Hot air slowly escaping from global warming issue 

Americans’ concern about global warming has dropped a dramatic 15 points in the last three years, according to Gallup’s most recent annual Environment poll.  Eighty percent of Americans now say they understand the issue “very well” or “fairly well,” but only 51 percent “worry a great deal or fair amount” about it -- down from 66 percent just three years ago.

That 15 percent represents a substantial drop in public support for what was supposedly “settled science” and not open to further debate. More than four in 10 poll respondents also said the media has exaggerated the dangers of global warming.

The poll results should embolden Republicans in their ongoing attempts to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to impose, by bureaucratic mandate, a cap-and-trade regime that died in the Senate last year. To no one’s surprise, Gallup found that Democratic voters are 40 percent more likely to be concerned about global warming than Republican voters, and therefore more willing to unquestioningly accept EPA’s edicts.

But the momentum has definitely shifted. In 2008, there was a  gaping 50-point spread between those who believed global warming had already started to occur (61 percent) versus those who didn’t think it would ever happen during their lifetime (11 percent). By 2011, that gap had narrowed to 31 points, with global warming believers losing more ground (12 points) than skeptics gained on them (7 points).

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