Truthfully, it feels like fantasy that I’m even writing about how much people from different parties believe in global warming or human-caused global warming. The U.S. is essentially the only country in the world with so much of its population confused about the science of global warming and unclear as to whether or not we are causing it. But, the good news is, at least, some self-identified Republicans are coming around. “Since 2009, there have been sharp increases in the percentages of independents and moderate and liberal Republicans who say there is solid evidence of global warming,” Pew Research Center reports.
“Currently, 63% of independents say there is solid evidence of rising temperatures, up from 53% in October 2009. The shift has been more dramatic among moderate and liberal Republicans, who comprise about a third of all Republicans. More than six-in-ten (63%) now see solid evidence of global warming, compared with 41% two years ago…. The gap between conservative Republicans and the party’s moderates and liberals has increased from nine percentage points in 2009 to 32 points in the new survey.”
Yes, despite (or maybe because of) massive disinformation campaigns from oil billionaires and coal barons, people are getting the word that the science is settled on this matter. Or, perhaps they are just noticing the record extremes in temperature and ‘natural’ disasters.
Unfortunately, as you can see in the chart below, the disinformation campaign,.. or horrid media coverage,.. or pure scientific ignorance,.. or perhaps the economic situation (for some reason, the state of the economy has an effect on what we think about the environment and science) has our country sitting in a worse place than it was 2006-2008:
Will we recover to 2006-2008 numbers? Certainly! The question is just how long it will take — will we recover in the coming year due to better communication and more scientific education amongst the populous, or will we recover later on as we get hit by hellish temperatures, deadly droughts and floods, and earth-shattering hurricanes?
Some more stats from the recent survey:
- Interestingly, those most likely to say the world is warming are college graduates (educated people) and older people (people who can probably see a world of difference between the climate today and the climate when they were young). Percentage points, respectively, are 68% and 61% for these two groups.
- “77% of Democrats and 63% of independents say there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades. Just 43% of Republicans agree.”
- “51% of Democrats and 40% of independents say the earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity. Just 19% of Republicans say rising temperatures are mostly attributable to human activity.” (Note that about 97% of prolific climate scientists say the world is warming due to human activity!)
Just another reminder why I do what I do….