Survey Says: Americans Believe Global Warming is Real!

Well, it’s about time.

A recent study released by Stanford University shows two things: that Americans have recognized a change in global temperature (from a continental US public opinion survey), and that most states, overall, believe that the U.S. Government should limit greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. businesses in order to combat this problem.

This photo is from the public opinion survey. This question was asked of the survey participants in the  2012-2013 survey: “What is your personal opinion? Do you think that the world’s temperature probably has been going up over the past 100 years, or do you think this probably has not been happening? ”

Data from a public opinion survey shows that all state populations (besides North Dakota and Wyoming, whose data was unavailable) have an over 75% confidence rate that global temperature is rising, leading to global warming.

To most people’s surprise, Jon Krosnick, social psychologist in charge of this experiment, said that “we could not find a single state in the country where climate skepticism was in the majority” (in an interview with the Guardian). Secondly, states that are notoriously conservative, like Texas and Oklahoma, both sang the same song: global warming is happening and the government should regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

A data set was created for each state, and a complete list can be accessed here. This is the data for Oklahoma:

Example of report of global temperature increase and greenhouse gas emissions: Oklahoma
Example of report of global temperature increase and greenhouse gas emissions: Oklahoma

This is a huge step in the thinking pattern of America. Just a few years ago, mentioning climate change/global warming to some people completely shut them down. And although there are still people in the United States who do not believe in global warming, an overwhelming majority believe it to be true.

So what’s next? Legislation is notoriously slow-moving, but with this kind of support for greenhouse gas regulation, how can the government take any more time? The Center for American Progress reports that 58% of Congressional Republicans deny that climate change is human-induced and oppose actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Will this report change their minds? We will see in time.

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