only have heard the political soundbites. They really do not grasp the seriousness of the problem and its potential effects on life on earth. In addition, many people are rather selfish, and just want this issue to go away, because addressing it means altering the lifestyle that we have enjoyed for so many years, such as by driving less, or becoming more efficient in our use of fuels, resources, etc. It's easier to stick our heads in the sand! Of course, it's pay now, or have our children, grandchildren and all the other inhabitants of the earth pay a lot more later!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  262. Don S.

    Voters aren't worried about "global warming" because they don't believe it is actually happening. The word "warming" seems wrong because some areas are getting colder. It should actually be called "global climate change", because in the future there will be a battle between cold and warm weather, and the warmth will win. Not everyone is a scientist either.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  263. Lisa Cypert

    It's last because people prefer to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it isn't happening. God made us stewards over the Earth and we've done a very poor job. And for those who think that cattle flatulence is the cause of global warming, I don't care how gassy the cows are, they can't match the amount of pollution our industries pour into the atmosphere.

    Broken Arrow, OK

    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  264. Al Gore

    There is no way Carbon dioxide is causing global warming,Plants need it to give off Oxygen,Polar bear populations are increasing in some areas and decreasing in others...Jack the earth warmed up during the 1300"s so much that the English produced better wine than the French,and there was no Human cause,it just happens. AL Gore is getting rich and has not greened his house,and pays $600 a month to keep his pool warm,than flys all over in his private jet,and on his grafs if you look close,you will see that the Temperature rises prior to the carbon dioxide rising.....Enough Said.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  265. Nicole

    These people that aren't worried about global warming don't read books. It is really not that complex. All it takes is an open mind and a little intelligence. But this has been an issue for a long time and people have made up their minds a long time ago. And you also have to take into account that some of these right-wingers interpret the last book of the bible, revelation LITERALLY. They don't care about this planet, they are proud of the fact that they are more focused on their heaven. They couldn't possibly be expected to respect or care for our SHARED environment. It goes against what they believe is important to care about.
    If re-framing this important issue is what it takes to get through the simple minds of these people then I'm all for it.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  266. Chris Rud

    Jack the reason people rank global warming so low on the list of problems is directly because of... "Wizard's First Rule". Actually almost any issue that is dealt with by the public can be categorized under this rule. Wizard's First Rule was created by Terry Goodkind in his "Sword of Truth series of novels.

    Wizard's First Rule.. By Terry Goodkind

    "People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they, and so are all the easier to fool."

    Huge numbers of people fall prey to this rule each night, even as they watch the Situation Room because during many of the commercial breaks you will see ads run by the Coal Industry telling us that they are doing a bang up job cleaning up the enviroment by providing us with clean coal energy....give me a break!

    Wizards First Rule!!!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  267. JB from PA

    1) SHORTSIGHTEDNESS - this is a universal human trait. People have difficulty seeing or caring about vague future threats. They are more interested in their own well-being at the moment.
    2) SELFISHNESS - another universal human trait. People don't want to give up their lifestyle for the health of the planet. And people will care very little about future devastation until it affects THEM personally.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  268. Arlene In Missouri

    I can tell you why. Read a Bible,,, the world is going to burn with fervent heat and be destroyed. We will have a new heaven and new earth. Why should we worry about it. It is gonna happen. Just like Israel will never be destroyed!! They are God's people!!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  269. Pan

    The problem with "Global Warming" is 1) it's Global, and 2) it's 'warming.'
    That is it is too big and too subtle. If the phrase were "neighborhood inferno" people would pay more attention.

