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Poll: 58% of Republicans Still Believe Global Warming is a Hoax

RP Siegel | Thursday April 25th, 2013 | 22 Comments

IcebergYou could say that the American Right is holding the world hostage to their need for greed, especially when it comes to climate change.

As low-lying areas (like New York City) watch helplessly while storm surges wash over areas that could be permanently submerged within decades, as polar ice caps melt at alarming rates far greater than predicted, and as new accelerating feedback loops continue to reveal themselves, other countries boldly take decisive action. Our American government remains not only paralyzed, but poised to take an enormous step backwards, all because of a degree of uncertainty, that has to stretch itself to its fullest height to be even marginally considered the merest shadow of a doubt.

A recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found that 58 percent of Republicans polled still believe that global warming is a hoax. This, at the same time that international polls are finding that Americans are among the biggest doubters, a dubious honor shared with our friends in the UK. Only 47 percent of Americans believe that global warming is real and is mostly caused by emissions, compared with 58 percent of Canadians, for example.

In response to what The Guardian is calling “the moral crisis of our time,” House Republicans have not only not taken action, but in January 2011, they actually disbanded the House Committee on Global Warming in order to “eliminate waste in government.” Remember that?

In a Gallup Poll of 127 countries that asked who believed that global warming was the result of human activities, the United States ranked 86th just behind Tunisia, with 49 percent answering in the affirmative. Top ranked South Korea and Japan had scores of 92 percent and 91 percent, respectively.

Are Americans really that ignorant or are we being deliberately misinformed?  Clearly the media has a big role to play in shaping people’s impressions and interpretations of the news of the day. Left-leaning media (e.g. The Guardian) rarely contain skeptical commentary, while skepticism is commonly featured in right-leaning outlets (e.g. The Wall Street Journal). Studies have, in fact, shown that a person’s choice of media is a strong predictor of their outlook on the issue. I think it’s only fair to give credit where it is due, and in this case, Fox News deserves a prize, especially after a Fairleigh Dickinson University study found that regular Fox viewers were less well informed about current events than people who don’t watch news at all. Of course, this should come as no surprise to anyone. The results, incidentally, were filtered by political party, so that was not a factor in that particular poll, though I think it’s a safe bet as to which party predominantly watches Fox.

The issue of “balance as bias,” clearly comes into play here. The fact that two opposing positions are expressed with equal fervor does not mean that they merit equal media coverage. This issue has truly moved to the forefront in this age of extremism, regardless of whether we are discussing climate change, or what conservatives consider to be the far more important issue of the budget deficit. Ideological ideas, with little in the way of substance or merit, such as austerity, for example, are being given equal time, time that could be better used trying to solve the problem.

[Image credit: JP Newell: Flickr Creative Commons]

RP Siegel, PE, is an inventor, consultant and author. He co-wrote the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water in an exciting and entertaining format. Now available on Kindle.

Follow RP Siegel on Twitter.


▼▼▼      22 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • mememine

    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.

    History will mock you remaining climate blame believers considering science has NEVER said the crisis WILL happen or is “inevitable” like they say comet hits are. Not one IPCC warning has ever been issued without “maybes”. Shame on all of you for wanting this misery for billions of innocent children. Who’s the fear mongering neocon again? Stop bullying our children with your CO2 death threats!

    • Wupatki

      An increase in CO2 concentration in the troposphere will increase infrared radiation returned to the surface of the planet.

      • not_wupatki

        and also increase amount of ir radiation reflected back out to space

    • Dave Shires

      Good ol’ Mememine… thanks for keeping life interesting you crazy fool.

      • Christopher C

        He is much more than a fool.He is whistling past the graveyard and obviously reads nothing but fox news propaganda.He is a moron.

    • Christopher C

      That is a bold faced lie.Scientists not only say global warming is a reality,but they say it is already affecting our country and the entire world.You are a moron of epic proportions.ReAD A NEWSPAPER OR GET ON THAT COMPUTER AND GO TO ANY NUMBER OF NON PARTISAN SCIENTIFIC WEBSITES AND EDUCATE YOURSELF.i AM UNAWARE THAT OCCUPY WALL STREET WERE THE VOICE OF America.tHEIR MOVEMENT WAS AGAINST CORPORATE America AND wALL STREET,NOT ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.

