Most Americans Want Federal Government to Act on Global Warming But Still Don't Believe Scientists

| Fri Apr. 20, 2007 4:16 PM PDT

A new survey shows that most Americans are worried about global warming. They not only believe in it but are really worried. What's interesting, however, is how skeptical they still are of climate change scientists. It's not as if the public has started listening to scientists. Rather, the growing concern is based on personal experience of crazy weather. The Washington Post reports:

• Fifty-two percent say global warming is "extremely" or "very" important personally, double the percentage that said so a decade ago.

•Seven in 10 Americans want more "much more" federal action on global warming.

•Eighty-four percent think that average global temperatures have been rising over the past century, and more than half say weather has become more unstable where they live.

•Unfortunately, 56 percent still believe there is "a lot" of disagreement among scientists about climate change.

•Only a third of respondents trust what scientists say about the environment "completely" or "a lot."

•Most shockingly, a quarter of those surveyed said they trust what scientists say about the environment only "a little" or "not at all."

Why are so many Americans so doubtful of science? Skepticism is good, but these seems less like the curious, engaged kind of skepticism than the apathetic kind.

Read updates on global warming (and denial) on The Blue Marble.

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