Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Do Republicans Believe In Climate Change

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Why Do Republicans Deny Climate Change Science?

Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand how Americans view climate, energy and environmental issues. We surveyed 10,957 U.S. adults from April 29 to May 5, 2020.

Everyone who took part is a member of Pew Research Centers American Trends Panel , an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATPs methodology.

See here to read more about the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

A majority of Americans continue to say they see the effects of climate change in their own communities and believe that the federal government falls short in its efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change.

At a time when partisanship colors most views of policy, broad majorities of the public including more than half of Republicans and overwhelming shares of Democrats say they would favor a range of initiatives to reduce the impacts of climate change, including large-scale tree planting efforts, tax credits for businesses that capture carbon emissions and tougher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Figure 9 Party Breakdown Of Opinions On Mitigation Policies On Which The Majorities Of Democrats And Of Republicans Disagree

On the other policies included in the survey, majorities of Democrats and of Republicans do not agree. Minorities of Republicans and majorities of Democrats favor carbon pricing policies and increased gasoline taxes. In general, majorities of Democrats and minorities of Republicans believe that federal stimulus packages should include provisions to invest in the development of new technologies and in maintenance to reduce future emissions.

Overlap With Other Forms Of Denial

Ultimately, the findings of this analysis show thatdespite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contraryclimate denial remains alive and well in the United States Congress, and its impacts are already costing lives. Furthermore, dangerous denial within Congress is not limited to climate change alone. By this analysis, 82 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and six U.S. senators are both climate deniers and members of the sedition caucusthose who denied the certified results of the 2020 general election and therefore supported President Trumps violent attempt to overturn these democratic results.*** There is also significant overlap between elected officials who deny climate science and elected officials who deny the reality of the pandemic that has sickened millions and claimed the lives of more than half a million Americans in the past year. In fact, as this analysis was being written, one congressman-elect and another congressman who had both cast doubt on the science around climate change died from COVID-19.

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Capitalizing On Consensus Fighting Misperceptions

Even in a state as conservative as Indiana, belief that climate change is occurring and support for action to curb it are now mainstream.

Our survey did not ask more controversial questions, such as whether humans had a role in causing climate change or how to reduce emissions. While I expect that many in the state remain divided on these issues, I still find my results encouraging.

Perhaps one sign of quietly changing attitudes in Indiana is South Bend Mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigiegs rise in national polls, due in part to his climate change agenda, which Buttigieg has linked to broader action to revive rural America.

Addressing climate change will require major societal changes, which in turn will require overcoming barriers that discourage or prevent collective action. Hoosiers underestimation of local consensus on climate change is likely one such barrier in Indiana.

Our respondents are not alone in misperceiving how many of their peers hold supportive attitudes. Many people nationwide underestimate consensus on this issue. One way to overcome this tendency may be to focus on communicating the commonness or the growing belief in climate change.

Grist Is The Only Nonprofit Newsroom Focused On Exploring Solutions At The Intersection Of Climate And Justice

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Our team of journalists remains dedicated to telling stories of climate, justice, and solutions. We aim to inspire more people to talk about climate change and to believe that meaningful change is not only possible but happening right now.;Our in-depth approach to solutions-based journalism takes time and proactive planning, which is why Grist depends on reader support.;Consider becoming a Grist member today by making a monthly contribution to ensure this important work continues and thrives.

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The Fossil Fuel Industrys Funding Of Denial

CAPs analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that these 139 climate science deniers have accepted more than $61 million in lifetime direct contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industries, which comes out to an average of $442,293 per elected official of Congress that denies climate change. This figure includes all contributions above the Federal Election Commissions mandated reporting threshold of $200 from management, employees, and political action committees in the fossil fuel industries. Not included in this data are the many other avenues available to fossil fuel interests to influence campaigns and elected officials. For example, oil, gas, and coal companies spent heavily during the 2020 election cycle to keep the Senate under the control of former Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a known climate denierwith major oil companies like Valero, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips contributing more than $1 million each to the conservative Senate Leadership Fund.

This analysis only shows direct, publicly disclosed contributions to federal candidates. The fossil fuel industry regularly spends millions of dollars of dark money advertising to the public; shaping corporate decisions; lobbying members of Congress; and otherwise funding the infrastructure that makes climate denial politically feasible and even profitable.

‘light Years Ahead’ Of Their Elders Young Republicans Push Gop On Climate Change

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Benji Backer, president of the American Conservation Coalition, testifies about climate change during a U.S. House hearing in 2019.hide caption

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Benji Backer, president of the American Conservation Coalition, testifies about climate change during a U.S. House hearing in 2019.

