Winning! GOP Attitudes Turning on Global Climate

December 12, 2011

Washington Post:

A key feature of the initial drop in global warming belief was a burgeoning partisan divide, with Republicans and independents becoming markedly less convinced. The new poll reveals a growing internal divide within the GOP between conservatives and moderates, as well as between tea party and non-tea party Republicans.

More than six in 10 moderate or liberal Republicans in the new poll say there is solid evidence of global warming (up 22 points from 2009), while barely three in 10 conservative Republicans say the same. And while 30 percent of Republicans who agree with the tea party believe in global warming, that jumps to 56 percent of non-tea party Republicans. Democrats continue to be the strongest believers – over three quarters say there is solid evidence.

As the numbers show, conservative republicans continue to become functionally stupider, probably due to the influence of Fox News.

The Post further confirms one of my key assertions – for many conservatives, the most important indicator of global climate is local weather – the “Ah looked out mah winder,and it wuz snowin’, so there cain’t be clahmut change” school of climatology.

2011 working paper found evidence that for political conservatives, shifts in local temperatures have an impact on belief in global warming. The research, by Tatyana Deryugina at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, was conducted by examining Gallup polls and local weather patterns.

The Guardian:

This won’t make the Koch brothers happy: nearly two-thirds of moderate or liberal Republicans now believe there is solid evidence for global warming, according to a poll from the Pew research centre.

That’s 22 points higher since 2009, the year the billionaire oil brothers first began pouring money into Tea Party groups working to discredit Barack Obama’s green agenda.

The shift suggests that the Koch efforts to spread doubt about climate science may be backfiring.

Climate change doubt – seen by Tea Party activists as a litmus test of conservative credentials – is not, as it turns out, energising the Republican masses.

It’s dividing them, alienating from the Tea Party wing those more moderate Republicans who account for about a third of the party’s supporters.

“The gap between conservative Republicans and the party’s moderates and liberals has increased from nine percentage points in 2009 to 32 percentage points,” Pew said.

That raises an interesting question ahead of the 2012 elections: how much more political mileage is there in climate change doubt?

About half of the new crop of Republicans elected to Congress for the first time in last year’s mid-term elections denied the existence of climate change and were opposed to action on climate change, according to ThinkProgress, a blog run by the Centre for American Progress.

But they do not seem to have been able to spread the doubt much beyond their own hardcore constituency.

We are heading into a double-dip La Nina cycle – which is projected to extend the massive drought in the American Southwest, as well as continue the run of intense events that we’ve seen over the last 12 months.  Climate Change looks more and more like it will be an issue in 2012, one that the GOP presidential field is apparently determined to be on the wrong side of – not even representative of their own party.


9 Responses to “Winning! GOP Attitudes Turning on Global Climate”

  1. mrsircharles Says:

    What’s coming out of the so-called GOP would be called ‘neo-fascism’ in Europe.

  2. livinginabox Says:

    Let’s hope there’s a backlash against the Tea-party’s mind-numbing stupidity and the Kochs.

  3. John Ditchburn assesses the impact of climate change..

  4. It is good news that the GOPers are starting to realize that the Earth is warming up.

    Unfortunately, that the Earth is warming up is a million miles behind what is important for them to realize: that it’s humans that are responsible.

    We desperately need them to realize its anthropogenic, not just that it’s warming. There are still plenty of deniers who are happy to acknowledge the Earth is warming, but that it’s cosmic rays, volcanos or whatever else that’s responsible.

  5. daveburton Says:

    Meanwhile, as the evidence piles up that the supposed threat of CAGW was drastically overblown, the self-proclaimed experts are edging away from climate alarmism.

    Phil Jones is quite annoyed that global warming ceased sometime around the end of the Clinton administration, but rational people, who care more about the health of the biosphere than about the respect given to alarmist climate models, recognize that it is good news.

  6. Martin_Lack Says:

    Inspired by some of your recent posts regarding the madness that is the GOP today, Peter, I have just sent the following email to the Editors of the Daily Express, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph newspapers here in the UK. I hope you like it…

    Please forgive the unsolicited email, which I hope you will read and consider carefully as your future may depend upon it. I do not wish to alarm you but, with regard to climate change “scepticism”, I think it is fair to say that your newspaper is in danger of backing a loser.

    I am therefore writing to you, as Editor of the [x] newspaper, because I value both the freedom and the balance of the British newspaper media. However, I believe that both these things will be in danger of being severely eroded by the increasingly self-evident ideological prejudice and selective blindness of leading commentators in our right-wing newspapers. I therefore fear that, if these people are not denied a platform soon, an entire section of our newspaper media is in danger of becoming anachronistic and irrelevant.

    In these momentous times in which we live, I believe that we need newsprint journalism – and indeed all media – to hold our politicians to account; to highlight issues where special interests retain undue influence upon those politicians; to educate the general public on key subjects of common interest; and to campaign for a more representative and participatory form of democracy in this country. In your key role, I would hope that you share these aspirations. However, if you do, I would hereby wish to put it to you that such goals are not served by continuing to paint anthropogenic climate change as any or all of the following: a hoax, a new religion, a politically-motivated conspiracy, a scam, environmental alarmism, not a problem, not certain, not significant, and/or not worth fixing.

    There is much I would like to say but in the interests of brevity, and in the hope that you will therefore read to the end of this letter, I will just say this: The temperature change over the last decade (or absence of it) is utterly irrelevant in the context of 7,000 years of stable climate and stable sea level. Similarly, the fact that the Earth has been much warmer than it is today in its distant past is utterly irrelevant in the context of the conditions to which all life on Earth is currently adapted. As I said on my blog recently: There is simply no evidence for your left-wing conspiracy to over-tax and over-regulate people (so as to make everyone poorer). Whereas, there is a great deal of evidence for a right-wing conspiracy to under-tax and under-regulate industry (so as to make a few people richer).

    Therefore, if you do not change course, I believe that your newspaper – along with the Republican Party in the USA – will become an anti-scientific, anti-intellectual joke. I therefore hope that you will not let this happen; because we need a sensible alternative to unfettered socialism and/or a return to the financial irresponsibility of the last Labour government.

    I should like to conclude by saying that I hope you will not see this letter as antagonistic but, rather, receive it as a piece of constructive criticism – and as an appeal to reason – from someone who would like you to join with me in being part of the solution to – rather than an obstacle to solving – some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

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