Republicans who accept climate change needn't feel so alone any more

ShutterstockRepublicans who accept climate change needn’t feel so alone any more.

Awareness of global warming among Americans is shooting up faster than the mercury in a drought-ravaged cornfield.

According to two major surveys published this week, most people in the U.S. now know that climate change is the reason the weather is being so weird. Acceptance of climate science has almost climbed back to its 2008 levels, following a depressing propaganda-powered dip that hit a low point in 2010.

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University of Michigan researchers asked about 1,000 people [PDF] this past fall whether there is solid evidence that the world has been warming during the past four decades, and 67 percent said “yes.” That’s down from the 72 percent that responded affirmatively in the fall of 2008, but up from just 52 percent in the spring of 2010. Of those who agree that the world is warming, just 19 percent attribute the change to natural patterns. The rest say humanity shoulders some or all of the blame.

Even 51 percent of Republicans agree that global warming is happening, according to the U of M poll, up from 33 percent in 2010.

Meanwhile, Global Warming’s Six Americas, an ongoing joint project of Yale University and George Mason University, reported a similar trend from its own survey of 1,000 people. The project puts Americans into one of six categories based on their climate-change views: alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful, or dismissive. From that report’s findings:

We observed a sharp decline in public engagement from the fall of 2008 to January 2010, and a gradual rebound starting in June 2010. In our most recent survey in September 2012, we found that the rebound in public engagement has continued: the Alarmed, Concerned and Cautious audience segments once again comprise 70 percent of the American public, as they did in the fall of 2008.

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Enough words. Here’s a nice graph from the Six Americas report that shows where Americans stand on the issue, with bigger bubbles representing more people:

The bigger the bubble, the more Americans hold that attitude

Global Warming’s Six Americas

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