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New Survey Confirms: Climate Is One Of The Lowest Priorities For Americans

Donna Laframboise, No Frakking Consensus

A new survey by the Pew Research Center on the top priorities of US Americans shows that climate change ended up in 17th place out of 18.

There is no evidence that climate change has ever been a top concern for most Americans.

Recently I reported on a poll that Gallup has conducted in America every month of every year since 2001. Admirably, it makes no attempt to prompt or influence. It asks people to name the most important problem facing the country, then it records their answers.

If one seeks honest, genuine insight into ordinary people’s lives, that’s a great approach.

Pew Research Center, another American polling outfit, conducts a different kind of survey. For 25 years (from 1994 to 2019 inclusive), it has read members of the public a long list of pre-selected topics in random order. People have been asked to attach a label to each one.

Should it be a ‘top priority’ for the President and Congress this year? Should it be a lower priority? Is it unimportant? Does it deserve no attention at all?

In 2007, Pew added ‘global warming’ to this list of potential top priorities. In 2016, it started calling it ‘climate change’ instead.

Last year, 44% of respondents told Pew that ‘Dealing with global climate change’ should be a top priority. That sounds significant until you notice that every single item on the list received at least 39% support.

In such cases, raw percentages are meaningless. What matters is how a topic ranks compared to its fellows. Those results couldn’t be clearer. In 2019, climate change ended up in 17th place out of 18.

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