Acceptance of human-caused climate change in twenty countries

Photo by Ria Puskas on Unsplash.

A new multinational survey from the Pew Research Center examining public opinion about science, its place in society, and a number of science-related issues included the question "How much do you think human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, contributes to global climate change — a great deal, some, not too much or not at all?" On analysis, the United States fared poorly.

The proportion of respondents in the United States who answered "a great deal," 49%, was below the median, 54%, but not particularly distinctive in comparison to the proportions of respondents in the rest of the countries: Australia (54%), Brazil (58%), Canada (54%), the Czech Republic (34%), France (56%), Germany (58%), India (40%), Italy (52%), Japan (49%), Malaysia (52%), the Netherlands (54%), Poland (55%), Russia (42%), Singapore (62%), South Korea (49%), Spain (77%), Sweden (61%), Taiwan (78%), and the United Kingdom (62%).

The proportion of respondents in the United States who answered either "a great deal" or "some," however, was 75%, below the median, 84.5%, and higher only than the proportions of respondents in India, 74%. If respondents who answered "don't know" or refused to answer are excluded from consideration, the proportion of respondents in the United States who answered either "a great deal" or "some," 77%, is not only well below the median, 88%, but also lower than the proportions in the rest of the countries.

The survey, according to the Pew Research Center, was "conducted across 20 publics from October 2019 to March 2020 across Europe, Russia, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. The surveys were conducted by face-to-face interviews in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, India and Brazil. In all other places, the surveys were conducted by telephone. All surveys were conducted with representative samples of adults ages 18 and older in each survey public."

Glenn Branch
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Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo

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