12 Things Americans Consider to Be Bigger Problems than Climate Change

According to a recent Gallup poll, climate change is far down the list of America’s "most important problem" we're facing.

In April, 45% Americans believed – “Coronavirus/Diseases” was the biggest problem facing the country, followed by “the Government/Poor Leadership” at 20%.  In June, Government/Poor Leadership edged out Coronavirus/Disease 21% to 20%. Then Government/Poor Leadership returned to second place in July, taking in 23% of the vote, exceeded again by Coronavirus/Disease at 30%.

As one might expect “Race relations/Racism” skyrocketed from 1% of the vote in April, to 19% in June and 16% in July, following the George Floyd death and riots.

How did “Climate Change/Environment/Pollution” place in each of these months? A high of 2% in June, sandwiched between two dismal showings of 1% in April and July. In fact, “Unifying the country,” “Crime/Violence,” “Economy in general,” “Judicial system/Courts/Laws,” “Healthcare,” “Unemployment/Jobs,” “Ethics/Moral/Religious/Family decline,” “Lack of respect for each other,” and “The media” all received a larger portion of the “biggest problem” vote in the most recent survey during July.

I imagine Vermonters have similar priorities, even if they place Climate Change a little higher than the average American. Something for legislators to ponder as they consider passing the Global Warming Solutions Act and other climate legislation.

David Flemming is a policy analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute.

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