Andrew Revkin of the New York Times has just posted a piece on Dot Earth that discusses a recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press that finds that global warming has dropped to the bottom of people’s concerns. Asked to rate their top priorities from a list of twenty issues, only 31% listed global warming as one of their top priorities. That’s down five percent from last year. The biggest drop was for protecting the environment, which dropped fifteen points to 41%. For comparison, the top concerns were the economy at 85%, jobs at 82, and terrorism at 76%.
That’s the background for trying to enact energy-rationing programs that can only work if they raise energy prices considerably. Perhaps Al Gore needs to raise more than the $300 million goal of his We can Solve It advertising campaign, which is designed to convince people that they agree with him that global warming is our most serious problem and demands immediate and radical action (such as replacing all the coal-fired power plants that supply half of America’s electricity within ten years). Although Mr. Gore has insisted that the American people already agree with him on global warming, this poll demonstrates that his mass media advertising campaign is going to be an uphill climb.