Feeds

Republicans believe in 'climate change' but not 'global warming'

Democrats believe in it no matter what it's called

The next step in data security

The likelihood of an average American agreeing that world temperatures are rising is strongly affected by the name used for the phenomenon. Americans believe strongly in "climate change", but acceptance that "global warming" is taking place is much less common.

In a recent study carried out by psychologists in Michigan, 2,267 US adults were asked the following question, half of them hearing "climate change" and half "global warming":

You may have heard about the idea that the world's temperature may have been going up [changing] over the past 100 years, a phenomenon sometimes called 'global warming'/'climate change'. What is your personal opinion regarding whether or not this has been happening?

Some 74 per cent of those who heard "climate change" agreed that temperatures have indeed risen over the past century: only 68 per cent agreed if they heard "global warming".

"Wording matters," says Jonathon Schuldt, lead trick-cyclist on the study. "Given these different associations and the partisan nature of this issue, climate change believers and skeptics might be expected to vary in their use of these terms."

Schuldt and his colleagues also examined the connection between the two labels and US politics as part of their study. They report that the difference in belief between "climate change" and "global warming" is massive among Republicans, with just 44 per cent of those who identify themselves as such believing in global warming: but 60 per cent say that climate change is real.

By contrast, Democrats don't care what it's called, they believe in it - 86.9 per cent of them believe in "global warming" and 86.4 per cent in "climate change".

"It could be that Democrats' beliefs about global climate change might be more crystallized, and as a result, more protected from subtle manipulations," comments Schuldt's fellow trick-cyclist Sara Konrath.

The psychologists say that liberal think-tanks much prefer the term "climate change" - calculated as it is to subtly manipulate their opponents into agreeing with them. Conservative organisations prefer the term "global warming".

The study is published in the journal Public Opinion Quarterly, and can be read for free in pdf here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.