Think “climate change activist” and a young, liberal student may come to mind.

A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll showed climate change is the top issue for Democratic voters. For Republicans, it barely registers overall, but there is a growing generational divide.

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows Republicans 18 to 39 years old are more concerned about the climate than their elders. By a nearly two-to-one margin they are more likely to agree that “human activity contributes a great deal to climate change,” and “the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change.”

Some of these young conservatives are starting environmental groups and becoming climate activists. And now they’re pushing their party to do more.

Benji Backer started the American Conservation Coalition in 2017, after his freshman year in college, and says his love of nature comes in part from his family.

“They were Audubon members, Nature Conservancy members. But they were conservative, and I grew up not thinking that the environment should be political at all,” says Backer.

So, how will he vote in November?

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Majorities Of Us Adults Say Federal Government Is Not Doing Enough On The Environment

Majorities of Americans continue to say the federal government is doing too little to protect key aspects of the environment. About two-thirds of Americans say the federal government is doing too little to protect water quality of rivers, lakes and streams , protect air quality and reduce the effects of climate change . About six-in-ten think the federal government is doing too little to protect animals and their habitats , and a slightly smaller majority say the federal government is doing too little to protect open lands in national parks .

These findings come amid a changing federal regulatory landscape. The Trump administration is reversing or seeking to change more than 100 rules and regulations related to carbon dioxide emissions, clean air, water or toxic chemicals.

Public views on how much the federal government is doing to protect key aspects of the environment are virtually unchanged in the last two years. In Pew Research Center surveys in both 2018 and 2019, about two-thirds of Americans said the federal government was doing too little to protect air or water quality or reduce the effects of climate change.

Over the past several years, Americans have become significantly more likely to say protecting the environment and addressing climate change should be top priorities for the president and Congress, according to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey.

Among Democrats, there are hardly any gaps in views on these questions by generation or gender. .

Climate Change In The American Mind Survey Question Wording

Meet the Conservatives Lobbying Lawmakers to Act on Climate Change

Model estimates in the maps were derived from public responses to the following survey questions. The response categories for many questions were collapsed into a single variable for mapping. For example, for the question measuring how worried respondents are about global warming, very worried and somewhat worried were combined into a single measure of worried. Likewise Not very worried and Not at all worried were combined into a single measure of not worried. The responses below are color coded to indicate how they were grouped into the variables shown on the maps. Individuals who responded Dont know or who did not answer the question were not modeled separately and appear as gray segments within the bar charts.


Global warming is happening;Recently, you may have noticed that;global warming;has been getting some attention in the news. Global warming refers to the idea that the worlds average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the worlds climate may change as a result. What do you think: Do you think that global warming is happening?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Dont know

Global warming is caused mostly by human activities;Assuming global warming is happening, do you think it is ?

  • Caused mostly by human activities
  • Caused mostly by natural changes in the environment
  • Other
  • None of the above because global warming isnt happening
  • Strongly agree


  • Strongly support

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% Of Scientists Agree That Humans Are Causing Global Warming Yet Belief In Climate Change Continues To Depend On Political Beliefs Above All Else

It is no secret that belief in climate change in America is strongly divided along party lines, a fact we were reminded of in last weeks Republican leadership debates. The relationship was assessed in an experiment by Dan Kahan published in Advances in Political Psychology earlier this year, which demonstrated that there exists an extremely bizarre paradox that is as mind bending as it is troubling. Believe it or not, the more Republicans know about science, the less likely they are to believe in climate change.;

The Ordinary Science Intelligence measure which runs across the bottom of the graphs above measures how likely someone is to answer tests of scientific knowledge and reasoning correctly. For example, someone with an average Ordinary Science Intelligence score has a 70% chance of giving the correct answer to the simple scientific question “electrons are smaller than atoms – true or false”. Someone would have to be a full standard deviation below average to be more likely than not to get this question wrong.

As the graph above shows, a Democrat with an average level of scientific understanding has an 80% chance of believing in global warming, while the equivalent Republican has only a 20% chance. Astonishingly, this number falls even further as Republicans’ scientific literacy increases.

Follow Simon Oxenham on;,;,;,;RSS,;or join the;mailing list;to get each week’s post straight to your inbox. Image Credit: ;FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty

Nearly Nine In 10 Foresee Global Warming Effects Eventually Occurring

In addition to the 59% of Americans who believe the effects of global warming have already begun, another 10% predict they will start happening within a few years or in their own lifetime. A further 19% foresee the effects affecting future generations, bringing the total who believe global warming will eventually affect humans to 88%. Most Americans across all demographic groups expect this, including large majorities of Republicans and independents , and nearly all Democrats .

