American Voters Losing Faith in Theory of Global Warming

By Matt Cover | January 19, 2009 | 4:48 PM EST

( – American voters are losing faith in the theory that human activity is causing global warming, a Rasmussen poll released Monday says.
The poll asked 1,000 likely voters whether global warming was “caused primarily by human activity or by long term planetary trends.” Only 41 percent said it was human activity, while 44 percent said it was long-term planetary trends. Seven percent said it was “some other reason,” and nine percent said they were not sure.
This is a significant shift from a poll conducted last April in which 47 percent said human activity caused global warming and only 34 percent said long term planetary trends caused it. 
Whether a voter believes human activity causes global warming varies tremendously by party affiliation. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats said human activity causes global warming, but only 21 percent of Republicans. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans, meanwhile, attributed global warming to long-term planetary trends, while only 23 percent of Democrats did.
The issue still ranks highly on voters’ minds, however, with 41 percent saying they think global warming is a “very serious” problem and 23 percent saying they think it is a “somewhat serious” problem.
Americans’ changing views on the causes of global warming are backed up by science, according to Donald J. Easterbrook, a geology professor at Western Washington University.
An examination of almost 400 years of climate fluctuations shows “an almost exact correlation” between climate changes and solar radiation, not human activity, Easterbrook told’s Kevin Mooney in September 2008.
Only one in 30 climate events is linked to carbon dioxide emissions, a pretty shaky record according to Dr. Easterbrook.
“Only one in 30 shows any correlation with CO2,” he said. “So if you’re a baseball player with 30 at bats, that’s not a very good average.”