More Americans are beginning to believe temperatures are rising on earth, according to a survey released yesterday by the Pew Research Center.
About 67 percent of all Americans now feel that global climate change is occurring, which indicates a slow but persistent increase in public acceptance of warming temperatures from 2009 data.
The biggest Republican jump came among conservatives, whose belief in warming leapt 12 points since 2011 and now stands at 43 percent. The party began shifting last year, when moderate Republicans showed a sharp rise in their acceptance of warming. Now, 58 percent of GOP moderates see evidence of temperature changes.
“It seems that the more conservative wing of the Republicans that we’ve talked with has shifted in the past year,” said Leah Christian, a senior researcher at Pew, “much like their moderate counterparts did a year ago.”
There is sharper disagreement among Republicans on the cause of climate change. About 38 percent of GOP moderates say human activity like burning fossil fuels is driving up temperatures, while 16 percent of conservative Republicans blame man. About 23 percent of conservatives point to natural patterns for making things warmer, compared to 18 percent of GOP moderates.