Sharp Divergence On Whether The Effects Of Global Warming Are Yet Evident
PRINCETON, NJ — Historically, support for environmental protection in the United States has been relatively nonpartisan. Republicans pointed with pride to Theodore Roosevelt’s crucial role in promoting the conservation of natural resources by establishing national parks and forests, and Democrats applauded Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s efforts to include conservation as part of the “New Deal” via the Soil Conservation Service and related programs. Especially notable was how Richard Nixon collaborated with a Democratic Congress by signing several of our nation’s most important pieces of environmental legislation into law in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The situation began to change in the 1980s, as the Reagan administration labeled environmental regulations a burden that needed to be eased. While a temporary backlash from environmentalists and much of the public resulted, Republicans nonetheless enjoyed a good deal of electoral success in arguing that “government is the problem, not the solution.” This theme has been amplified in passing decades, and one consequence has been a growing partisan divide over environmental protection .
Is Global Warming Occurring?
Views of Media Coverage
Independents have remained in between Republicans and Democrats in terms of viewing news on global warming as exaggerated, although they are consistently closer to Democrats.
Is There a “Scientific Consensus”?
Human Caused or Natural Change?
Is Global Warming a Threat?
Ibid., p. 31.
Political Parties Increasingly Divided Over Global Warming
Despite the growing scientific consensus that global warming is real, Americans have become increasingly polarized on the environmental issue, according to a first-of-its-kind study led by a Michigan State University researcher.
The gap between Democrats and Republicans who believe global warming is happening increased 30 percent between 2001 and 2010 a depressing trend thats essentially keeping meaningful national energy policies from being considered, argues sociologist Aaron M. McCright.
Instead of a public debate about different policies to deal with global warming, a significant percentage of the American public is still debating the science, said McCright, MSU associate professor and primary investigator on the study. As a result, were failing to significantly address one of the most serious problems of our time.
The study is featured in the spring issue of the research journal Sociological Quarterly, online now.
McCright and Riley E. Dunlap of Oklahoma State University analyzed 10 years of data from Gallups environmental poll, making the study the first of its kind to use multiple years of data. The Gallup poll, conducted annually, consists of a nationally representative telephone survey of at least 1,000 people.
Unfortunately, this is not a recipe for promoting a civil, science-based discussion on this very serious environmental problem, McCright said. Like with the national discussion on health care, we dont even agree on what the basic facts are.
Figure 26 Proportion Of Each Group Who Thought That Us Businesses Should Do More About Global Warming
US businesses should do more to deal with global warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats and Independents have believe that US business should do more about global warming. In 2020, 92% of Democrats and 69% of Independents believe that businesses should do more. Minorities of Republicans have favored increased action from businesses, with all-time highs of 5859% in 1997 and 1998. The partisan gap is 49 percentage points in 2020.
Average people should do more to deal with global warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats and Independents have believed that average people should do more about global warming. In 2020, 90% of Democrats and 70% of Independents think that average people should do more. Smaller proportions of Republicans have also favored increased individual action, with all-time highs of 60% in 1997 and 1998. The partisan gap is 43 percentage points in 2020.
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Figure 6 Party Breakdown Of Trust In Scientists
87% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans trust climate scientists at least a moderate amount, and 84% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans believe that a majority of climate scientists believe that global warming has been happening.
Party identifiers also diverge on what psychologists call “attitude strength” . Among Democrats, 82% are extremely or very sure of their opinions about whether the earth has been warming over the past 100 years, whereas only 40% of Republicans express that high level of certainty.
Likewise, 78% of Democrats expressed high certainty about whether the worlds temperature will go up over the next 100 years if nothing is done to address it, whereas only 41% of Republicans express high certainty about their opinions on this question.
Similarly, 76% of Democrats said that their opinions about global warming are extremely or very strong, whereas only 30% of Republicans said they hold such strong opinions on the issue.
The partisans are more similar when it comes to how much they believe they know about global warming82% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans believe they know at least a moderate amount about the issue.
Senator Roy Blunt Republican Of Missouri
Recently re-elected as vice-chairman of the Senate Republican conference
Blunt has acknowledged that climate change exists and said we have a social responsibility to help the environment. He also has said, however, that the human role in climate change is unclear. understands that any energy policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gases should be carefully considered in the context of Americas already fragile economy, a spokesman for Blunt told the Springfield News-Leader in 2011. The worst outcome is that we pass policies so onerous that we drive jobs overseas to countries where they dont care as much about what comes out of their smokestacks as we do.
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About The Partisan Climate Opinion Maps
Even as US partisan polarization shapes climate and energy beliefs and attitudes, substantial heterogeneity in climate opinions still exists among both Republicans and Democrats. Historically, our understanding of this partisan variability has been limited to analysis of national- or less commonly, state-level opinion poll subsamples. The 2018 Partisan Climate Opinion Maps provide data about how Republican and Democratic climate and energy opinions vary across all 50 states and all 435 congressional districts, revealing spatial patterns with policy-relevant implications for the trajectory of US climate change policy reforms.
