Repackaging the Climate Change Debate

  If Americans are confused about anything lately, it seems that climate change and global warming are probably somewhere at the top of that list. While Republicans are set up as the enemies of climate regulation and Democrats as the defenders of the environment, survey data shows that many Americans are skeptical about climate change, especially the idea of anthropogenic climate change, and they come from both sides. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press have conducted a survey on opinions about global warming every year since 2006. While the first three surveys showed between 71 and 79 percent of Americans thought there was “solid evidence the earth is warming,” this dropped to 57 percent in 2009 and stayed at 59 percent in 2010. Another 2010 survey showed that this is a partisan divide: 79 percent of Democrats believe in solid evidence for global warming, while only 56 percent of independents and 38 percents of Republicans would agree. Even when belief in the evidence of global warming was high, people were confused as to why this was occurring. In all five years of the study, those believing global warming is anthropogenic, or due to human activity, was never high and has dropped considerably, starting in 2006 at 50 percent and ending in 2010 at 34 percent. Those believing it is due to natural patterns has dropped marginally but remained about...

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