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Nearly all in US say global warming

August 5, 2011

The debate over global warming has intensified in recent weeks after a new NASA study was interpreted by skeptics to reveal that global warming is not man-made. While a majority of Americans nationwide continue to acknowledge significant disagreement about global warming in the scientific community, most go even further to say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here .)

The number of adults who say it’s likely scientists have falsified data is up 10 points from December 2009 .

Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009. One in four (25%) believes scientists agree on global warming. Another 18% aren’t sure.

Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party feel stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, but 51% of Democrats also agree.

Men are more likely than women to believe some scientists have put out false information on the issue.

Democrats are more likely to support immediate action on global warming compared to those from other party affiliations.The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on July 29-30, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC .

Voters have been almost evenly divided on whether human activity or long-term planetary trends are to blame for global warming since May of last year .Regardless of the cause of global warming, adults remain divided on whether to take action or not. While 40% believe Americans should take immediate action to stop global warming, 42% suggest waiting a few years. Americans were just as divided back in February 2009 .

But 47% now believe the media makes global warming appear to be worse than it really is, down from 54% in February 2009 . Nineteen percent (19%) say it makes the situation look better than reality, while the same percentage (19%) thinks the media presents an accurate picture of global warming. Another 15% are undecided.Out of three scenarios, 30% of Americans say a period of dangerous global warming is likely to occur, while just four percent (4%) say a dangerous ice age is more likely. Half of adults (50%) say something in between is most likely to happen. Another 16% are not sure. These findings are little changed from past surveys.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) are following news stories on global warming at least somewhat closely, while 32% are not.While a majority of U.S. voters still feel discovering new sources of energy is more important than reducing energy consumption, the number who feel this way has fallen to a new low. Voters also continue to believe there’s a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection .

An overwhelming majority of voters (72%) also believe that the United States is not doing enough to develop alternative sources of energy .

But Americans are no more enthusiastic than they were a year ago about buying a car that runs on alternative fuel.

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