Republican voters, not to mention those in power, are notorious for their refutal of man-made climate change, yet according to a report issued by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication many of them have shifted and believe it to be real. As more and more republican voters become convinced of the reality of man-made global warming and its effects on the climate, it’s only common sense that those elected will come to terms as well. Don’t raise your hopes too high as this won’t happen very soon, though. Expect republicans in Congress to oppose climate and carbon emission regulations en-mass per tradition.
According to the report a strong majority of respondents who identify as “liberal Republicans” believe global warming is happening — 68 percent — as do 62 percent of moderate Republicans. But only 38 percent of Conservative Republicans acknowledged climate change, while of those who self-identified with “tea party” only 29 percent did so also. Since most Republicans fall in the latter two groups, overall only 44 percent of Republicans believe global warming to be true.
When asked about their stance on setting regulatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for coal-fired plants, 73 percent of liberal Republicans and 62 percent of moderates were in favor. Only 40 percent of conservatives and 23 percent of tea party Republicans supported such limits. The survey results were compiled from six national surveys conducted between March 2012 and October 2014.
“What we’re seeing now is a real struggle within the Republican Party to define its stance about climate change,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, in an interview with The Huffington Post.
This year’s study of the annual report issued by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication sees less Republicans recognizing climate change. In a previous 2013 report, the researchers found that 52% of Republican correspondents believe climate change is happening, while 26 percent believe it is not, and 22 percent say they “don’t know.” Only one third of respondents agree with the Republican Party’s position on climate change, while about half agree with the party’s position on how to meet America’s energy needs. This may be due to statistical differences or the result of ever polarized views on climate change in the media. While media consumers might believe there’s a debate which holds – let’s say – a 50/50 chance that climate change is real because there’s a 50/50 coverage of pro-climate change and anti-climate change outlets, the reality is different. Scientists agree with 95% confidence that climate change is real and caused by human activities.
The report comes in a period of turmoil. The House of Representatives last week voted to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline over President Barack Obama’s veto threat. The Environmental Protection Agency is working to finalize new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants, but Republican leaders have indicated that they will oppose it.
While most committee heads and all the members of the new Republican leadership teams in both the House and Senate choose to publicly deny climate change, not all Republicans Senators or Congressmen share the same view. Reps. Tom Cole (Okla.), Charles Dent (Pa.), Don Young (Alaska), and Michael Fitzpatrick (Pa.) all co-sponsored Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (Pa.) Preparedness and Risk Management for Extreme Weather Patterns Assuring Resilience (PREPARE) Act, legislation that helps the federal government plan and prepare for the risks associated with extreme weather incidents. Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) have led on a bipartisan bill to reduce emissions from short-lived climate pollutants, known as super pollutants, which account for 40 percent of global warming, reports The Week.
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