A poll by German publication Spiegel finds that just 39 percent of Germans now fear global warming, down from 62 percent in 2006.
Spiegel says the dramatic shift in public attitudes could be attributable to the fact that average global temperatures have not risen in 15 years.
The findings come as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares its September 27 global warming assessment report.
“Despite the IPCC’s promise for more transparency after hair-raising mistakes in the last assessment report from 2007,” reports Spiegel, “the panel plans not to publish the complete report for some time after the release of the summary and not even release transcripts from the negotiations in Stockholm.”
The dramatic decline in German concern over global warming may complicate political action on the issue, says German Green Party politician Hermann Ott.
“Climate policy needs the element of fear. Otherwise, no politician would take on this topic,” said Ott.