Want proof that the climate change debate has become politicized in the United States? Look no further than a Nov. 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center.
The group asked Americans if they believe global climate change is a “very serious problem.” While 68% of democrats said it was, only 20% of republicans did. Pew also asked respondents if climate change is harming people now, and 53% of democrats versus 24% of republicans agreed.
A month later, Farm Journal Pulse asked farmers the exact same question: “Do you think climate change is a serious problem?” A total of 1,783 answered, with 78% saying no and 22% saying yes.
In the Pew Research Center poll, respondents were asked about a variety of possible climate change consequences. In the U.S., drought tops the list of potential risks.
- Drought (50%)
- Rising sea levels (17%)
- Severe weather, such as floods or intense storms (16%)
- Long periods of unusually hot weather (11%)
In the U.S., women and millennials are most likely to be concerned about climate change. Also, Catholics and the “religiously unaffiliated” are significantly more likely than protestants to be concerned about climate change.
Globally, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa are the areas generally most concerned with the potential effects of climate change, while China, Australia and parts of Europe are generally the least concerned. Countries with high carbon emissions per capita are less likely to say climate change is a serious problem, according to Pew.