The numbers don’t lie; support for global warming policies are eroding, faster than polar ice caps, as it turns out. Moreover, a new poll shows just how much the political elite are losing touch with the American public when it comes to global warming.

According to a Rasmussen poll released Friday,

Just one-out-of-three voters (34%) now believe global warming is caused by human activity, the lowest finding yet in Rasmussen Reports national surveying. However, a plurality (48%) of the Political Class believes humans are to blame.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of all likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, while seven percent (7%) blame some other reason. Eleven percent (11%) aren’t sure.

These numbers reflect a reversal from a year ago when 47% blamed human activity while 34% said long-term planetary trends.”

Despite the lack of consensus and waning public belief that man-made activity is a significant contributor to global warming and that global warming is a serious belief, some politicians and the federal government still seem willing to enact very costly global warming regulations that will do very little affect global temperatures.

Whether it be through a cap-and-trade bill or the Environmental Protection Agency bypassing Congressional action by using the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide, global warming regulations will heavily tax energy use in America. Since 85 percent of the country’s energy needs are met through fossil fuels, it will subjectively and unnecessarily tax everything we do.

The public is holding up a stop sign but politicians appear eager to run through it without much thought or sincere consideration. And what do you turn to when things aren’t going your way? Fear mongering. Speaking in Trinidad and Tobago over the weekend, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said,

I think the Caribbean countries face rising oceans and they face increase in the severity of hurricanes. This is something that is very, very scary to all of us. The island states in the world represent — I remember this number — one-half of 1 percent of the carbon emissions in the world. And they will — some of them will disappear.”

Ironically, the most frightening thing about Chu’s speech was the condescension with which it was delivered. Using phrases like “very, very scary” and disappearing islands seem more appropriate to a children’s ghost story than a policy discussion. Is this the Secretary of Energy or David Copperfield? This is straight-up, good old-fashioned fear-mongering.

It is the oldest pitch in the book. Create a problem then sell the solution.

These guys are 21st Century Chicken Littles. But drumming up ideas that the sky is falling or, in this case, that the world is melting can work in the short run but can only survive the long run if it is substantiated with fact. Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman writes that fear is a double-edged sword:

Eventually it could lead to a backlash. Indeed, the global-warming doomsayers may well prove to be their own worst enemy, with their credibility taking a tumble along with the prospects for cap-and-trade legislation.”