Global Warming and Saving the Planet Are Not So Serious

As President Barack Obama prepares to head to Copenhagen next week, a new Harris Poll finds that those who believe that the release of carbon dioxide and other gases will lead to global warming has dropped from 71 percent two years ago to only 51 percent now.

While many people are not sure, those who do not believe that carbon dioxide emissions will cause global warming have increased from 23 percent to 29 percent since 2007.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,303 adults surveyed online between Nov. 2 and 11 by Harris Interactive®.

Other findings include:

  • Most people do not know that the main topic to be discussed at the international conference in Copenhagen in December is global warming and climate change. Just over half (52 percent) say they do not know what it is about and many people think the main topic is something else. Only 28 percent believe global warming and climate change is the main topic.
  • The 51 percent who believe emissions will cause climate change is by far the lowest number recorded in any Harris Poll since the company started asking this question 12 years ago. Since 2000, 70 percent or more of adults have believed this. This big change is mainly a result of a big increase in those who are not sure, up from 6 percent in 2007 to 21 percent now.
  • Opinions on global warming are politically polarized. There is a huge difference between the 73 percent of Democrats who believe that greenhouse emissions cause global warming and the 28 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Independents who believe this.
  • Notwithstanding the decline in those who believe that emissions will cause global warming, most people (75 percent) think we should treat the possibility of global warming as a serious problem. However, there has been a modest drop in those who think it should be treated as a very serious problem from 46 percent in 2007 to 41 percent now.
  • There are also big differences by party: 63 percent of Democrats but only 17 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Independents believe global warming should be treated as a very serious problem.
The sharp drop in those who believe that greenhouse emissions will cause global warming will make it harder for leaders to introduce new policies to promote alternative energy sources and reduce our carbon footprint.

The large differences between the attitudes of Democrats and Republicans will also make it more difficult to develop new bipartisan energy policies.

On the lighter side, turning your underwear inside out to get another day's use and an entire family sharing one bath of water are just a couple of ways the Brits are trying to save the planet, according to a survey of 3,000 people conducted by Envirofone.com.

The company recycles mobile phones and has paid out more than £20 million to customers for old mobile phones. By keeping millions of handsets from ending up in landfill sites, Envirofone helps protect the environment from the contaminated and harmful toxins found in phones and their accessories.

Color-coordinated recycling bins are commonplace across the United Kingdom, but it seems increasing numbers of people are finding dirtier ways of living clean.

When asked to share their favorite quirky tips for reducing our environmental impact, 40 percent of 18- to 30 year-olds said sharing a shower was their preferred way of giving Mother Nature a helping hand. More than 1,000 respondents claimed that they found showering with their partner the most enjoyable way of being green. Other popular ideas included ditching the tumble dryer in favor of airing pants on a radiator, using dirty socks as hankies, and reusing tea bags.

Julie Snape, head of marketing at Envirofone.com, commented: "Greening-up your lifestyle can seem like a very daunting undertaking. We were curious to see what cheeky variations of the traditional changes our customers had come up with. The results have been eye-opening!"

The top 10 most popular ways of reducing environmental impact are:

      1. Share a shower
      2. Air your pants as opposed to tumble drying them
      3. Turn underwear inside out for extended use
      4. Share your bath water (with the whole family)
      5. Re-use your tea bags
      6. Use newspaper as wrapping paper this Christmas
      7. Use dirty socks as hankies
      8. Recycle your old mobile phones
      9. Use old knickers as dusters
      10. Pee in the shower

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