Energy & Environment

Poll shows partisan divide on acknowledging human effect on climate change

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A new survey shows a strong partisan divide on whether Americans are willing to acknowledge the impacts that humans have on climate change.

The Gallup poll, published Monday, found that 88 percent of Democrats believe that increases in the planet’s temperature are primarily caused by human activities, while just 32 percent of Republicans said the same. 

Overall, 64 percent of U.S. adults acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activities are causing climate change. 

The numbers have been trending in opposing directions: In 2003, just 68 percent of Democrats — but 52 percent of Republicans — believed in human-caused climate change.

The new survey found similar divides over the impacts of climate change, with 82 percent of Democrats saying that climate change’s effects have already started and 67 percent saying it will pose a serious threat in their lifetime. 

Just 29 percent of Republicans said the impacts had already begun and 11 percent said it would pose a serious threat in their lifetimes. 

Researchers surveyed 1,010 U.S. adults between March 1 and March 15, and the margin of sampling error for results based on the entire sample is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags Climate change Climate change denial Effects of climate change Public opinion on climate change
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