Public Opinion and the Environment #AAPOR #MRX


AAPOR… Live blogging from beautiful Boston, any errors are my own…

Public Opinion and the Environment; Moderator: Robert Eisinger, Savannah College of Art and Design

The Weathering of Skepticism: An Examination of American Views on the Existence of Climate Change
Christopher P. Borick, Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, Barry G. Rabe, University of Michigan

  • 2008, the majority of americans believe in global warming
  • 2010:  dropped off the agenda in DC, percentage believing in global warming is declining, people wonder if it’s a hoax
  • 2013: rate has risen but not back to previous levels, obama addressed it in two important speeches
  • Shifts in views related to level of attention by congress and president
  • Is there evidence of global warming? went from 72,65,52,58,55,62,65,68,67,62 from 2008 to 2013 (couple measurements per year)
  • Most significant factor in belief of global warming is partisanship. [wow, ridiculous!]
  • Why believe? Glaciers melting, warmer temperatures, weather change, scientific research. Personal experience is the top reason.
  • Drought was important in believing global warming, but more so for people in the southeast
  • Increasingly people think climate change is not occuring due to religious factors

Global Warming Attitudes Among Local News Viewers and Non-Viewers; Media Market Comparative Analysis and Change Over Time; Amy Simon, Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, Leora Lawton, Tech Society Research; UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Population Center, Adam D. Probolsky, Probolsky Research LLC, Paul A. Hanle, Climate Central

  • More people think global warming is happening 61% last year, 67% this year
  • People who watch the weather on tv are more likely to think global warming is happening
  • If you explain to people what global warming is, then the rate increases 5%
  • People think the earth is getting warmer due to 1) humans 2) earth patterns 3) both
  • People assume the global warming term refers more to human intervention
  • only 50% think it’s a serious problem
  • 79% of people think they are well informed [wow. people really overestimate their knowledge]
  • answers to factual questions vary due to ideology

Polls, Publics and Pipelines: Mapping Public Opinion Toward the Keystone XL Pipeline in the United States and the Northern Gateway Pipeline in Canada; Timothy B. Gravelle, PriceMetrix Inc.

  • Canada and US do have different cultural values even though we look alike
  • How do canadians and americans differ in their opinions of the oil pipelines
  • Proximity and distance likely matter – NIMBY
  • Most predictive variables in model were liberal ideology, attitudes towards economy
  • People who think the economy is poor were more in favour
  • Support increases for people who are closer to the pipeline – approval is high regardless of opinion about economy

Emphasis Framing and Americans’ Perception of Scientific Consensus: Scientists Agree on “Climate Change” but not on “Global Warming”; Jonathon P. Schuldt, Cornell University, Sungjong Roh, Cornell University
Norbert Schwarz, University of Michigan

  • 26% of people say they see no evidence of global warming; 51% of convervatives vs 7% of democrats, reliable divide for over a decade
  • are there differences if you talk about global warming versus climate change?
  • often used interchangeably
  • could using the different words create different findings? [well, that’s an obvious yes]
  • Aggregate sample – 68% say yes to global warming, 74% say yes to climate change
  • Republicans more likely to be affected by the word change
  • Reduce the partisan divide if you say climate change
  • Democrats don’t care which word. Replicans more likely to believe in climate change, not global warming.
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