The latest survey conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Center shows only 27 percent of Americans think that “almost all” climate scientists hold human behavior responsible for climate change, and only 48 percent think global climate change is “due to human activity.”
This clashes with the frequent media assertion that Americans readily trust the so-called overwhelming “consensus” on climate change.
The survey also found that far-left Democrats are much more likely to put their faith in climate scientists, while Republicans remain more skeptical. The survey noted that those skeptical of man’s influence on global warming aren’t science illiterate, a favorite talking point of the far left.
Overall, Pew’s research finds that only 33 percent of U.S. adults think climatologists understand “very well” whether the climate is changing, and only 19 percent of respondents think climate scientists know the best ways to address climate change. As for beliefs, 51 percent believe climate change is due to “natural causes” or “no evidence” it’s man’s fault.
The current political cycle is dominated by shrill attacks on anyone who questions whether man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are driving global warming. But while the overwhelming share of mainstream media reporting reinforces such views, Pew’s study found that only 27 percent of respondents think that “almost all climate scientists agree that human behavior is mostly behind climate change.”
In fact, only 39 percent think “climate scientists can be trusted a lot to give full and accurate info on causes of climate change.” The current global warming industry generates billions of dollars annually for research, which helps to explain why 36 percent consider climate scientists’ research findings as being influenced by a desire to “advance their careers.” Similarly, only 32 percent believe that climate scientists rely on the “best available scientific evidence.”
Americans, however, may be tiring of the catastrophic climate change message. While President Obama continues to hammer home the man-made global warming narrative, most recently with the globe-trotting, carbon-spewing Leonardo DiCaprio, only 36 percent of Americans say they care a “great deal” about the issue of ‘global climate change.’ That’s down from 41 percent who thought climate change was negatively impacting them when Pew surveyed them last year.
Even Hillary Clinton has made climate change a major tent pole in her campaign, an obvious nod to Bernie Sanders’ supporters who may vote for green party candidate Jill Stein. And Tim Kaine mentioned the threat of climate change before he even uttered the words ISIL during last night’s vice presidential debate.
It was only after Gov. Mike Pence explained the threat of radical Islamic terrorists—three words that Hillary Clinton doesn’t utter—did Kaine finally acknowledge was a genuine threat. But the “over-caffeinated” Kaine kept returning to his climate talking points, apparently unaware that most Americans simply aren’t buying the relentless climate hype.
Overall, only 36 percent of Americans describe themselves as personally concerned about the issue of climate change, and more likely to believe that humans are playing some role in a warming Earth. It’s only this segment of U.S. adults who are willing to say they “put great faith in climate scientists.”
Predictably, 55 percent of liberal Democrats trust there’s a widespread consensus among climate scientists regarding the causes of warming. Only 16 percent of conservative Republicans say the vast majority of scientists agree on the causes of climate change. Pew’s survey included views from Moderate/Liberal Republicans, Moderate/Conservative Democrats, and Independents.
Delving deeper, the survey showed that 70 percent of liberal Democrats trust climate scientists to give full and accurate information about the causes of climate change, compared with just 15 percent of conservative Republicans. But 54 percent of liberal Democrats say climatologists “very well” understand the issues involved, as compared to 11 percent of conservative Republicans and 19 percent of moderate/liberal Republicans.
The survey illustrates that Americans remain far more skeptical of man-made global warming than suggested by the nightly news. But there are rational reasons for Americans to question whether they are receiving an accurate picture of the issues involved. Not only have temperatures stagnated over the past 18 to 20 years—interrupted by a strong, naturally occurring El Niño—but computer models suggesting catastrophic global warming have continually overestimated global temperatures when compared with actual, real-world data.
Pew surveyed 1,534 U.S. adults aged 18 and higher between May 10 through June 6, 2016, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Thomas Richard is a freelance writer living outside of Boston, Mass.