"Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say there is solid evidence that the earth has been getting warmer over the last few decades, a figure that has changed little in the past few years," according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Among the striking results of the survey: "While partisan differences over climate change remain substantial, Republicans face greater internal divisions over this issue than do Democrats."
Asked whether there is solid evidence that the earth is warming, 67% of respondents said yes, with 84% of Democratic or Democratic-leaning respondents saying yes and with 46% of Republicans or Republican-leaning respondents saying yes. While 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans said yes, only 25% of Tea Party Republicans agreed.
On the primary cause of global warming, 44% of respondents attributed it to human activity, 18% attributed it to natural patterns, and 4% said that they didn't know. (The remainder either said that there was no solid evidence that the earth is warming, volunteered that the evidence is mixed, or said that they didn't know.)
The partisan split was evident here too, with 64% of Democratic or Democratic-leaning respondents attributing global warming to human activity, and 23% of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents attributing it to human activity. While 32% of non-Tea Party Republicans attributed it to human activity, only 9% of Tea Party Republicans agreed.
Pew noted, "A majority (54%) now say that scientists generally agree that the earth is warming because of human activity, while 37% say that scientists do not generally agree. A year ago, opinion was evenly divided: 45% said scientists generally agreed, while 43% said they did not."
Unsurprisingly, attitudes toward scientific consensus on global warming were associated with individual attitudes toward global warming. And the partisan split was again evident: while 71% of Democrats agreed that there is scientific consensus on global warming, only 41% of Republicans and 52% of independents agreed.
According to Pew, "[t]he analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted October 9-13, 2013 among a national sample of 1,504 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (752 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 752 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 407 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by Abt SRBI." The margin of error for the full sample was +/- 2.9%.