The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

New Poll: Fewer Believe Climate Change Is a Serious Problem

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 4, 2009

The Harris Poll this week released the results of a survey showing that those who believe the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is affecting the climate has dropped from 71 percent two years ago to only 51 percent now.

The survey, conducted online between Nov. 2-11 by Harris Interactive, also shows that the percentage of respondents who do not believe that carbon dioxide emissions will cause global warming has increased from 23 percent to 29 percent since 2007.

"The sharp drop in those who believe that greenhouse emissions will cause global warming will make it harder for leaders to introduce new policies to promote alternative energy sources and reduce our carbon footprint," says the news release. It adds that sharp differences between the attitudes of Democrats and Republicans also will make it difficult to develop new bipartisan energy policies.

The poll shows that 73 percent of Democrats believe that GHGs cause climate change, but only 28 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Independents share their view. Furthermore, 63 percent of Democrats but only 17 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Independents believe climate change should be treated as a very serious problem.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.