Democratic vs Republican Views on Global Warming
The effects of global warming are diverse and have been clearly identified by a great deal of scientific research conducted over the years. These adverse environmental effects have to be dealt with before it is too late. Unfortunately, both Democrats and Republicans have different views about these issues. Moreover, what is more significant is the depth of their differences on climate change and how much those differences have grown over period of time.
In the April issue of AEI’s Political Report, the partisans’ views in recent polls and trends was examined.
Moreover, every year in January, Pew Research Center asks Americans about which issues they think should be top priorities for the president and Congress. According to latest Pew’s January 2019 survey, partisans were farther apart in their views on how much priority should be accorded climate change and, separately, the environment than they were on any of the other 18 issues asked about in the survey. About 67 % of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said dealing with global climate change should be a top priority, as compared to 21% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
On the environment, the gap between partisans was 43 points. 64% of Democrats said protecting the environment should be a top priority; 31% of Republicans said the same. What is surprising is that the divisions on the importance of these issues were larger than they were on other issues such as strengthening the military (34-point gap between Republicans and Democrats saying it should be a top priority) and dealing with the issue of immigration (28-point gap).
Considering another voting done in December 2018, Fox News asked registered voters how concerned they were about a different set of issues, and that survey also found that partisans differed more on climate change than on 10 other issues, with 84% of Democrats compared to 41% of Republicans saying they were “extremely” or “very” concerned about it.
Not only do partisans differ in their sense of urgency about climate change today, but they have also grown farther apart on the issue over time. Polls show Democrats have become more concerned, while Republicans’ level of concern has been stable or fallen. In 1999, NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollsters began asking people about their views on the seriousness of global climate change or global warming.
During the same year, 29% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans said global climate change had been established as a serious problem and that immediate action was necessary. The gap was just 14 points. But in late 2018, 71% of Democrats compared to 15% of Republicans gave the response having a gap of 56 points.
Gallup surveys over the past two decades also show wider gaps now between Democrats and Republicans in how much they worry about climate change and whether they think it will pose a serious threat in their lifetimes and what immediate steps they think need to be taken to prevent global warming.
A very unfortunate fact is that the division in their views regarding global warming has increased drastically. They have failed to bridge the gap, which has continued to widen over the past few years. Republicans have become less convinced over time that the effects of pollution from human activities are the cause and Democrats have become more certain.
In a 2019 Gallup poll, 89% of Democrats compared to 34% of Republicans said they believe that the increase in the Earth’s temperature is mostly due to the effects of pollution from human activities rather than because of natural changes in the environment.
As far as regulatory responses are concerned, Democrats express more concern about the potential costs of not addressing climate change, while Republicans express more concern that regulations will have negative economic impacts.
Similarly, in a December 2018 NBC News/Wall Street Journal question that asked people what concerned them more when thinking about the financial costs of climate change, Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to say they were more concerned that failing to address climate change will lead to greater financial costs from weather-related events, by a margin of 63% to 35%. While, nearly half of Republicans, 48%, answered that they were more concerned that regulations to address climate change will lead to greater financial costs and higher energy prices. Only a quarter of Democrats agree with this opinion.
When Quinnipiac University asked registered voters in December 2018 about the extreme weather events over the past few years, 90% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans said they were related to climate change.
In a similar question asked by Economist/YouGov pollsters in March 2019, 76% of Democrats said the severity of recent weather events were the result of climate change, compared to 17% of Republicans. Seventy-four percent of Republicans said these kinds of events just happen from time to time.
Whatever the views of democratic and republican might be on the issue of global warming, there is a need to reach a general consensus about which issue requires our immediate attention and what is more important - a present with a constant debate over different views or a future that needs to be built on the foundation of unanimous decision to protect our planet.