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Climate change opinions not budging much

According to a recent New York Times/CBS news poll, “a solid majority of Americans say the United States should join an international treaty to limit the impact of global warming.” While this may be encouraging news, other survey data cited in this article shows just how stubborn American public opinion has been over the last 20-plus years on the issue of climate change. For instance, when asked whether global warming is causing a serious impact now, or will in the future, or won’t ever, American public opinion isn’t at all where scientists think it should be. Indeed, only once over the 15-year history of this question has the “now” response registered in the majority. Still, between 2001 and 2008, the now votes increased while the “later” and “never” votes decreased, but after 2008—perhaps coinciding with the partisan wrangling that has occurred on this issue during the Obama administration—climate change deniers have gained ground and our overall sense of urgency on this issue has been kept in check.


Click here to view the poll data (New York Times, November 30, 2015).

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