    Apparently a poor educated and/or willfully ignorant citizenry is poorly suited to make critical decisions about complex issues that last longer than the next television season.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  270. Viren

    As a college student I believe one of the main reason global warming is dead last is 1) because people are too busy trying to survive this global recession 2) if government is not going to push this issue then no body will and 3) people are not educated enough of this, we still have companies like Exxon mobil and Chevron advertising that they are "trying" to create a better solution for our enviornment. In all reality the truth is these companies are just telling us that they are "trying" and that's it. Until the government gives them more money to fill their pockets, they are not going to place this technology in the world since they are not going to make any profits. With states like Nevada , Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas providing us with the most prominent land for building solar energy plants, why is it that we are not using them and creating more jobs in green collar jobs? Also if government has the money to give it to all these large firms, then how come not use the same money to help better our future.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  271. chris

    Americans are consumers. Our attention is on ads, not facts. Our collective conciousness is bought and paid for by corporations that will have to sacrifice if the fact of climate change is recognized by everyone. As usual, it looks like eventually we'll have to pay for a new kind of corporate negligence.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  272. Rick

    Global warming is like life insurance you know about it but it ends up on the back burner. For most Americans if you can't eat it, spend it, or talk into it, the issue won't make the top twenty.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  273. Linnaeus

    The problem is the low level of science education in public schools. I was fortunate to have a good science backgroung that enables me to understand the importance of physical and bio systems. Most people have a "flush" (as in toilet) concept of waste. Once they flush, it is of no concern. In biology one learns that species must live in balance. No species can overload its own biosphere in its waste. Most of our polititians come from a political background, with little science education. Nature is not subject to man's law. He is subject to Nature's law.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  274. Walt

    The global warming issue is on the long list of voters because the people who are not concerned about the "Atmospheric Deterioration" shall be known as "the slightly warm frogs" who are sitting in the pan just waiting for things to "get worse". If they only knew a frog will stay in the pan until the water gets so hot the frog eventually dies.
    Maybe a simple lesson like this in the grade school science class was given when these people skipped the class. Note: the frog will always jump out of the pan when the water is already boiling.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  275. Curtis

    We like to say we care about our future, but we only care about the future as we personally can experience it. This puts off responsibility to the future generations. It is also a common action – look at credit card balances balooning and increasing pension obligations in both the public and private sector. Every see how much your real estate taxes go towards future obligations in pensions. Ever see how much US auto makers costs go to future obligations. Are we the procrastination nation?

    The time to pay the piper will inevitably come, just as it did for Japan's economy, households who spent beyond their means and now Pontiac... It generally it takes a crisis for people to take action, so perhaps instead of softening the "Global Warming" folks should toughen it up and call it the "Global Warning". Maybe then we'll start to care today.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  276. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Because they think it will get worse far later, and they do not want to pay to keep their children and grandchildren safe. They want to spend theirs and the people’s money on things that they can enjoy right now. In short they do not want to look to the future, because the future cost too much. So they are willing to let the planet become a garbage dump as long as they do not have to pay to clean it up, just like the Corporations do today!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  277. Pranav Kothare West Lafayette, IN

    It just doesn't impact our daily lives significantly. Humans as a whole are extremely stupid. Today, we can solve a host of issues that can stop wars, bring our economy up and better our lives, but we refuse to take action, it doesnt take a genius to figure out how to reduce our carbon footprint, but we just refuse to do it.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  278. Donna Chlouber

    Three reasons: One, a lot of us are old enough to remember the "coming ice age from global cooling" scare. Two, folks who watch industry closely know that a TON of money has been invested in so-called green technology, and we're not convinced that we aren't being jacked around to boost some industry's bottom line. And three, how can you trust a guy who says he invented the internet!

    Talk to us about air and water polution. That is something we can see with our own eyes.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  279. Sandra

    For a wide variety of reasons, we Americans have developed very short attention spans. This could kill us - literally - especially when dealing with long-term trends like global warming. If immanent death, starvation or devastation are not at our own doorsteps, we tend to turn away from unpleasantness - unless, of course, the media is rubbing our collective noses in it, and that can be overdone. We become desensitized to issues not perceived as our own. Selfishness tends to prevail unless countered by powerful forces for good. Good luck to us all . . .

    May 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |

    Most people don't realize that they live in an interdependent world. They do not really know how small the world is in relationship to the
    number of people there are.They do not know the difference between
    O2 and CO2. They do know there isn't a lot that they can do about it since the abuse is in the hands of big business.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  281. Paul Temple

    It would be great for Canada/ There is a fertile belt stretching from North Bay to Hudson's Bay that needs more warmth for record crops.
    Also, New England ports could be built on open Arctic ocean, -turn left and ship oil to the East–turn right and ship to Europe.
    Of course, the middle of U.S would be a desert and Americans will be sneaking across the Canadian border for jobs.
    Turn-About–Fair play?