    • Clearlight

      97% of the world’s scientists believe that current global warming is mostly caused by man-made emissions.
      To the ignorant and the misinformed: Please tell me of just a single instance in the modern world in which that high a percentage of the scienticfic community has been proven wrong?

  • hidethedecline

    Global warming is of course true! The World has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age. That is not the issue. The real issue is if there are is evidence for dangerous human caused global warming. And there is not!

    Apocalyptic belief systems have always fascinated people throughout known history. Not one of these apocalyptic based belief systems have ever come through. Not one of them!
    The belief that we are heading into a climate catastrophe because our use of fossil fuel in order to continue to keep our wealth and well being which is promoted by greens, junk scientists, MSM and big businesses is an irrational and dangerous cult.

  • http://www.facebook.com/red.murray.56 Red Murray

    tick, tick, tick …

  • bradfregger

    Actually, the truth is that 58% of Republicans know that global warming is hoax that is only believed by religious fanatics that refuse to pay attention at all to the current scientific data that leaves no doubt that climate scientists have no idea what causes climate change.

    • Oklahoma Stan

      riiiiiiight…

      • http://twitter.com/megapotamus Cardinal ACK!

        That IS right.

    • Bill Butler

      The 58% are scientifically ignorant and/or willfully ignorant and/or liars. All you have to do is look at the world’s glaciers. They are melting. More at my webpage.

      http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdLiarsIndex.html

      • bradfregger

        There is a strong chance the Earth is going through a warming phase (that normally happens after a cooling phase [dah]). However, that proves nothing about humanity’s influence, which the current scientific data is showing to be even less than the most optimistic projections. Face it … the sky is not falling.

        • Bill Butler

          The claim that “The sky is falling” is a manufactured diversion by Global Warming Deniers. What is relevant is that sea level is
          rising as measured by satellite altimetry. http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/LSA_SLR_timeseries_global.php

          And the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. The current chart at the above web site shows 2.9 mm per year. The older version of the chart that I used at http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdGlobalWarmingStoppedIn1998.html
          shows 2.8 mm per year.

          As for your claim that the earth is going through a natural “warming phase”, please provide evidence to back up your claim as to what is causing the natural “warming phase”.

        • bradfregger

          From now on do your own research. Although, I’ll be surprised if you believe this, progressives tend to have a problem believing anything that doesn’t agree with their world view; an extremely unscientific attitude. Here’s a quote from Richard Feynman that explains this concept: “We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.”

        • bradfregger
        • Christopher C

          Bradfagger you can point out any partisan website you would care to.The worlds scientific community is unanimous that global warning is already taking affect.Your theory of this being a mere weather cycle is disproved by the Artic Ice caps,which have NEVER been reduced as they are now.Go to a non partisan scienctific website,or open todays,May 7th,Newspaper and you will see what a fool you truly have been bradfagger

        • bradfregger

          I will admit that there is a “consensus,” one was formed on the acceptance of poor research and bad data. This has happened many times before, most recently with the cholesterol panic that caused millions to stop eating good, healthy food. Besides the consensus is always ultimately wrong, the objective of the scientific process. Regardless, your “unanimous” comment is an exaggeration; and becoming even more of an exaggeration as more and more scientists come out of the AGW closet.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

  • http://twitter.com/megapotamus Cardinal ACK!

    Global warming IS a hoax. How much did the globe warm last year? The year before that? The year before that? Repeat fifteen to twenty times and you will find yourself smack in the middle of the global COOLING hoax. In any case, if you are agitating for Kyoto type restrictions, the US has already reduced its carbon emissions in line with those prescriptions due to natural gas replacing so much oil and coal. Thanks frakking! Except there is absolutely NO scientific foundation to policies reducing carbon outputs. None. Look into it, folks. Clearly the imbecile above is not capable.

    • Christopher C

      Open todays,may 7th,newpapers and you will see the affects are here already.I suggest you move to Miami,being you are so certain.The proof IS in and you are mistaken.Your ideology has trumped any semblance of coherent objective reasoning.FACT

  • Christopher C

    tHE SAME PACK of IDIOTS AND RACISTS WHO STILL THINK Obama WAS BORN IN Kenya.