Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Americans still deeply divided on climate change: poll

Americans are still deeply divided on the causes and cures of climate change and these differences extend to how much they can trust information from climate scientists and their research, according to a new poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

Specifically, the survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults revealed "wide political divides" between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans in views of climate-related matters.

"Liberal Democrats are especially likely to see scientists and their research in a positive light, while conservative Republicans are considerably more skeptical of climate scientists' information, understanding and research findings on climate issues," the survey said.

For example, 54 percent of liberal Democrats said climate scientists' understand the causes of climate change very well, while only 11 percent of conservative Republicans and 19 percent of moderate and liberal Republicans believe that.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of liberal Democrats believed there is widespread consensus among climate scientists about the causes of global warming, with only 16 percent of conservative Republicans said the same.

Correspondingly, liberal Democrats were especially likely to believe that climate change will bring harms to the environment.

Among this group, about six-in-ten said climate change will very likely bring more droughts, storms that are more severe, harm to animals and plant life, and damage to shorelines from rising sea levels.

By contrast, no more than about two-in-ten conservative Republicans considered any of these potential harms to be "very likely" and about half said each is either "not too" or "not at all" likely to occur.

The poll also found liberal Democrats were much more inclined to believe that both policy and individual actions can be effective in addressing climate change.

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