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July 18, 2009

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Come on

I found this in today's Las Vegas Review-Journal

Here's what Gallup found: The number of Americans who say the media have exaggerated global warming jumped to a record 41 percent in 2009, up from 35 percent a year ago. The most marked increase came among political independents, whose ranks of doubters swelled from 33 percent to 44 percent.

What's more, fewer Americans believe the effects of global warming have started to occur: 53 percent see signs of a hotter planet, down from 61 percent in 2008. Global warming placed last among eight environmental concerns Gallup asked respondents to rank, with water pollution landing the top spot.

In a July Rasmussen poll, 56 percent said they didn't want to pay higher taxes or utility bills to generate clean energy and fight global warming. A January Pew poll placed global warming last among the top 20 priorities Americans have for 2009. Nos. 1 and 2? The economy and jobs.

Ebell said he doesn't believe the recession or the weather are eroding public concern about global warming. Rather, he said, publicity over the high cost of green policies in Europe and other regions, as well as indications that those policies haven't yielded results and a 12-year string of stable global temperatures, are changing Americans' minds.

European countries have imposed gasoline taxes of $3 to $4 per gallon to curb consumption, Ebell noted, and the TaxPayers' Alliance in Great Britain estimated that the average British family spends more than $1,200 a year on green charges and levies.

More importantly, said Ebell, the planet's average temperature hasn't risen since 1997, despite a 5 percent gain in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the same period. Twelve years doesn't make for a long-term trend, Ebell said, but every year that goes by with no increase in average temperatures makes it harder to assert the climate is sensitive to carbon dioxide.

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