What’s Causing All The Bad Weather?!

U.S. meteorologists say the deadly storms tearing up the South are not a result of climate change. None the less, the extreme weather has rekindled the global warming debate in Washington. A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 51% of Americans think the recent severe weather is primarily caused by long-term planetary trends. Only 19% blame the extreme weather on human activity, which many climate change activists view as the cause of global warming; 12% say there’s some other cause for the bad weather, and 19% aren’t sure. Other findings:

  • 39% of Americans say the weather in their area is worse than it’s been in recent years.
  • 15% say they have personally been impacted by the severe weather or have a family member who has suffered through it. Among those impacted by the severe weather, 62% say the weather in their area has been worse this year.
  • The recent severe weather in the South and Midwest is garnering a lot of media attention, and 50% of Americans rate the government’s response to the weather-related disasters as good or excellent.
  • 30% of Americans have already contributed or plan to contribute money or some other kind of donation to help those impacted by the bad weather; 49% have no plans to donate, and 22% aren’t sure what they’ll do. That’s slightly lower than the number who contributed or planned to contribute to relief efforts in Haiti just after the massive earthquake in January 2010.
  • 36% of Americans say the federal government should bear most of the financial responsibility for areas affected by weather-related disasters; 26% say local agencies should bear most of the burden, while 22% say individuals should be largely responsible and 16% are not sure.