More Americans than ever believe that the world is warming. In fact, there are many more this year than last who share that belief. Some say the opinion swing has been influenced by the Republican Presidential debates. Regardless of what has caused the shift in opinions, the changes were found by a Reuters/Ipsos poll in mid September. The percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming rose to 83% from 75% last year in the poll conducted Sept 8-12.
U.S. Republican Presidential candidates, other than Jon Huntsman, have mostly blasted the idea that emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human actions are warming the planet. The current GOP front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry, has accused scientists of manipulating climate data. Rep. Michele Bachmann, another of the candidates and a Tea Party favorite, has said climate change is a hoax. Both of these candidates ignore science and act as if they are still in the dark ages and on this subject they really are. It’s difficult to believe that candidates for President would make such irresponsible statements.
Reports this year reveal that global temperatures in 2010 were tied with 2005 to be the warmest year since the 1880s. This is causing the public to be concerned about the issue. We can no longer sit back and ignore what is happening to our planet. Republican candidates denying climate change science is actually causing ordinary folks to realize we have a most serious and life-threatening problem.
This year has been a record year for the kind of costly weather disasters — including Hurricane Irene, which raked the East Coast — that scientists have warned would be more frequent with climate change. Unlike many other issues that divide Republicans and Democratic voters, such as healthcare or how to deal with the deficit and debt, a majority of Americans from both major parties agree on global warming. According to the poll, some 72% of Republicans believe global warming is happening and 92% of Democrats do, it found.
Global warming could be an important issue in next year’s election, because some 15% of voters see it as their primary concern. President Barack Obama hasn’t really defined himself as “the environmental candidate.” If he is able to do this it could have a large influence on next year’s election. On the other hand, if a Republican softens his or her stance on climate change, and the President, who has failed to pass a climate bill in his first term, moves more to the center, it won’t be a major factor in the election. There must be a contrast between the Democratic and Republican candidates for climate change to be the issue it should be.
Some 71% of the Americans who believe warming is happening think that it is caused either partly or mostly by humans, while 27% believe its is the result of natural causes, the poll found. While more Americans believe in global warming, the skeptics are becoming more entrenched in their belief that it is not happening. In 2010 the certainty of skeptics was 35%, while it was 53% in 2011.
Source: Insurance Journal
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