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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2016/10/14

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

A new survey on attitudes toward climate change and politics.


A new survey from the Pew Research Center suggests, "Political
fissures on climate issues extend far beyond beliefs about whether
climate change is occurring and whether humans are playing a role ...
These divisions reach across every dimension of the climate debate,
down to people's basic trust in the motivations that drive climate
scientists to conduct their research."

Asked, "Which of these three statements about the Earth's temperature
comes closest to your view?" 48% of respondents preferred or leaned
toward "The Earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity
such as fossil fuels," 31% preferred or learned toward "The Earth is
getting warmer mostly because of natural patterns in the Earth's
environment," and 20% preferred or leaned toward "There is no solid
evidence that the Earth is getting warmer."

The Pew Research Center's report observed, "there are wide differences
among political party and ideology groups on whether or not human
activity is responsible for warming temperatures. A large majority of
liberal Democrats (79%) believe the Earth is warming mostly because of
human activity. In contrast, only about one-in-six conservative
Republicans (15%) say this, a difference of 64 percentage points."

Asked, "As far as you know, how many climate scientists say that human
behavior is mostly responsible for global climate change?" 27% of
respondents preferred "Almost all," 35% preferred "More than half,"
20% preferred "About half," 11% preferred "Fewer than half," and 4%
preferred "Almost none"; 3% offered no answer. ("Almost all" is
correct: multiple surveys show that the level of consensus among
climate scientists is upward of 97%.)

There was a similar political split with regard to the question about
scientific consensus. While 55% of liberal Democrats responding
preferred the "Almost all" answer, the Pew Research Center's report
noted, "[s]ome 29% of moderate/conservative Democrats say almost all
climate scientists agree that human behavior is responsible for
climate change, while some 16% of conservative Republicans and 13% of
moderate/liberal Republicans say the same."

The survey was conducted May 10-June 6, 2016, by web and mail. "The
margin of sampling error for the sample of 1,534 respondents is plus
or minus 4.0 percentage points. ... In addition to sampling error, one
should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties
in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of
opinion polls."

For the Pew Research Center's report, visit: 

And for NCSE's collection of polls and surveys on climate change, visit: 


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog, The Science League of America,
recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Ann Reid summarizing the work of the pilot Science Booster Clubs in Iowa: 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
fax 510-788-7971 

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