Republican Party

Partisan Divide Over Global Warming Is Just a Big Misunderstanding, Says Study: New at Reason

There are good reasons to doubt that conclusion.



Recent polls report that 80 percent of Democrats think that man-made global warming is a serious problem, whereas 60 percent of Republicans do not. In addition, nearly 60 percent of Democrats believe that most scientists agree that climate is real and urgent and more than two-thirds of Republicans think that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about the issue. A new study argues that Republicans doubt man-made global warming largely because that they don't know that 97 percent of climate scientists think it's happening and is a problem. Once conservatives, liberals, and moderates are informed that a scientific consensus on climate change exists, the study concludes, partisans lay down their debating points and come together in a climatic kumbaya of political harmony and depolarization. So is the political fight over climate change just the result of a big misunderstanding? There are reasons to doubt that.