Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sweltering Heat Wilts Rejection Of Climate Science: UT Poll Shows Big Moves In Opinion Among Texans, Republicans, Independents

Sweltering heat and record droughts are wilting the opposition to climate science.  Even in Texas.

A new University of Texas energy poll shows that those who reject or deny mainstream climate science dropped to just 15% of the population, down from 15%.  The poll further found that 70% of the public accepts climate science, up from 65% in March, 2012.

Texans and Republicans moved significantly toward acceptance of climate science.  A full 70% of Texans now accept climate change, up from 57% in March.  One of those Texans, however, clinging to the view that climate science is a massive hoax is Governor Perry.  One wonders how much longer Texans will support public officials that trade in such wild, conspiracy theories.

The UT poll also found that a majority of Republicans--53% and up from 45%--support climate science.  That Republican majority has few Republicans in Congress supporting its view. 

Independent voters also saw a big jump in acceptance of climate science, with 72% now supporting, up from 60%.

While the partisan gap between Republicans and Democrats narrowed, it still exists.  Eighty-seven per cent of Democrats accept climate science.

Outside of the Republican party, where those who reject climate science are a large minority but now a minority, the number of those rejecting or denying climate science is dwindling to the point where they are a fringe. 


  1. This still doesn't seem like the right question to me, John. Instead, if man has caused these temperature extremes (either completely or partially), what will it take in terms of changed lifestyles and costs to reverse this trend. And remember that the solution must be global, because we can do whatever we want, but if the Chinese, Russians and Indians don't change, we are merely spitting into the wind. I have never heard anyone answer the question of what it will take.

    1. China is the key. Nothing works without it. China now accounts for 29% of world emissions.

      More gas use in China, India, and here would help a lot. So would energy efficiency. Both of which cut costs and carbon.

    2. Concerned ScientistJuly 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      My sense is that we are probably doomed to the something like the worst case scenario on this front. The Chinese standard of living is still far below ours. As long as China and India continue to grow, and who are we to tell them they can't, GHG emissions are going to grow at a rapid pace. Even if we cut our GHG emissions to zero over the next ten years, emissions in Asia will more than offset that. I agree with you that if China and the rest of the world switch from coal to gas while building renewables and improving efficiency as fast as possible that this would be the best we could hope for. Hopefully both climate disinformers and shale gas disinformers become more and more marginalized with time and we can pursue that strategy.

    3. The ability for both China, and India to slow down emmissions rests partially with the State Department. They are delaying authorization of LNG exports to non free trade countries. The Deloite report "Made in America The economic impact of LNG exports from the United States" indicates that the effect on our prices in the U.S, will be small. They can have the same pollution decrease benefits which we have had here from switching from coal to Natural Gas.

  2. Current WEATHER is no evidence of CLIMATE change! Anyone who pushes this as the same is misinformed and a fraud. Since the IPCC "cooked the books" to support their dire predictions, the credibility of the climate change crowd has plummeted. It would be like inferring that because it's currently raining that the world will eventually be totally flooded.

    1. Concerned ScientistJuly 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      This line of reasoning is flawed. If the world experiences the hottest temperatures ever recorded over an extended period of time, surely this would be evidence of climate change. I agree that it is hard to say that one hurricane or one heat wave is due to global warming but it is right to say that these things will become more common with time.

      Perhaps the best indicator is this: alpine glaciers on all continents and in both hemispheres are melting at ever increasing rates. Why else would this happen? Surely that is evidence of climate change.

      The IPCC was actually far more conservative in their predictions than some would have liked.