By Nick Wiltgen
4 April 2013
(Weather Channel) – Roughly three of every eight registered voters in the U.S. believes that "global warming is a hoax," according to a national poll released Tuesday by the firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) [pdf].
The automated telephone poll asked 1,247 American registered voters their beliefs on a wide range of topics broadly categorized as "conspiracy theories" in the firm's press release.
When asked, "Do you believe global warming is a hoax, or not?" 37% of Americans said they do, while 51% said they do not. Twelve percent of those surveyed were not sure.
"So, who is more likely to be correct -- the 97% of all publishing climate scientists, who view the evidence as showing that humans are primarily responsible for global warming? Or the 37% of the public who view global warming as a hoax, who have been subject to a massive PR campaign by the richest industry in human history, to make them believe just that? I'll go with the 97% of climate scientists."
Consistent with other surveys, the answers strongly reflected political preferences.
Among respondents who said they had voted for President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, 77% said they do not believe global warming is a hoax, compared to 12% who do. By contrast, 61% of respondents who voted for former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 said they do believe global warming is a hoax, versus 24% who said they do not.
Fourteen percent of self-identified "very liberal" voters believe global warming is a hoax, and just 12% of "somewhat liberal" voters do. Those numbers increase to 52% for "somewhat conservative" voters and 71% for "very conservative" respondents.
Partisan affiliations reflected this ideological split, with just 11% of Democrats but 58% of Republicans saying global warming is a hoax. Among independents, 41% agreed and 51% disagreed with the "hoax" characterization. [more]