The public opinion estimates were generated using a statistical model that combines nationally representative survey data gathered by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication between 2008 and 2018 with voter registration, U.S. census, and geographic data. Party registration data is available for 32 states, and is imputed in the remaining states .
Details about the methods can be found here:
Mildenberger, M., Marlon, J.R., Howe, P.D., & Leiserowitz, A. The spatial distribution of Republican and Democratic climate opinions at state and local scales, Climatic Change. .
Republicans And Democrats In Different Worlds On Climate Change
As President Biden heads to the UN Climate Change Conference, he will grapple with significant divides in domestic public opinion.
On October 31, world leaders and climate experts will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. These meetings represent a much-anticipated opportunity for countries to coordinate action to decelerate climate change and mitigate its devastating effects. While US President Joseph Biden has vowed to make climate issues a priority for his administration, his ability to deliver in Glasgow will depend in large part on politics at home. The 2021 Chicago Council Survey data indicate that the administration will grapple with significant partisan divisions not only in Congress but also among the American public. Along with immigration, climate change is consistently one of the most starkly polarizing American foreign policy issues.
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Congressman Steve Scalise Republican Of Louisiana
Incoming majority whip
Scalise was a co-sponsor of the 2011 Energy Tax Prevention Act to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The Obama administration needs to finally abandon their radical climate change agenda that is killing jobs and increasing costs for American families, he said in an August statement. Four years after the Democratic controlled Congress rejected the presidents cap-and-trade scheme, the White House wants to sidestep Congress and commit the United States to a United Nations agreement which would name and shame countries into adopting higher emissions standards. This just proves that the president is prepared to pursue his job-killing climate agenda at any cost, which the American people and House of Representatives will not stand for.
Senator Lisa Murkowski Republican Of Alaska
Likely incoming chairwoman of the Senate committee on energy and natural resources
Murkowski has said that climate change is real, but she also plays the other side, boosting oil and gas interests in her home state and challenging the EPAs authority to curb emissions. It doesnt make sense to argue about how much global warming is caused by man whether its 5% or 50%, she said in April. The best approach is to have a no-regrets policy.
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Across The Country Most Republicans Dont Think Humans Are Causing Climate Change
Percentage of Republicans in each congressional district who say that global warming is caused mostly by human activities
Fewer than a third of registered Republicans nationwide say that climate change is caused mostly by human activities, while nearly half say its mostly due to natural changes in the environment, according to the study, which looked at eight years of opinion data and mapped the results by congressional district.
Being skeptical about global warming has become part of Republican or conservative identity, said Riley E. Dunlap, a professor of environmental sociology at Oklahoma State University who was not involved in the study.
Republicans in the New York City area are about twice as likely to agree that human activities are driving global warming as their counterparts in Montana. But even in New York, barely 50 percent attribute the cause to humans.
Since the election of Donald Trump as president, belief that climate change is human-caused has declined among registered Republican voters, according to another recent poll.
Last month, more than a dozen federal agencies published a major scientific report showing that global warming is largely due to human greenhouse gas emissions.
Green Washing And Distractions
On the other side the aisle, some Democrats suspect their Republican colleagues of “greenwashing,” of promoting solutions as good for the environment when they really aren’t. Although both parties receive campaign contributions from the oil and gas sector, “the vast majority” of this funding goes to Republicans, according to researchers at Open Secrets, a research and government transparency group.
Republicans in Congress are against Biden’s climate plan to phase out fossil fuels. And many climate scientists are also skeptical about the solutions conservatives have proposed. Planting trees and carbon sequestration will not be enough, according to Rachel Cleetus, policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “There are limits to how much we can rely on these natural carbon sinks,” she said. “That’s why we have to get to the core of the problem, which is fossil fuel dependence. We cannot get distracted.”
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Yet Half Of Republicans Say That Climate Change Is Happening With Strongest Support On The Coasts And In Places Where Climate Effects Are Now Being Felt
Percentage of Republicans in each congressional district who say that global warming is happening
Climate views at the local level tend to reflect where liberal and moderate Republicans live compared to conservative Republicans,said Patrick J. Egan, a professor of politics and public policy at New York University. So its no surprise that Republicans in major cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York are most likely to say climate change is happening.
But, there are also tantalizing hints that geographic vulnerability to climate change may affect opinion, Professor Egan said.
For example, in south Florida, an area vulnerable to sea level rise and increased risk of extreme weather, an estimated 56 percent of Republicans agree that climate change is happening. A majority of Republicans in both Alaska and Hawaii say the same.
A New Generational Divide
Among Republicans younger than 40, a majority is concerned about the changing climate, opinion polls show. By contrast, 65% of Republican baby boomers have said climate change was not an important concern to them.
