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

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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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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