Still, there is variation across groups in the belief that the effects of global warming have already begun, a view that may be more relevant to the propensity for people to be politically active or factor it into their voting. Democrats , adults aged 18 to 34 , college graduates , non-White Americans and women are significantly more likely than their counterparts to say the effects have begun.

Already begun
Percentage with no opinion not shown
Gallup, March 1-15, 2021

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Americans See Local Impacts From Climate Change But That View Is Colored More By Politics Than Place

A majority of Americans say that climate change is affecting their local community a great deal or some. Fewer say climate change is impacting their own community not too much or not at all. The share who see at least some local impact from climate change is about the same as it was last fall .

Views of the local impact of climate change are largely similar among Americans who live in different regions of the county. In fact, an identical 64% of those who live in the Northeast, South and West say climate change is affecting their community a great deal or some. Those who live in the Midwest are slightly less likely to say this .

Partisanship is a far larger factor in views of the local impact of climate change. A large majority of Democrats say climate change is affecting their local community a great deal or some. By contrast, far fewer Republicans believe climate change is affecting their local community at least some; most Republicans say climate change is impacting their local community not too much or at all.

Among Republicans and Republican leaners, moderates and liberals are much more likely than conservatives to say climate change is impacting their community a great deal or some. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, large shares of both liberals and conservative and moderates see local impacts from climate change.

Young Republicans See Shift In Gop: ‘from Outright Denial To Climate Caucus’

Republicans Are Attacking Climate Change Science by ...

Twenty-four-year-old Republican Danielle Butcher is watching with anticipation as GOP leaders move from outright denial to now having a climate caucus a move she sees as the first step in integrating climate action into formal party policy.

Butcher, the executive vice president of the American Conservation Coalition , spoke to The Hills Equilibrium on Tuesday, just a week after Rep. John Curtis ;launched the Conservative Climate Caucus and the same day that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

The partys progress is huge, when you apply the context, Butcher said.; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

This is an excellent first step, she continued. The first thing you have to do in achieving climate action is start talking about these problems.

To Butcher, integrating climate action into Republican politics speaks to her partys historic conservation core the GOP with a deep-seated, rural heritage, was responsible for creation of the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency under former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

I also see this as us reclaiming our heritage, she said.

But with two-thirds of Americans indicating that the government should do more on climate change a stance that Butcher observed is especially true among young people” she said Republicans need to be talking about these issues and involving the younger generation in the discussions.

The GOP has notoriously struggled with young people, she added.

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Figure 20 Proportion Of Each Group Who Believed The Worlds Temperature Will Probably Go Up Over The Next 100 Years

Future warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have believed that the earth will probably be warmer in a century if nothing is done to prevent it. In 2020, 94% of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans believe that warming will probably continue in the future. No notable growth has occurred in the partisan gap since 2011.

5°F warmer would be bad. Majorities of Democrats and of Independents have consistently believed that 5°F of global warming would be bad, but the proportion of Republicans expressing that belief has hovered around the midline, peaking at 59% in 1997 and dipping to its lowest points of 47% in 2010 and 2015. The partisan gap in 2020 is the biggest observed since 1997 at 34 percentage points.

What Has Trump Done On Climate Change

The Climate Deregulation Tracker, run by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, has documented more than 130 steps the Trump administration has taken to scale back measures to fight climate change.

High-profile rollbacks include:

  • Replacing President Barack Obamas Clean Power Plan, which would have limited carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants, with the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which had weaker regulations
  • Attempting to freeze the fuel efficiency standards imposed on new vehicles, and prevent California from setting its own emissions rules

Hes completely halted and reversed the momentum that was built up during the Obama administration in fighting climate change, Prof Gerrard says.

While withdrawing from the Paris Agreement was terrible symbolically, the agreement had virtually no specifics on what the US had to do, so other rollbacks, especially the attempt to limit fuel economic standards of cars, were more damaging, he adds.

Dan Costa worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for more than 30 years, including as the National Director of the Air, Climate & Energy Research Program.

He said he noticed an anti-science stance once the Trump administrations team took over.

One of the folks who came as part of the transition team said if climate change is such a bad thing, why are so many people moving to Arizona? Anyway, you can turn up the air conditioning.’

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