Gallup Poll: Good News for Climate Change–or Not?

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 Is the latest Gallup poll good news for negotiators at the Copenhagen climate summit? It found that 55 percent of Americans support signing a binding treaty that would commit the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions significantly. Thirty-eight percent give it a thumb’s down. The 17-point difference is a decent-sized margin, though not a slam-dunk. But the poll does give politicians reason to think twice before backing binding cuts. 

Almost two-thirds of Americans do not believe that laws designed to reduce global warming will help the economy, and 42 percent think such laws will harm the US economy. And when it comes to priorities, Americans want a focus on jobs. Asked which should be a higher priority for President Barack Obama—improving the economy or reducing emissions—85 percent predictably picked the economy. Advocates of climate change action maintain that emissions cuts can boost the economy. But that message may not yet have been absorbed by the American public.

Gallup concludes:

President Obama has a fine line to walk in Copenhagen—living up to his long-standing commitment to be a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while staying mindful of the pitchforks that could be raised at home if he is perceived to be spending too much time on the issue, or selling the U.S. economy down the nearby Gulf Stream.

The climate change summit is hanging from that tight wire.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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