Feeds

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

Democrats believe in it no matter what it's called

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.