What are you afraid of? That was the question asked in the 2015 Chapman University Survey of American Fears.
Respondents were given a list of 88 things that could inspire fear. These entries ranged from world problems (like war, terrorism, nuclear attacks) to practical fears (murder, death, unemployment) to uncommon phobias (zombies, clowns, ghosts).
But the American Fears survey revealed a much different opinion on the topic, with only 30.7% of respondents saying that global warming made them either “afraid” or “very afraid.” Global warming didn't even make the top twenty.
Here are some things Americans are more afraid of than global warming:
Obamacare (35.7%): The President's healthcare reform has never been wholeheartedly embraced by the American public, but those who worry about skyrocketing insurance premiums and substandard medical care may fear that it will do more harm than good.
Bio-warfare (40.9%): Realistic films featuring worldwide disease outbreaks, coupled with real-life anthrax attacks from the past and low confidence in disease-control organizations, might explain why bio-warfare is the sixth biggest fear on the list.
Running out of money (37.4%): It's the biggest concern among entries in the survey's “personal future” category of fears. The unsustainability of Social Security and a fluctuating stock market may beget worries about the ability to retire comfortably.
Economic collapse (39.2%): The recent Recession and continuous warnings about markets and trade deficits may be stoking this fear. Plus, Americans may be watching what's happening in Greece right now.
Reptiles (33%): That's right — one-third of Americans fret about being attacked by snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and other reptilian creatures.
Tornadoes (31.4%): Even though the odds are 1 in 3.3 million that a house will be hit by a tornado, this natural disaster still ranks higher in the fear survey than global warming.
The Top 10 Fears of 2015 includes government tracking of personal information (41.4%), terrorist attacks (44.6%), and cyber-terrorism (44.8%).
And the number one fear Americans have? 58% responded that they were afraid of corruption of government officials. In fact, Gallup reported just last month that 49% of Americans said that government posed the “greatest immediate threat” to freedom. We'd say this is something to be afraid of.