No 'Global Warming' on List of Anticipated Threats

July 7, 2008 - 8:06 PM

(CNSNews.com) - American adults asked to anticipate "major threats to the United States in the next five years" picked a variety of worrisome scenarios -- but "global warming" wasn't among them.

According to the Harris Poll, more than half of adults (55 percent) think it is extremely or very likely that a large number of illegal immigrants coming into this country will be a threat in the next five years. The Harris Poll noted that Republicans were much more likely than Democrats to see large-scale illegal immigration as an extremely or very likely threat.

Fifty-two percent of adults (more Democrats than Republicans) believe that a significant loss of jobs to foreign countries is an extremely or very likely threat.

Forty-three percent of adults believe it is extremely or very likely that a significant natural disaster will destroy parts of a major city in the next five years; 40 percent worried about U.S. energy needs exceeding supplies; and 35 percent mentioned a trade imbalance leading to foreign ownership of the nation's debt and property.

The Harris Poll asked the question, "There are a number of possible threats that the U.S. might face. How likely do you think the following will be a major threat to the U.S. in the next 5 years?"

The phrase "global warming" was not listed by the pollsters.

However, "a significant rise in the level of the oceans" was listed among the scenarios. Only 23 percent of those polled chose rising ocean levels as an "extremely or very likely threat" in the next five years. (Global warming fans believe that melting glaciers are boosting sea levels.)

The poll noted that Democrats were much more likely to see a significant rise in ocean levels as an extremely likely or very likely threat than Republicans were (31 percent vs. 11 percent).

Relatively small percentages of adults mentioned various types of terrorist attacks as an extremely or very likely threat:

-- 26 percent mentioned attacks against airplanes;
-- 24 percent mentioned an attack with biological weapons;
-- 14 percent mentioned an attack with a nuclear weapon.

According to the Harris Poll, relatively few people think any of the following are extremely or very likely threats:

-- A major stock market crash (11 percent);
-- A large scale Avian flu epidemic (11 percent);
-- The banking system experiencing a major financial collapse (14 percent);
-- A world war (15 percent);
-- Major riots by groups within the U.S. (20 percent).

Democrats were somewhat more likely than Republicans to see a significant loss of jobs to foreign countries as an extremely or very likely threat; and Democrats were three times more likely than Republicans to see the government not being able to borrow money, due to the debt load.

The 1,508 U.S. adults were surveyed online between Jan. 5-12. However, because split samples were used, each individual item on the threat list was mentioned to only 400-500 adults.

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