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Poll: 50% of Americans take global warming 'very seriously'

By Ed Adamczyk
Poll: 50% of Americans take global warming 'very seriously'
A heavy, hazardous smog hangs over downtown Tianjin, a port city just east of Beijing, on February 20. A Gallup poll released Monday shows U.S. respondents are more concerned than ever about global warming. Fifty percent of respondents now call themselves "concerned believers," while those described as "cool skeptics" fell to 19 percent. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

March 27 (UPI) -- Half of Americans now see themselves as "concerned believers" in global warming, according to a new Gallup poll.

Fifty percent of respondents in the survey identified themselves as "concerned believers," up from 27 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2016. The category of "mixed middle" ranked second, at 31 percent, down from 45 percent in 2012. Those in the category of "cool skeptics" have always been the smallest percentage of the three categories, with 19 percent of the respondents in 2017, down from 26 percent in 2015 and 28 percent in 2016.

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The poll is based on opinions about global warming, its seriousness as an issue, its cause and its potential threat. It was begun in 2014.

All "concerned believers" surveyed said they worry about global warming and think human activity causes it. Two-thirds of them said they expect global warming to pose a serious threat in their lifetime, and none said they regard news reports as exaggerated.

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"Cool skeptics" told Gallup they worry little about global warming, do not blame human activity for it and regard news reports as overstated.

Nine percent of self-identified Republicans put themselves in the "concerned believer" category, compared to 44 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats. Sixty-one percent of Republicans are in the skeptics category, compared to 36 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats. Women are more likely than men to be "concerned believers," and most in the 55-and-older age group are in the "cool skeptics" category.

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The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted March 1-5, with a random sample of 1,018 adults across the United States. The margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70 percent cellphone respondents and 30 percent landline respondents.

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