It’s classic mainstream media spin, this time care of the New York Times on the hot button issue of global warming. Play up the emotional side of the issue, and avoid the hard question of paying.

In their climate change poll released Friday, the Times asked if Americans think it’s a serious enough issue to support government action. As with virtually every other poll, they find that, yes, the public does support action.

But it doesn’t ask the obvious follow-up question: Would you pay for that action?

We have proof that the public’s answer is “No.”

Rasmussen Reports last fall asked both questions, including this one:

“To generate cleaner energy and fight global warming, it might cost Americans more money each year in taxes and utility costs. How much are you willing to pay each year in higher taxes and utility costs?”

• Nothing

• $100

• $300

• $500

• $1,000

• More than $1,000

• Not sure

Guess what? Some 48 percent of voters chose “nothing.” Another 23 percent were only willing to spend $100 more a year.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at