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  282. Dan

    I think one reason "Global Warming" deosn't fly with people is because we see is more as a political vehicle for ideologues than a real issue. Power grabbing predicated on ecological doom, basically, and people are cynical about the whole thing.

    A second reason is that it is still *reasonably debated* that global warming (if we accept it is a genuinely abnormal phenomenon to start with) is an anthropogenic event. Not everyone buys it because Al Gore and movie stars are sure. Because of that and the long-way-off of it, people don't feel directly connected to is as an issue. Especially in a culture where people can barely think past next month.

    FInally, and perhaps most importantly there is the scale. Sure, the scope of the problem attracts ambitious politics interested in finding reasons for massive government initiatives, even global ones, and is a very epic boogeyman to frighten electorates with. However, that very scope of the problem also makes people feel personally helpless to really affect it. And it doesn't appear to directly afect them even despite propaganda to the contrary.

    I think as political matters get framed more in "Big Problem/Big Plans," ordinary PEOPLE get more apathetic and cynical about them. It's similar to the problem getting people to care about budget deficits in numbers they can't even fathom.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  283. Christine, Thousand Oaks Ca

    We are such an instant gratification society that we only think about what is happening to us at the perceived moment. It's another example of a NIMBY moment – It's not happening in my back yard so I don't care –

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  284. Mike

    It's simple. The AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW it's the biggest Fraud and Scam to come down the pike in years. Fat Al Gore is making millions off Dupes who believe this farce. It IS DEAD LAST for a reason, now matter how much the MEDIA wants to build it up. No Debate? That's the giveaway....

    Buy a glove, catch a clue....

    Mike, PA

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  285. John Bennett

    Jack, last week our low temperature was seven degrees. We had twenty six inches of snow. Now, let's talk about global warming.
    John Bennett, Simms, Montana

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  286. Gary Bowden

    The reason that Global warming is dead last on the list is because most Americans are finally realizing that it is a myth pushed by those with $ to be made.

    Heck they don't even call it Global warming anymore it's now climate change (maybe because some of the global warming hearings & rallys were effected by snow and cold weather.)

    Look at it like this >>
    1) is there really a sustained pattern of global warning (as opposed to to a cyclic pattern that mirrors sun spot activity?

    Not enough evidence due to past measurements not having the required resoluition but most likely no

    2) if there is sustained global warming (not likely but maybe), is it man made? Again probally not considering the amount of "green house gasses released by nature as opposed to man made.

    3) if 1 & 2 are true, is there anything man can do about it? Most scientist (even the green crowd) agree that we really can't do enough to make any impact as its too big a problem or we started too late.

    Unless you can get China to clean up their environment to US standards and then cut emmisions even further, we are wasting $ energy and politcal capital.

    Oboma & congress will find out exactly that when they attempt cap & trade which will ruin our already weak economy. Its like the third rail> raising energy taxes will back fire on those who attempt it.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  287. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    Do you remember the 1973 OPEC oil embargo? It should have scared us into doing something but it didn't. How could something as weak as a threat sometime in the future get through to us. It's unamerican to give up something today because it would make the future better. Buy now- Pay later.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  288. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Well, when you are worried about where your next meal is coming from, or whether you will still have a job or a roof over your head next week, it is difficult to think of the long-term consequences of global warming. When you are faced with the decision to get critical medical help or pay your rent, the idea of the ice sheets melting, losing indicator species, and drought on other continents loses it’s immediacy.

    To use the lexicon that the conservatives like to tout, however, God gave us this earth to be good stewards of it, at which service we are failing. And even though the worries of the day are significant, we must consider the long-term health of our planet for our species to survive.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  289. Kelsey

    They're all in a tie for #1 for me. But, I think global warming ranks last because it is a relatively new issue, whereas the others have been problems for some time. I think people are confused as to what global warming really means – especially after the Bush administration – and because it is not affecting them in a way they can see and touch; out of sight out of mind.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  290. Phil V.


