Belief in Climate Change Is On the Way Back Up

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Climate Progress points us to some good news today. The latest Brookings poll on climate change shows that belief in global warming has continued to rebound from its recent lows. Acceptance of climate change still isn’t as high as its post-Inconvenient Truth peak, but at least progress is being made. Broken down by party affiliation, both Democrats and Independents are stronger believers than in 2010, while Republicans remain mired at the same low levels as always.

But the rest of the news isn’t so good. It would be nice to think that people are being swayed by the increasing torrent of scientific evidence about climate change, but it ain’t so. As the table below shows, only 11% of respondents say that scientific research is the main reason for belief in climate change. The most popular reason by far is personal observations of weather and warmer temperatures. And in a followup question, 68% of respondents said recent mild winters have had a large effect on their views.

Conclusion: liberals need to stop nattering on about the latest research. It may gall us to do it, but anecdotal evidence (mild winters, big hurricanes, wildfires, etc.) is probably our best bet. We should milk it for everything it’s worth.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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