Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Most Republicans don’t trust in climate change

A new Pew poll shows a dramatic change in view on climate change among Republicans that seems to mirror a new tone on the issue taken up by GOP politicians. In the poll, 53 percent of Republicans said there is no proof for climate change, when only three years ago 62 percent of GOPers said they did believe in global warming. Almost 80 percent of Democrats and a majority of independents said there is solid proof for global warming.

Overall, 59 percent of adults thought there was good proof that the planet is warming, and 34 percent said global warming is mostly caused by human activity. Both numbers are down steeply from 2006.

An overwhelming number of scientists say global warming exists, is damaging and is caused by human-created carbon emissions, from cars, factories and other sources. Even climate-change "skeptics" have the same opinion that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means higher temperatures, as Bjorn Lomborg tells The Daily Beast. Lomborg made a documentary saying global pacts to reduce carbon emissions are not a good idea, but agrees that evidence for man-made climate change is undeniable.

"Ninety-seven percent of top scientists are in accord, but the public is crack about 50-50," University of Minnesota professor John Abraham told the AFP. Meanwhile, a group of hundreds of U.S. scientists bproclaim this month they want to speak out on climate change to fight misinformation.

So why the disconnect?
The campaign to raise awareness about global warming took a major hit in 2009 when leaked emails from scientists at the University of East Anglia suggested that some climate scientists were manipulating data. As censure over "Climategate" mounted and President Obama's efforts to secure a carbon-reduction pact at Copenhagen last year failed, Republican politicians especially those affiliated with the tea party movement began more boldly to deny man-made global warming.

The liberal blog ThinkProgress estimates that about half of the approximately 100 freshmen GOP Congressmen do not believe in man-made global warming. The soon-to-be chair of the House Science Committee is a climate-change skeptic. Even among more moderate Republicans, climate change has become a no-go zone.