Most Republicans Don’t Believe In Global Warming

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New Jersey Gov.  Chris Christie, a rising star in the Republican party, recently  stunned the media by expressing doubts about global warming. Four scientists from universities in the state even invited him to a “lesson” on climate science to set him straight.  They should not hold their breath waiting for a reply.

A poll by the Pew Center For The People And The Press released today found that 53 percent of Republicans believe that there is no evidence that the earth is warming.  Seventy percent of Tea Party Republicans say that global warming is bull. The survey was conducted Oct. 13-18 among 2,251 adults.

“Disbelief in global warming in the GOP is a recent occurrence,” the organization says.  “Just a few years ago, in 2007, a 62%-majority of Republicans said there is solid evidence of global warming, while less than a third (31%) said there is no solid evidence.”

Interestingly,  many corporations are big believers in global warming.  In 2010, 59% of S&P 500 companies reported carbon emissions
to the Carbon Disclosure Project, up from 52% in 2009.  The United States Climate Action Partnership was founded by such left-wing troublemakers as GE (NYSE: GE), Alcoa (NYSE: AA), BP America (NYSE: BP), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), and DuPont (NYSE: DD) along with a coalition of environmental groups. It seems to think climate change is real.

“In our view, the climate change challenge will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy,” reads the propaganda on the groups website.

In the new Congress,  skepticism about climate change will flourish.  Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX),  who  gained notoriety this summer when he apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the tough questioning he  got from Congress over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill,  has been a global warming critic for years.  He is set to become the new chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Few things have riled up the Tea Party more than global climate change.  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of the most conservative members of Congress, denounced the idea as “malarkey.”   South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R), a Tea Party leader,  joked at the height of last winter’s snowstorms that “It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.’” Other supporters argued that the science was not clear on climate change or that the “facts were not in.”

There are plenty who agree with that logic.   Charles and David Koch, owners of  Koch Industries, are bankrolling a campaign attacking climate science.  There is even a documentary called “Cool It”, which seeks to refute Al Gore’s Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Unfortunately for Christie and his fellow skeptics,  the majority of the world’s scientists accept that man is having an impact on the environment.  In May, the National Academy of Sciences said “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.”

Sounds pretty clear, no?

–Jonathan Berr

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