Trump May Be Making Republicans Increasingly Doubt Global Warming

By Alejandro Dávila Fragoso

Twice as many Republicans are unsure about the evidence of global warming as they were a year ago, and Donald Trump could be playing a role, finds a new survey led by University of Michigan researchers.

Some 26 percent of Republicans told researchers this spring they were unsure about global warming, up from 13 percent last year, according to the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) report released Tuesday. Republicans are also more likely than Independent and Democrat voters to either doubt climate change or denying it altogether, according to the survey.

“Our survey indicates [Donald] Trump’s influence may have led to increased uncertainty among Republicans as opposed to a wholesale swing from believer to nonbeliever status,” said Sarah Mills, co-author and post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Local State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Mills said that although the survey didn’t ask about the Republican presidential candidate, Trump’s stand on climate change — and his rise as a party leader and appeal among voters — seems to be “one of the key things that has happened” over the past year.

Donald Trump does not believe in climate change. In fact, for years he’s boasted that human-caused global warming is a hoax. He has even blamed China for the “concept of global warming,” and said cold days prove that global warming isn’t real. Both assertions are false.

“Our survey indicates [Donald] Trump’s influence may have led to increased uncertainty among Republicans as opposed to a wholesale swing from believer to nonbeliever status,” said Sarah Mills, co-author and post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Local State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

Read also:
AMERICANS ARE HAVING A COLLECTIVE BREAKDOWN

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Mills said that although the survey didn’t ask about the Republican presidential candidate, Trump’s stand on climate change — and his rise as a party leader and appeal among voters — seems to be “one of the key things that has happened” over the past year.

Donald Trump does not believe in climate change. In fact, for years he’s boasted that human-caused global warming is a hoax. He has even blamed China for the “concept of global warming,” and said cold days prove that global warming isn’t real. Both assertions are false.

While public opinion may show change over time, the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change is well established and widely undisputed. Just this year, an international research team from 16 universities — including Harvard and Princeton — confirmed that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that human-caused climate change is happening. Science has also grown in confidence on the effects that climate change has on droughts, storms, and sea level rise while reaching more sophisticated projections.

In addition, some 99 percent of U.S. weathercasters — those who communicate weather forecasts on TV or radio, but who aren’t always trained meteorologists — accept that climate change is real, according to a George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication study released in March.