    Not until Manhattan is underwater will the issue of global warming be on the top of most people's list. Why? It is not tangible, you can't feel, see or hear global warming. With such issues as the two ongoing wars and the economy in the dump having a far greater and direct impact, it's no wonder global warming doesn't rank first... but last?! That is a serious concern! In Canada, global warming generally ranks quite high on our list of issues, but not on our prime minister's, sadly. It's the complete inverse of the situation in the United States where it seems to rank fairly high on President Obama's list. Can we please, please, please switch leaders???

    Phil V.
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  291. Gary Sloan


    There is apathy, non-believers, costs associated with a cleaner earth, China and India that are building coal fueled power plants by the zillions, two wars, crime, the economy, the budget deficits, the trade deficit, the massive National debt, deadly diseases, racism, Islamic fanatics that would see us killed, genocide in Africa and elsewhere, dishonest and greedy business leaders, very bad and ineffective politicians, millions uninsured, a recession...need I say more!


    May 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  292. Tom-Philly

    The reason it is dead last is because regardless of what Al Gore and the rest of the Prius nation tells us, government is not going to solve Global Warming. We cannot continue to just throw darts at a board and hope one sticks. The only true answer is to innovate and adapt, something we should leave to the Private sector. Here's to us eventually stopping the use of these funny looking light bulbs!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  293. Suzanne Alarcon

    The media does not put it in terms of human experience and need. Sounds like a bunch of nutty people with voo-doo science. Talk about what happens to your children and grandchildren if they had to live in the kind of smog that China has. Show what is happening with the loss of clean WATER, and how we are selling it to other countries. You must put it in terms of everyday life. Before and after segments would be good. Remember the indian with the tear? Excellent

    May 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  294. Duane in BC

    It's 20th on the list because people are smart. There are more conclusive problems that need addressing that don't require speculation to convince the public. Important point: enthusiasts try to buttonhole people as either convinced that man's carbon... will destroy the earth OR you don't care about the environment. Baloney. Our family does more than to protect the earth than lots of global-warming-religion followers. You don't have to believe in inconclusive "evidence" to have common sense to respect your environment. You also don't have to be so alarmist about it you lobby to push laws down people's throats that hamper their freedoms from doing lots of things that (not all) won't seriously damage the earth more than many natural events throughout history of the earth – it's endured a lot worse over milleniums and has always bounced back from historical weather-changing patterns.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  295. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Unless it is naked and in their face they can purposely ignore it, until it threatens their lives then they will cry foul and demand action, at a far greater price then if they had planed for the future!!! Same old sad human inaction!

    May 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  296. Jane

    Meaningful predictions can only be obtained under certain scientific conditions, none of which have yet been shown to apply to climate change.

    It isn't that we don't care about our world. We do care deeply about pollution, drugs in our water, recycling, and other issues we understand and can address in some meaningful and thoughtful way.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  297. Jesus

    The reason that it was ranked last was bacause the people around the US are not seeing the climate changes that are actually happening, thats why they dont care.... The one day that they start to see more and more climate changes happened, thats when they will start and be like.. " so thats what they were talking about right... now I understand"

    May 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  298. Paula CA

    the poll results on global warming don't surprise me at all. Most Americans are self centered. If they are not directly affected by global warming & their personal life isn't disrupted, the potential consequences of it are irrelevant to them. It's a shame that the majority aren't even curious enough 2 learn about it, even when Al Gore, fmr Vice President created such an informative, indepth movie he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! What does that say 2 the world about the intellect of the American ppl??

    May 4, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  299. Christian

    People are too concerned about immediate costs. In Los Angeles, a ballot measure to install solar power panels on the roofs of govenment buildings did not pass because of the up front cost. People don't think about the 10 years down the road, when the panels will have paid from themselves and are now saving us money; not to mention the jobs that would have been created for installing them. I think most environmental projects have an initial high cost and that's what most people focus on.

    Also, I think we are a society that reacts to problems. We hardly ever do anything proactively. Most people aren't going to rank global warming high on a list of concerns until the polar ice caps are gone. By then, it will be too late.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  300. Annie

    Global warming placed last because next to being unemployed and homeless, the state of the planet seems like a "small" potato. It is neither urgent nor important next to life's most basic and immediate needs.

    May 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm |