Americans More Concerned About Pollution in Drinking Water Than Climate Change

Americans are more concerned about pollution in their drinking water than about global warming, according to research from Gallup. 

A report released on Monday, based on data aggregated between 2017 and 2019, showed that Americans are more concerned about a range of environmental issues than they are about global warming.

The Gallup poll presented data on six areas of concern: global warming, loss of tropical rain forests, air pollution, extinction of plant and animal species, pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs and pollution of drinking water. 

Americans in each region expressed less concern about global warming than about each other topic, with the exception of loss of tropical rain forests. (Only individuals in the northeast were more concerned about global warming than about rainforest loss.) 

The report showed strong regional differences in the amount of concern about global warming. Residents of the Northeast expressed the greatest concern about global warming, with 70 percent saying they believed the "seriousness of global warming is generally correct or underestimated."

Americans living in the South exhibited the least concern about the seriousness of global warming, with 53 percent saying that global warming had already begun and 60 percent saying they believed the "seriousness of global warming is generally correct or underestimated."

72 percent of those living in the Northeast said they worried a great deal or fair amount about global warming, while 61 percent of those living in the South indicated the same views. 

GettyImages-1138754006 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks about the city's strategy to respond to climate change on April 22. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

More Americans than ever believe in global warming, according to a December survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. The survey found that 73 percent of Americans believed that in climate change. 

Despite the rising level of concern in the U.S., a country that has displayed relatively high levels of climate denial, international actions to address global warming have moved slowly. 

At the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, global leaders reached a deal on a "rulebook" for implement the 2015 Paris climate accords. But critics said that global action on climate change is not moving fast enough, pointing to alarming studies about the growing impact of climate change.

The landmark UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in October said that the world has 12 years to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The study warned of a series of climate-related catastrophes, including floods, poverty and extreme heat, if the temperature rises to 2.0 degrees Celsius.

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