Framing Science

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What accounts for the striking partisan differences in public perceptions of global warming? As I’ve detailed (here and here), it’s a combined result of strong opinion-cues from party leaders and the ideological safe zones created by Fox News, political talk radio, the WSJ, conservative columnists, and other right-wing venues.

Now comes more data on global warming’s “Two Americas,” from a recent National Journal survey of Congressional members. There aren’t many details given on the nature of the sampling or its representativeness, but the gulf in perceptions is gigantic enough to be confident that there are seismic differences in views between the two delegations when it comes to the reality of human-induced climate change.

Comments

  1. #1 Gerard Harbison
    February 6, 2007

    Actually, if you go into the details, it’s not as stark as it looks. Most of the GOP comments suggest that AGW may happen, but it’s not the sole cause; or that it’s likely, but not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    And the point that there is little point in America strangling its economy with emissions caps while China and India are increasing CO2 emissions by double digit percentages annually is a strong one.

  2. #2 jeffk
    February 6, 2007

    but it’s not the sole cause; or that it’s likely, but not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Not the sole cause, perhaps, but who cares? Global warming isn’t on trial. It doesn’t have constitutional rights. It’s a problem we happen to be facing as a society – if our science is saying, “likely disaster caused partially by us”, it’s probably time to act, especially when working on better, cleaner sources of power and energy conservation is a pretty damn good idea anyways.

    And the point that there is little point in America strangling its economy with emissions caps while China and India are increasing CO2 emissions

    But MOOO-OOM!!! Johnny can stay out until 10, why can’t IIIII?!

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