The Public Believes Global Warming Is Happening and Is Ready for Action

Conservatives have done their best to promote the idea that global warming is not happening. And recently they have been pointing to some polls that purport to show increasing public skepticism about global warming. But new Roper data released by Stanford University show that the public, when asked a straightforward question about whether global warming "has probably been happening," endorses the idea that global warming is real by an overwhelming 74-24 margin.

Nor is the public shy about the need for action on this front. In the same poll, a query about whether the government should "limit the amount of greenhouse gases that U.S. businesses put out" yielded a thumping 76-20 majority in favor of such limits.

Finally, the public is not buying the conservative argument that action on global warming will cost jobs. Just 18 percent accept that argument, while 50 percent think such action will actually produce more jobs (another 31 percent say no effect).

The public’s view is clear. Now it’s up to policymakers to get things going.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.