Mar. 8, 2017

Politics and Climate Change

Politics & Global Warming, Spring 2016

A Survey of Registered Voters by The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found at:

Some exurpts from this 75 page document

This report focuses on how Americans (registered voters) across the political spectrum view global warming and how they think citizens and government should address it. Some of the key findings are:

An increasing number of registered voters think global warming is happening.

      Three in four (73%, up 7 points since Spring 2014)  

      Large majorities of Democrats—liberal (95%) and moderate/conservative (80%)

      Three in four Independents (74%, up 15 points since Spring 2014)

      The majority of liberal/moderate Republicans (71%, up 10 points).

      Only 47% of conservative Republicans think global warming is happening.

      Importantly, however, there has been a large increase in the number of conservative Republicans who think global warming is happening. In fact, conservative Republicans have experienced the largest shift of any group—an increase of 19 percentage points over the past two years.

• Although numerous studies find that 97% of climate scientists are convinced human-caused global warming is happening, few American voters are aware of this.

  • Only about one in six (16%) voters understand that 90% or more of climate scientists are convinced.

• Over half (57%) of Americans say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about global warming. Liberal Democrats are the most worried (88%), followed by moderate/conservative Democrats (67%). About half of Independents (49%) and liberal/moderate Republicans (48%) are worried about global warming. Relatively few conservative Republicans (21%) are worried.

• About three in ten Americans (29%) would be willing to join – or are currently participating in – a campaign to convince elected officials to take action to reduce global warming. Nearly half of Democrats say they already have or would be willing to join a campaign (45%; 54% of liberal Democrats). One in four Independents would do so, and one in ten Republicans would as well (11%; 20% of liberal/moderate Republicans).

For decades, climate-change deniers got away with dismissing the growing body of science as speculation and guesswork, hysterical or politicized warnings of a disastrous future. Now, their stance is crumbling. Every month of this year set a new record for the hottest monthly average global temperature in history. Fifteen of the 16 hottest years ever recorded have occurred in the 21st century. The facts are at our doorstep in the form of drought-fueled wildfires ravaging Southern California; rising sea levels in New York, Norfolk, Virginia, and Miami Beach; melting glaciers in Alaska; bleached coral reefs in the Virgin Islands. We've reached the point where the planet's warming – and the extreme weather it causes – is outpacing the very models scientists use to predict the future. The only place left on Earth where lawmakers openly and avidly deny the science of climate change is the U.S. Congress even as 3/4's of citizens recognize climate change is real. When will congress actually start representing the majority?