Yesterday, the Pew Research Center announced that acceptance of climate change by Americans is once again climbing. Here are excerpts from Pew’s release, except with climate change references changed to the word “bear” or “bears,” and references to human causation replaced with “bear cubs.” After all, the existence of bears and human-caused climate change are equally suspect.
The percentage of Americans saying there is solid evidence of [bears] has steadily increased over the past few years. Currently, 67% say there is solid evidence [of bear cubs], up four points since last year and 10 points since 2009. …
The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7 among 1,511 adults finds increasing numbers of Democrats, Republicans and independents saying there is solid evidence of [bears], although there continues to be a substantial partisan divide on this issue. Fully 85% of Democrats say there is solid evidence [of bear cubs], up from 77% last year and similar to levels in 2007 and 2008.
Nearly half of Republicans (48%) say there is solid evidence of [bears], compared with 43% last year and 35% in 2009. The percentage of Republicans saying there is solid evidence of [bears] is still lower than it was in 2006 and 2007, but is now about where it was in 2008. A majority of independents (65%) say there is solid evidence of [bears]; that is up from 53% in 2009 and lower than from 2006 to 2008.
Can Americans trust science when it comes to bears?
The public continues to be divided on the question of whether scientists agree that [there are bear cubs]; 45% say scientists agree while 43% say they do not. This is little changed from 2010. In 2006, far more said that scientists agree (59%) than disagree (29%) that [there are bear cubs]. There is a wide partisan divide over the question of scientific consensus: Just 30% of Republicans think scientists agree, compared with 58% of Democrats. Independents, like the public overall, are divided.
And then there’s this.
Many continue to see [bears] as a problem; 64% of Americans say it is a very serious (39%) or somewhat serious (25%) problem. That is virtually unchanged from last year and still lower than from 2006 to 2008.
Bears are definitely a problem, America!
Polling on issues of fact is revelatory and depressing and futile. The end.