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Americans Are Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, New Scientific Analysis Finds

Stashed in: Politics 2016, Climate Change, Climate Change!

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New analysis demonstrates something we already could feel:

Campaigns funded by vested fossil fuel interests and pushed by a network of ideological think tanks, many linked to the oil billionaire Koch brothers, have helped to widen the gap, pushing Republican politicians, elites and voters away from action on greenhouse gas emissions.

Tracking Gallup opinion poll surveys going back to 2001 and congress voting patterns from 1970 onwards, the analysis authors warn that as the November election approaches, Americans are faced with a stark political choice.

The analysis is published in the respected journal Environment and comes from sociologists Associate Professor Aaron McCright of Michigan State University, Professor Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State University, and PhD researcher Jerrod Yarosh also at Oklahoma.

The researchers found the widest gaps between Democrats and Republicans come when they are asked about the causes of climate change and if the media exaggerates the seriousness of the issue.

While virtually all climate scientists and the world's leading scientific academies have long agreed that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change, only about half Republicans accept the science.

See also how conservatives lost their faith in science:

Top Reddit comment:

It's not just climate change - Americans are more polarized on every issue more than ever. That's because every issue has been reduced to "us vs them". There is no nuanced debate anymore. You're either for or against - and the side you choose is directly linked to your character. The media have fanned the flames of this phenomenon to boost their own bottom line, but now everyone is having to pay the piper.

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