Doubt Rising on Global Warming
But majority still believes in it, wants action
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2009 9:50 AM CST
A polar bear walks in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Interior Department considers the polar bear a threatened species, because of the decline in Arctic sea ice from global warming.   (AP Photo/Subhankar Banerjee, File)

(Newser) – An overwhelming majority of Americans believe in global warming, but that majority has grown a bit smaller. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 72% of the country believes global warming is happening, down from 80% last year. A smaller majority, 55%, believe the US should act to curb its carbon output, even if developing countries like India and China don’t.

Belief in climate change peaked three-and-a-half years ago, but it’s fallen since thanks to shifts in the Republican Party. Among Republicans, it has fallen from 76% to 54%, while it’s declined from 86% to 71% among independents, but only 92% to 86% among Democrats. Republican respondents frequently say that they believe the Earth is warming, but attribute it to natural causes.