So says a recent poll by The Washington Post and Stanford University, which finds that Americans no longer cite global warming as their top environmental concern. A mere 18 percent consider global warming to be their top environmental concern, compared to 33 percent in 2007 (the year after Al Gore released his award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth). Today, 29 percent point to water and air pollution as the most important environmental issue.
Americans still acknowledge global warming as a threat driven in part by human activity, and agree government and businesses can ramp up efforts to address the problem. The federal government’s decision to table action on climate policy may also influence public perception, even though many respondents blame global warming for recent dramatic weather events.
“The findings, along with follow-up interviews with some respondents, indicate that Washington’s decision to shelve action on climate policy means that the issue has receded — even though many people link recent dramatic weather events to global warming,” write Juliet Eilperin and Peyton Craighill in the Post. “And they may help explain why elected officials feel little pressure to impose curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.”
Still, such changes in public perception could impact the extent to which environmental consulting firms focus on global warming.