Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pew poll shows climate denial in retreat

A new Pew Research poll finds more Americans accepting the reality of global warming:

The bump is modest -- 63% from a nadir of 57%. But the cross tables tell a different and more encouraging story:

The change in Democrats' view is a blip -- a statistically insignificant 2%. But Republicans and independents moved towards the science by 8% and 10%, respectively.

In the detailed cross tables, you can see that the shift in Republicans is not coming from the far right:

Q.65 From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades, or not?

Conservative Republican  31%
Mod/Lib Republican         63%
Mod/Cons Democrat        73%
Liberal Democrat             84%

Just to be sure, we can compare the same question from October 2009:

Conservative Republican     32%
Mod/Lib Republican            41%
Mod/ConsDemocrat             72%
Liberal Democrat                 83%

Absolutely no motion in any group -- except moderate Republican. They advanced towards acceptance by leaps and bounds -- going from 41% saying the world is warming to 63%. The moderates are slowly abandoning the hardliners on this issue.

It's unfortunate the ideology remains such a strong predictor of who can accept incontrovertible scientific fact, but here's the silver lining: the conservatives are isolated, and their views are diverging more and more from those of the general public. Moderate democrats differ from liberal democrats on this question by a mere 9%; but conservative Republicans disagree with their moderates by a stunning 32%, compared to their own gap of just 9% from a mere two years ago. 

This is another in a long line of polls to demonstrate the fallacy of the spin put out by climate "skeptics" to the effect that "We never questioned that the world is getting warmer." Not only did they question it; their voters still deny it by a two-to-one margin.


  1. Um, climate denial in retreat. yes dear, that's nice.

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