(Photography by Ian Britton, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Heated opinions

Carbon dioxide worries more Americans than global warming.

The majority of Americans believe global warming is happening, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. A late 2014 study surveyed the environmental attitudes of 1,578 American adults.

Although the climate change debate continues on the nightly news and in Congress, only 20 percent of the US public thinks that global warming is fiction. Twenty-three percent is on the fence, with 56 percent convinced that it is real. Of the latter group, nine out of 10 think that human activities play some role.

Worries about carbon dioxide specifically seem to occupy more Americans than global warming generally, with the majority at least moderately concerned about the risks posed by the so-called big three: oil (69 percent), coal (68 percent), and natural gas (54 percent).