Climate change is now validated by 76 percent of U.S. citizens, according to the latest Energy Poll conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.
This is a breakthrough result, inching closer to scientifically-backed data on the pressing issue of man-made climate change. Previous UT Energy Poll results only showed 68 percent of the respondents believed that climate change is really occurring. It’s unclear what drives the increasing consensus. However, it remains clear what drives the differences and disparities between respondents. And that is political ideology. According to Sheril Kirshenbaum, the director of the UT Energy Poll:
“Political ideology continues to be the single greatest determinant of American’s views on climate change. Party affiliation also colors perceptions of other controversial energy topics, including efforts to reduce coal-fired power and levy a tax on carbon”.
As such, the percentage of self-identified Democrats responding to the poll questions only inched a few percentage points up to 90 percent. However, the Republican camp was the surprise of this edition: a spike of 12 percent. 59 percent of self-identified Republicans replied that they believe climate change is occurring, compared to only 47 percent six months before.
Only 3 percent of Democrats do not back the idea that climate change is occurring. Comparatively, 29 percent of Republicans refute it entirely. The dichotomy is present within other findings of the poll as well.
For instance, 52 percent of those surveyed answered that they are inclined to vote for a candidate who is in favor of reducing fossil energy usage, particularly coal-generated energy. In March, only 43 percent responded similarly. Only 40 of Republicans favor this policy approach, while 62 percent of Democrats are in favor.
Another important aspect within the UT Energy Poll is that 62 percent of those surveyed would support a candidate who is favor of electricity generated from renewable sources. 74 percent of those more likely to support such a candidate are Democrats, while 50 percent are Republicans.
A candidate who supports the implementation of a carbon tax would be favored by 37 percent of U.S. citizens.
While climate change is now validated by 76 percent of U.S. citizens, the state of Texas is surprisingly in favor of banning fracking or hydraulic fracturing. 57 percent of those surveyed favor the empowering of local city authorities to decide on the matter and ban fracking.
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