The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds that 57% think there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades. In April 2008, 71% said there was solid evidence of rising global temperatures.
Over the same period, there has been a comparable decline in the proportion of Americans who say global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity, such as burning fossil fuels. Just 36% say that currently, down from 47% last year.
Pew says that the political ramifications have been specifically significant among Independents:
Just 53% of independents now see solid evidence of global warming, compared with 75% who did so in April 2008. Republicans, who already were highly skeptical of the evidence of global warming, have become even more so: just 35% of Republicans now see solid evidence of rising global temperatures, down from 49% in 2008 and 62% in 2007. Fewer Democrats also express this view – 75% today compared with 83% last year.With all this growing skepticism about global warming, you'd think support for cap-and-trade would drop. Not on Capitol Hill!
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And despite the number of Americans who doubt the influence of global warming, for some reason half of the country still favors setting limits on carbon emissions, even though it will result in drastically higher energy prices. This phenomenon seems to be due to lack of knowledge of the issue:
Just 14% say they have heard a lot about the so-called “cap and trade” policy that would set carbon dioxide emissions limits; another 30% say they have heard a little about the policy, while a majority (55%) has heard nothing at all. The small minority that has heard a lot about the issue opposes carbon emissions limits by two-to-one (64% to 32%).Hopefully the RNC reads these numbers and takes away this important lesson: knowledge is power when it comes to cap-and-trade.