Climate change label leads to climate science acceptanceJune 21, 2017
ITHACA, N.Y. - On the heels of President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, a new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
The U.S. public doubts the existence of "global warming" more than it doubts "climate change" -- and Republicans are driving the effect, the research shows.
In a nationally representative survey, 74.4 percent of respondents identified as Republicans said they believed that climate change is really happening. But only 65.5 percent said they believed in global warming. In contrast, 94 percent of Democrats replied "yes" to both questions.
Some Republicans may discredit climate science because they may not like the policies that have been proposed to address the problem, said the study's co-author, Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication at Cornell.
"Acknowledging the reality of global warming or climate change may lead to new government regulations on businesses, which goes against core conservative values," Schuldt said. "So, telling a pollster that the phenomenon isn't happening may reflect something about a person's general policy preferences, not just their level of certainty that the global climate is changing."
The research is an extension of an earlier study co-written by Schuldt. The first study included references to temperatures going up versus changing. The new research focuses on how labels impact acceptance of climate-science in a now more charged political environment.
Nonetheless, it's important to remember that 65 percent of Republicans did indicate that global warming is occurring, said co-author Peter Enns, associate professor of government. "In other words, although the term matters -- climate change versus global warming -- an overwhelming majority of Republicans still state that global warming is happening," he said.
The labels' effect the researchers identified is especially relevant given Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, Enns said. "Nearly 75 percent of Republicans in our sample indicated that climate change is really happening and almost all coverage of Trump's decision on this issue emphasizes the word 'climate.'"
In contrast, Trump's Twitter messages use "global warming" more often than "climate change" and often characterize global warming as a hoax. The researchers conducted a search of Trump's tweets and found 106 contained "global warming" but only 36 mentioned "climate change."
"Our results suggest that Trump's emphasis on 'global warming' may be an effective rhetorical strategy that resonates with his Republican constituents, who express more skepticism in response to that term in particular," said Schuldt.
Although the United States seems to be entering a new era of climate politicization, the chasm between Republicans and Democrats on climate science might not be as large as it seems, Schuldt said.
"If you ask people what they think about climate change -- not global warming -- we find that the partisan gap shrinks by about 30 percent," he said. "There's actually more agreement here than we think."
This research appeared in the journal "Climatic Change".
Related Climate Change Articles:
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.
A new Cornell University study finds that labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science.
A new four-step 'framework' aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
Climate change can have a different impact on male and female fish, shellfish and other marine animals, with widespread implications for the future of marine life and the production of seafood.
A new University of Washington study finds that one of Alaska's most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate.
Climate engineering refers to the systematic, large-scale modification of the environment using various climate intervention techniques.
There are gaping divisions in Americans' views across every dimension of the climate debate, including causes and cures for climate change and trust in climate scientists and their research, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial.
Related Climate Change Reading:
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (The Politically Incorrect Guides)
by Marc Morano (Author)
Less freedom. More regulation. Higher costs. Make no mistake: those are the surefire consequences of the modern global warming campaign waged by political and cultural elites, who have long ago abandoned fact-based science for dramatic fearmongering in order to push increased central planning. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change gives a voice -- backed by statistics, real-life stories, and incontrovertible evidence -- to the millions of "deplorable" Americans skeptical about the multibillion dollar "climate change" complex, whose claims have time and time again been... View Details
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know®
by Joseph Romm (Author)
Climate change will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet has had. The last decade's spate of superstorms, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts has accelerated the public discourse on this topic and lent credence to climatologist Lonnie Thomson's 2010 statement that climate change "represents a clear and present danger to civilization." In June 2015, the Pope declared that action on climate change is a moral issue.
This book offers the most up-to-date examination of climate change's foundational science, its implications for our future, and the core clean energy solutions.... View Details
Climate Change: The Facts
by J.Abbot (Author), J.S. Armstrong (Author), A.Bolt (Author), R.Carter (Author), R.Darwall (Author), J.Delingpole (Author), C.Essex (Author), S.Franks (Author), K.Green (Author), D.Laframboise (Author), N.Lawson (Author), B.Lewin (Author), R.Lindzen (Author), J.Marohasy (Author), R.McKitrick (Author), P.Michaels (Author), A.Moran (Author), J.Nova (Author), G.Paltridge (Author), I.Plimer (Author), W.Soon (Author), M.Steyn (Author), A.Watts (Author), Alan Moran (Editor)
Tirelessly promoted by princes, presidents, actors and activists, "climate change" has become a dominant theme of global politics. But what's really going on as the "pause" in global warming prepares to enter its third decade? In this new anthology, leading scientists and commentators from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia consider the climate from every angle - the science, the policy and the politics. View Details
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
by Naomi Klein (Author)
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and... View Details
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know®
by Joseph Romm (Author)
"This is, for my money, the best single-source primer on the state of climate change." - New York Magazine
"The right book at the right time: accessible, comprehensive, unflinching, humane." - The Daily Beast
"A must-read." - The Guardian
The essential primer on what will be the defining issue of our time, Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know® is a clear-eyed overview of the science, conflicts, and implications of our warming planet.
From Joseph Romm, Chief Science... View Details
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert (Author)
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists... View Details
A Global Warming Primer: Answering Your Questions About The Science, The Consequences, and The Solutions
by Jeffrey Bennett (Author)
2017 NSTA, Outstanding Science Trade Books
2017 Children's Book Council, Best STEM Books
Nautilus Book Award, Silver, Ecology and Environment
Is human-induced global warming a real threat to our future? Most people will express an opinion on this question, but relatively few can back their opinions with solid evidence. Many times we’ve even heard pundits say “I am not a scientist” to avoid the issue altogether. But the truth is, the basic science is not that difficult. Using a question and answer format, this book will help readers achieve three major... View Details
What Is Climate Change? (What Was?)
by Gail Herman (Author), Who HQ (Author), John Hinderliter (Illustrator)
Learn more about what climate change means and how it's affecting our planet.
The earth is definitely getting warmer. There's no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? And why has climate change become a political issue? Are humans at fault? Is this just a natural development? While the vast majority of scientists who study the environment agree that humans play a large part in climate change, there is a counterargument. Author Gail Herman presents both sides of the debate in this fact-based, fair-minded, and well-researched book that looks at the subject from... View Details
Climate Change: The Earth Is Dying and You Can Help To Save It
by Laura Dalton (Author)
Is the Earth dying?
Climate Change has been one of the major issues experiencing our planet today.
If you are curious what is REALLY happening, and how you can contribute to stopping this dilemma, then keep reading...
Animals are being extinct, water is becoming insufficient, and we can no longer predict the weather.
Can we make an improvement in the ever-changing climate we have now?
So many debates about consequences and personal motives... but what can we do now to fix and repair the damage that has been done from the... View Details
The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change
by Robert Henson (Author)
Everybody can be a thinking person when it comes to climate change, and this book is a perfect roadmap. Start a web search for “climate change” and the first three suggestions are “facts,” “news,” and “hoax.” The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change is rooted in the first, up to date on the second, and anything but the last. Produced by one of the most venerable atmospheric science organizations, it is a must-read for anyone looking for the full story on climate change.
Using global research and written with nonscientists in mind, the Guide... View Details