Here's Why People Don't Believe In Climate Change
More than one-quarter of Americans are climate change skeptics, according to a new report released by the Public Religion Research Institute. These deniers don't believe that the planet Earth's climate is changing, even though 97% of scientists believe it is.
When asked why they don't believe, the skeptics' most common response was that they had not noticed a change in the weather around them, and that the weather was actually getting colder where they lived.
"I hunt a lot, and last winter I froze my butt off," wrote one respondent.
Here is a chart from the report showing this and other reasons that skeptics gave for doubting climate change. The survey is based on telephone interviews conducted among a random sample of 3,022 adults living in the US (see the full report here).
In fact, there is plenty of evidence that humans have contributed to changes in global temperatures. The chart below, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, includes a series of graphs, each presenting two models. The purple stripes show the climate changes we'd expect from only natural events, like solar variations, and the pink stripes show the changes in a model that includes human actions, like burning fossil fuels.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report
The third most popular response, with 12% of deniers selecting it, is that there is not enough scientific evidence to back up the claim that the Earth is getting hotter.
"I don't see any real evidence of that in the news media," said one participant. "The entire scientific community really appears divided and scattered about the entire issue."
But in reality, the scientific community agrees. More than 97% of scientists believe in global warming.
A small minority of skeptics (4%) responded that they have alternative theories about global warming. Around 2% said they believe God is in control and 5% believe that data and news reports showing global warming are propaganda.
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