When the U.S. economy began to plunge in 2008, so did Americans’ belief in climate change–opinion polls showed that the percentage of Americans who thought the climate was changing dropped 14 points, from 71 to 57, between 2008 and 2009.
That number has been climbing again–it reached 70 percent this past September–but the number of Americans who say they are worried about climate change is still seven points lower than it was in 2008 (63% of Americans were “very” or “somewhat” worried about climate change in 2008, compared with 58% in 2012).
It’s also significantly lower than in Iran, where 80% of the population is worried about global warming, according to today’s infographic.
The data here are based on a small sample size, so we can’t be sure they perfectly represent Iranians’ views on climate change–and I’m frankly confused about how it’s possible that 80% of Iranians are worried about climate change, but only 60% believe it’s happening–but it appears that Iranians’ views on climate change are, for the most part, more progressive than Americans’ (see the chart I tacked on at the end for a comparison between the U.S. and lots of other countries–it appears that only China and Russia are less worried about climate change than we are):
And here’s the aforementioned chart, with data from a 2010 World Bank report. I’m very curious as to why Mexico is the most worried country in the world: