Graph depicting Level of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change
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Sources: Pew   Gallup   Gallup   PNAS   National Journal  

Last updated: May 2, 2015


Republican Politicians are Less Likely to Accept Climate Science Than Any Group of Voters

Description: This graph pulls together polling data from several sources to give a clear picture of who accepts the scientific consensus on climate change and who does not. The top row represents actively publishing climatologists. The bottom row indicates the percentage of Republicans Senators who voted in favor of an amendment acknowledging that human activity is significantly contributing to climate change.

Discussion: Two patterns are clear. First, the more informed a person is about the climate, the more likely they are to agree with the scientific consensus that human activity is significantly warming the planet. 97% of climatologists, 87% of all scientists, 60% of college graduates and 56% of people without a college degree accept the consensus position.

Second, the more conservative a group is, the less likely it is to be aligned with the scientific consensus. This tendency might be partially explained by the greater reliance on fossil fuels in more conservative states.

Notably, the Republican Senators are far to the right of even conservative Republicans on climate change. Only 4 Republican Senators are willing to publicly take the position that human activity is causing climate change, while almost half of moderate Republicans and more than a quarter of conservative Republicans take that position. This skew might be explained in part by the substantial political contributions that flow to Republican Senators who publicly reject climate science.

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