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Friday, September 27, 2013

Climate Change, Polarization, and American Distinctiveness

At least half the public in 24 of the 39 countries say climate change is a major threat to their nation. People in Greece (87%), South Korea (85%), Brazil (76%), Lebanon (74%) and Japan (72%) express the highest levels of concern.
However, China and the U.S., the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, are among the least worried about climate change. About four-in-ten Americans (40%) and Chinese (39%) say it is a major threat to their countries. Only those in the Czech Republic, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan are less concerned than the Chinese and Americans.
There is a sharp partisan divide on this issue among Americans, with Democrats (55%) more than twice as likely as Republicans (22%) to view climate change as a major threat.
Another Pew Research survey in March also found large partisan divisions on views toward global warming. While 87% of Democrats believe there is solid evidence of global warming, just 44% of Republicans agree. Similarly, Republicans express more doubt about humans’ role in climate change; 19% say global warming is a result of human activity compared with 57% of Democrats.