Revealed: Majority of Red-State Americans Now Believe Climate Change is Real

Search form

Revealed: Majority of Red-State Americans Now Believe Climate Change is Real

Revealed: Majority of Red-State Americans Now Believe Climate Change is Real
Thu, 11/14/2013 - by Suzanne Goldenberg
This article originally appeared on The Guardian

A vast majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real and at least two-thirds of those want the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions, new research revealed on Wednesday.

The research, by Stanford University social psychologist Jon Krosnick, confounds the conventional wisdom of climate denial as a central pillar of Republican politics, and practically an article of faith for Tea Party conservatives.

Instead, the findings suggest far-reaching acceptance that climate change is indeed occurring and is caused by human activities, even in such reliably red states as Texas and Oklahoma.

“To me, the most striking finding that is new today was that we could not find a single state in the country where climate skepticism was in the majority,” Krosnick said in an interview.

States that voted for Barack Obama, as expected, also believe climate change is occurring and support curbs on carbon pollution. Some 88% of Massachusetts residents believe climate change is real.

But Texas and Oklahoma are among the reddest of red states and are represented in Congress by Republicans who regularly dismiss the existence of climate change or its attendant risks.

Congressman Joe Barton of Texas and Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma stand out for their regular denials of climate change as a “hoax,” even among Republican ranks.

However, the research found 87% of Oklahomans and 84% of Texans accepted that climate change was occurring.

Seventy-six percent of Americans in both states also believed the government should step in to limit greenhouse gas emissions produced by industry.

In addition, the research indicated substantial support for Obama's decision to use the Environmental Protection Agency to cut emissions from power plants. The polling found at least 62% of Americans in favor of action cutting greenhouse gas emissions from plants.

Once again, Texas was also solidly lined up with action, with 79% of voters supporting regulation of power plants.

The acceptance of climate change was not a result of outreach efforts by scientists, however, or by the experience of extreme events, such as hurricane Sandy, Krosnick said.

His research found no connection between Sandy and belief in climate change or support for climate action.

Instead, he said the findings suggest personal experiences of hot weather – especially in warm states in the south-west – persuaded Texans and others that the climate was indeed changing within their own lifetimes.

“Their experience with weather leaves people in most places on the green side in most of the questions we ask,” he said.

There was some small slippage in acceptance of climate change in north-western states such as Idaho and Utah and in the industrial heartland states of Ohio. But even then at a minimum, 75% believed climate change was occurring.

The findings, represented in a series of maps, were presented at a meeting of the bicameral task force on climate change which has been pushing Congress to try to move ahead on Obama's green commitments. There was insufficient data to provide findings from a small number of states

Henry Waxman, the Democrat who co-chairs the taskforce, said in a statement the findings showed Americans were ready to take action to cut emissions that cause climate change.

“This new report is crystal clear,” said Waxman. “It shows that the vast majority of Americans – whether from red states or blue – understand that climate change is a growing danger. Americans recognize that we have a moral obligation to protect the environment and an economic opportunity to develop the clean energy technologies of the future. Americans are way ahead of Congress in listening to the scientists.”

Some 58% of Republicans in the current Congress deny the existence of climate change or oppose action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress.

Originally published by The Guardian

Article Tabs

With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands.

Despite the 828-page Dodd-Frank Act, the derivatives pyramid has continued to explode to a value now estimated to be as high as $2 quadrillion.

HSBC, Deutsche Bank and the Bank of Nova Scotia have been accused of attempting to rig the daily global price of silver in the latest price fixing scandal to rock the banking industry.

The British Medical Association joins a growing movement of institutions – including dozens of universities, foundations and even the World Council of Churches – dumping oil, coal and gas holdings.

A community without dollars is not a community without wealth.T his basic insight lies at the heart of the community resilience movement.

This summer, the CIA's private Amazon Web Services cloud—shielded from the public behind a wall of national security—becomes operational.

Posted 6 days 5 hours ago

Extensive research and reports commissioned by the fracking industry are treated as seminal, informative works within the U.K. government – but to date, no one outside industry vouches for its safety.

Posted 6 days 5 hours ago

From the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to the Trade In Services Agreement, massive trade deals are being advanced in coordination with a militarized police state.

Posted 4 days 8 hours ago

A few days after thousands marched on downtown Detroit last weekend, the city suspended mass water shutoffs for 15 days – leaving more than 15,000 households already disconnected.

Posted 4 days 8 hours ago

When a journalist in a news article refers to a woman as “strident,” you know what you’re reading is a hit piece – and that's what the New York Times produced about Occupy Wall Street activist McMillan.

Posted 5 days 8 hours ago
Candice Bernd

Blockaders braved a wall of bulldozers early Thursday morning and unfurled banners that warned TransCanada to expect resistance the size of Texas if the company proceeds with construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through the state.

I hate to shatter anyone's illusions, but inequality defines our criminal justice system just as it defines our society.

Navdanya has become a network of seed keepers spread across 17 Indian states, providing crucial sanctuaries of biodiversity.

Inside The Secretive Dark-Money Organization That's Fueling Conservative Groups

An obscure pair of non-profits has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars of anonymous cash into the most influential advocacy groups, think tanks, academic centers and organizers in the conservative movement.

The global assault on Wikileaks is part of the terrifying metamorphosis of the “war on terror” into a wider war on civil liberties — a hunt not for actual terrorists, but for all those with the ability to expose the mounting crimes of the power elite.

Sign Up