This age gap was illustrated in Miami in June, when the ACC held a rally dubbed “the first conservative climate protest in the US.” Speakers had to shout over heckling by a group of older men who waved signs reading: “There is no climate crisis.”
ACC head Benji Backer met with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at the ‘first-ever conservative climate rally’ in June
Staunch climate denial is still seen in the rhetoric of Republican lawmakers, too. When large parts of Texas lost power in frigid weather last winter, Republican Governor Greg Abbott falsely blamed solar and wind energy. And when President Joe Biden announced his goal of cutting greenhouse emissions in half at a climate summit earlier this year, some Republicans and right-wing media stoked resistance by spreading misinformation suggesting the president planned to restrict meat consumption.
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Figure 29 Proportion Of Each Group Who Favored The Federal Government Giving Companies Tax Breaks To Produce More Electricity From Water Wind And Solar Power
Reduce emission by power plants. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have consistently favored federal government efforts to lower the amount of greenhouse gases produced by power plants. In 2020, 92% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans, and 81% of Independents favor this policy, with a partisan gap of 28 percentage points .
Fundamental Beliefs And Attitudes
For 14 out of 21 survey questions posed to American respondents about fundamental beliefs and attitudes regarding global warming, majorities of Democrats and Republicans alike hold green opinions in 2020.
For example, 94% of Democrats believe global warming has been happening, as do 67% of Republicans. 94% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans think warming will continue in the future if nothing is done to address it. 94% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans believe that if warming has been happening, human actions have been responsible for causing it.
Majorities of Democrats and of Republicans also agree about the likely effects of global warming98% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans believe global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the US if nothing is done to address it. Some 97% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans believe that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the world if nothing is done to address it.
However, the partisans diverge on whether specific temperature changes have been or will be bad. Whereas 88% of Democrats believe that the warming that has happened over the past 100 years was bad, only 40% of Republicans believe that. And whereas 84% of Democrats believe that a 5-degree Fahrenheit increase in world temperature over the next 75 years would be bad, only 50% of Republicans agree.
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Greece: We’re Outta Here
Evacuees on a ferry at the port of Pefki, Euboea they are embarking on a journey into the unknown, as their homes and belongings will probably be destroyed by the time they return. For the first time since the forest fires started on the Greek island of Euboea at the beginning of last week, massive air missions are now being flown to fight the fires. Eyewitnesses report apocalyptic scenes.
The world is burning
Confronted With Evidence Of A Climate Crisis Republicans Shrug
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its new report this week — its first comprehensive assessment since 2013 — and by any fair measure, it was absolutely terrifying.
Except to congressional Republicans, who didn’t much care.
The IPCC findings were, at a minimum, sobering. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the findings a “code red for humanity,” adding that the “alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.” NBC News’ report noted that the report “provides the strongest case yet for human-caused global warming, saying it’s ‘unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.'”
The report also found that climate change is “intensifying, occurring at an accelerated pace and is already affecting every region of the planet.”
The good news is, while a hotter planetary future is now unavoidable, sustained reductions in carbon pollution can prevent the most severe consequences. The bad news is, sustained reductions in carbon pollution are only possible through aggressive and immediate action from policymakers.
Politicoreported yesterday on congressional Republicans’ widespread indifference to humanity’s code red.
The report quoted a handful of GOP lawmakers saying they’d consider climate-related policies, so long as there were no tax increases on anyone. “We clearly have an issue over climate change,” said Sen. Rick Scott , who soon after added, “I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody.”
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Obama The Antichrist Global Warming A Myth Lizard People Controlling The World Conspiracy Theory Research Reveals Bizarre Beliefs Prevalent In Us
One in five Republican voters believes Barack Obama is the antichrist and nearly a third of all Americans think a secret power elite controls the world, according to new research on conspiracy theories.
A national poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling organisation found that 37 per cent of Americans also think global warming is a hoax, while 11 per cent of the population think the US government allowed the September 11 terrorist attacks to take place.
The surprising results form part of the PPPs in-depth study of how political affiliation can dictate the likelihood of an individual believing in various conspiracy theories.
The research found 34 per cent of Republicans polled believe a New World Order controls the world, compared with 35 per cent of independent voters and just 15 per cent of Democrats.
While a total of 44 per cent of Americans think the Bush administration deliberately misled the public over weapons of mass destruction in an effort to start the Iraq war, that breaks down to 72 per cent of Democrats and just 27 per cent of Republicans.
Other conspiracy theory beliefs have similar political overtones. Only 23 per cent of Democrats think global warming is a hoax, but over half of Republican voters think climate change is an elaborate myth.
Meanwhile 33 per cent of Republicans think Saddam Hussein was in some way connected to the September 11 attacks, while 78 per cent of Democrats disagree with them.