Feeds

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

Democrats believe in it no matter what it's called

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.