Though dozens of surveys on global warming have been completed over the past twenty years, the results have never been compiled into one succinct summary. Matthew Nisbet, assistant professor at American University, gathered results from over seventy surveys in order to create a review of public opinion trends in regards to global warming.
In terms of public awareness and understanding they found that as time progresses and media coverage increases, more people report having heard about global warming, however, even twenty years after global warming has been brought to the attention of the public, few Americans believe that they fully understand the issue. Despite this confusion among the public, most do believe that climate change is prevalent but because of its “creeping nature,” many tend to discount its threats.
In order to stave off global warming most Americans vote to set higher standards for automobile, industry, and CO2 emissions and support spending government money on alternative energy forms.
Nisbet, M. C. and T. Myers. 2007. Twenty years of public opinion about global warming. Public Opinion Quarterly. 71: 444-470.