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Mon May 14, 2012, 09:59 PM

Only 1 in 10 Americans is a Global Warming Denier, Report Finds

by Timothy Hurst

Turn on the TV news tonight and in the (unlikely) event you see any coverage of global warming you are likely to come away with the belief that Americans are evenly divided about the issue and what we should do about it. But a fascinating new report by researchers at Yale University and George Mason University found that Americans are not evenly split on the issue. In fact, only 10 percent are in the camp that believes global warming is absolutely not happening and that human actions have no impact on global temperature change.

Published last month by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, the report (pdf) shows that Americans are far less polarized about global warming than is commonly believed. Among other things, the report also found strong support for government action to address global warming, including support for a revenue neutral carbon tax, regardless of political party preference.

Researchers found that a strong majority of Americans (72%) believe global warming should be a political priority and they want their elected officials to do something about it. An even stronger majority (92%) think that developing clean energy should be a political priority. The survey also showed a majority of Americans think that protecting the environment actually improves economic growth and creates jobs.

So why do Americans have a skewed vision of the public's opinion on global warming? According to Anthony Leiserowitz of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University, one of the report's principal investigators, a media bias for controversy combined with an extremely vocal minority of "Dismissers" are the driving forces behind the perceived polarization.

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Reply Only 1 in 10 Americans is a Global Warming Denier, Report Finds (Original post)
n2doc May 2012 OP
Ex-Pat Pats Fan May 2012 #1
Uncle Joe May 2012 #2
ellisonz May 2012 #3
Amster Dan May 2012 #4
ellisonz May 2012 #5

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 05:55 AM

1. But less than 2 in 5 are worried about it


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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:39 AM

2. I disagree with Leiserowitz's conclusion as to the corporate media's primary motivation

Last edited Tue May 15, 2012, 06:55 PM - Edit history (1)

for distorting the truth.

It isn't "controversy that sells," status quo is the driving force, the existing well financed powers set the frame with the corporate media.

If Exxon et all weren't ready, willing and able to purchase vast quantities of commercial air time, the corporate media would be far more interested in exposing the overwhelming scientific evidence adverse to that industry to the American People

"These [Dismissive] are people who are firmly convinced it's not happening, not human-caused and many of them are what we would lovingly call conspiracy theorists," said Leiserowitz on NPR's Science Friday. "They say it's a hoax, it's scientists making up data, it's a UN plot to take over American sovereignty, it's Al Gore and his friends trying to get rich..."

But while this group makes up only 10 percent of the population, they are a mobilized, outspoken minority.

"They are quite vocal, very engaged.
Given the opportunity they will talk a lot about this issue," said Leiserowitz. "They're only 10 percent and yet they appear much larger because they tend to dominate much of the public square..."


In the mainstream media, "There's a basic imperative, especially in commercial media, that controversy sells," he says. "Which would you rather see? somebody who is methodically and deliberately spelling out the science of climate change or two people yelling at each other?"

That 10% "appearing much larger" only "dominate the public square" because the corporate media enable them to do so.

If we assume and rightfully so that politicians will greatly look out for the interests of those people or entities most able to grease their palms with lucre, why does anyone believe the corporate media aren't susceptible to that same frailty?

I'm convinced the corporate media as an institution will change their tune and expose the people to the truth regarding anthropogenic global warming climate change without any or very little reservation when new green, sustainable energy sources and life styles become predominant throughout the economy driving out the fossil fuel industry.

However that won't occur because of the corporate media's sounding the trumpet of truth to begin the struggle, the trumpet will be sounded by that industry as an institution only after the economic battle is over or virtually finished.

Thanks for the thread, n2doc.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 11:59 PM

3. 25% are either "dismissive" or "doubtful"

25% of America is dumb.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #3)

Fri May 18, 2012, 12:25 AM

4. You're being Generous


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Response to Amster Dan (Reply #4)

Fri May 18, 2012, 12:47 AM

5. Someone has to be in this world. ;-)

Welcome to DU!


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