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Study: Only 47% of Republicans Think Global Warming Is Happening

Researchers say the results are "not a surprise" and reflect a growing divide first noticed in 1997

By Elizabeth McGowan

Nov 2, 2010

WASHINGTON—Democrats are not only more prone to think that global warming is happening but they are also much more apt to worry about it than independents and Republicans.
That partisan split emerged loud and clear when Yale University researchers crunched a separate set of numbers from an in-depth climate change study they released in mid-October. The prospect of a looming Election Day prompted the survey collaborators to in attitudes toward global warming.
“We always go into our research with an open mind,” Anthony Leiserowitz, with the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, told SolveClimate News. “These results are not a surprise because it’s a phenomenon we’ve been witnessing for many years now.”
Researchers first noticed the parties drifting apart on this issue in 1997, he said, adding that the gulf has widened considerably since then.

As the show, 81 percent of Democrats think global warming is happening, compared to 57 percent of independents and 47 percent of Republicans.

When asked what is causing the Earth to warm, 68 percent of Democrats attributed it to human activities, while 51 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans had that same response.

A third section of the newly released numbers reveals that 78 percent of Democrats are very or somewhat worried about global warming. That compares to 52 percent of independents and 32 percent of Republicans.

Yale’s overall 60-page report, called “Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change,” was funded by the National Science Foundation. Surveys of 2,030 American adults were conducted between June 24 and July 22. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percent.

The divide clearly has implications for the ability to pass national legislation, Leiserowitz said, adding that the tea party and Republicans wielded the words cap and trade as a weapon against Democrats and some Republicans in the primaries and throughout the campaign season.

“Literally, millions of dollars are being spent to attack cap and trade and anybody who voted for it,” he said. “This is the crazy season of the election and the final week is especially insane.”

The Yale researcher said he was dumbfounded that a bill such as the —which the House passed in 2009—became a wedge issue during the campaign season.

“That’s a surprise,” he said, adding that climate change never surfaces near the top of lists that Gallup and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press compile after asking people to name national priorities for Congress and the president. “Climate change is always at the bottom. Now the economy dwarfs everything else, and that has been the case since 2008.”

Polls continue to show that most Americans support legislative action to control carbon emissions, Leiserowitz said, but the path forward is prickly and loaded with land-mine language.

Interestingly, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll—released just a few days ago—reveals that a large majority of the American public wants the majority party in Congress to choose compromise over principle. In other words, people want senators and representatives to tackle the issues so they can make accomplishments instead of sticking to their positions and contributing to gridlock.

Bipartisan congressional action on curbing heat-trapping gases is still a possibility, Leiserowitz said, but language matters. Legislators have to avoid now-toxic terms such as "cap-and-trade system." Instead, they need to draw on words that can unite sparring forces around the more neutral-sounding “energy legislation” because everybody is on board with catch phrases such as "energy independence" and "national security."

“It isn’t a lost cause,” he concluded about prospects for Congress. “It hasn’t become as polarized as gay marriage. There’s still a way forward. We’ll know more come Tuesday.”

See Also:

Climate IQ a Reflection of Age, Education and Party Affiliation

Multiple Polls Reveal Overwhelming Concern about Global Warming among Americans

Psychologists Delve Into the Paradox of U.S. Concern but Inaction on Climate Change

38% is not "most"

The headline on says "Most Republicans Don't Think Global Warming Is Happening". Please note that 38% is not "most".

I wish I could be more

I wish I could be more hopeful, but I'm not.

American voters are fickle and gullible, especially in hard times.

What we need are efforts similar to what we did to win WWII... and in order to get Americans on board we needed a Pearl Harbor.  A "black swan event". Katrine times 10, or 100.

Very interesting idea!  I

Very interesting idea!  I think that could prove a very worthwhile approach in establishing long term relationships.  I think that you would need to prioritise quite heavily towards the people who either link to you all the time or who have large, powerful sites.  But these are the perfect people to build a relationship with as they have already shown that they like you by placing the link.

AGW has taken a long walk off a short peer

The environmental left for political reasons had to make the industrial gas CO2 has the main culprit causing the AGW scam.  The only problem was CO2 is a trace gas in the atmosphere and they had to "cook the books" to make it happen.  HELLO CLIMATEGATE.  Since the release of the emails and the scrutiny of the data from outside scientists belief in the AGW/IPCC data has collasped faster than al gore can side step a debate.  This is just another in a series of leftist induced catastrophies that fall apart as soon as they are investigated by outside sources.  Political, you bet.

"global warming"

   The results of this poll might depend to some extent on exactly how the question is actually worded....I'm a lifelong Republican...very conservative in fact....and I don't doubt that the earth continues to it has gradually since the end of the last ice age...and since the end of the 'Little Ice Age' about 150 yrs ago...but if one discounts the 'urban heat island' effect..which has been a known phenomenon for about 200 yrs....then virtually ALL of the alleged measured warming for the last century or so....can be attributed to purely natural means...that is to say that human generated carbon dioxide does NOT 'drive' "global warming" fact,at present,it is scientifically impossible to determine how much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is generated by natural means and how much by when somebody like anAL GOREtentive tries to claim that most carbon dioxide is human generated and is wht driving force behind 'global warming'then he is either profoundly ignorant of what constitutes true climate science,or he is fundamentally dishonest....either way,those who truly believe that "global warming" is caused by humans,ought to do the rest of us who don't,a favor....sell their cars and kill themselves...end of problem

The Time for Public Opinion is Over

It's time for public discussion to end.  The abolition of private property should be enacted by the next congress - trust me, if's for the best.  We did it right in 1917 - my Great Grandfather had a way of dealing with those 7 Million Ukrainians, they didn't want to go along with the program either and this is the exact course of action for dealing with people who go along with the program now.  Sure, we all know that "climate change" is just the vehicle for World Communism but so what?  The cult of personality must be crushed.



I saw another poll that put the gap between the two parties further apart. This same study also measure other factors, such as off shore oil drilling. Polls are always interesting. I wonder how different the results would have been if they used the words "climate change" instead of "global warming"

Not cute...

I am bothered greatly by this.

Politicians really slime up government just at a time when it is needed most.   This is a return to the flat earth thinking of thousands of years ago.  What kind of Kool Aid are they drinking?

There are only a few ways to interpret this:  Either humans are too easily duped by sociopathic predation, or  ... well I guess that is it.  

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