A new study from Stanford University shows that even among the nation’s most right-wing constituencies the debate about whether or not climate change is happening is over.
Not that you’d know it from a survey of congressional Republicans, but research headed by Professor Jon Krosnick, a social psychologist who studied years worth of polling data to reach his conclusions, found that even in the reddest political states, like Texas and Oklahoma, a majority of people not only believe that climate change is negatively impacting their environment but they actually want the government to step in to address the problem.
“To me, the most striking finding that is new today was that we could not find a single state in the country where climate scepticism was in the majority,” Krosnick said in an interview with the Guardian‘s Suzanne Goldenberg.
According to Krosnick, what compels more conservative voters to believe in global warming is neither scientific evidence nor declarations by environmentalists, experts, or lawmakers. Instead, it is their own experience of changing weather patterns.
“Their experience with weather leaves people in most places on the green side in most of the questions we ask,” he told Goldenberg. In already warm states in the south—like Texas, Arizona and Kansas—he said, people simply recognize that the weather and seasons are changing within their own lifetimes.
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Despite what their constituents might know or accept about global warming, however, Goldenberg notes that “some 58% of Republicans in the current Congress deny the existence of climate change or oppose action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
Krosnick’s findings were presented at a meeting of the House climate change task force this week, complete with maps and a series of factsheets from each state:
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