Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is real

Talk about the rugged individualism of Americans. We’ll ignore experts on both sides of this debate, but we sure give credence to our own personal observations.

According to a new survey by the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, more Americans than at any point since 2009 think climate change is real. (Who doesn’t think “climate change” is real? That’s too innocuous a phrase to feel threatened by: Clearly, the climate has and does and will change.)

Not surprisingly, belief in global warming (a less innocuous phrase) still breaks down along party lines:

The poll showed a sharp gap depending on ideology, with 78 percent of supporters of President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party saying there is solid evidence of climate change compared with 47 percent of supporters of the rival Republican Party saying so.

What convinced new believers? Nearly half of those who said they now accept global warming said they were primarily convinced by their own firsthand experience of warmer temperatures or weird weather changes.

Americans didn’t just imagine that the weather has been whacky lately:

Nine of the 10 warmest years in history have taken place since 2000, according to US space agency NASA.

Last year broke records for severe weather in the United States, with extreme events such as tornadoes and tropical storms causing more than $55 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This isn’t the first time researchers have found that local temperatures influence individuals’ opinions about climate change.

But, but — those experts we ignore say day-to-day shifts in weather aren’t evidence of broader trends. That’s why, these experts say, meteorologists have no better insight into global warming than anybody else does. So, will the “climate change” experts let Americans’ observation-based belief in global warming stand because it works in their favor? Or will they stand by the assertion that observation of the daily weather and climate change study are two separate fields?

So, let’s say Americans shouldn’t believe in global warming based on their own personal observations. What other reasons for their newfound acceptance of “climate change” do they cite? More than half of global warming adherents say their belief in global warming was also influenced by melting glaciers. Are those glaciers melting as rapidly as we’ve been told? Not according to The Blaze:

[C]onsider that recent improvements in data collection technology has also revealed that the polar ice caps are melting less than originally thought. U.S. World News reported that researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder found that 30 percent less ice is melting than earlier projections. It does claim that ice melt that has occurred between 2003 and 2010 is enough to cover the whole of the United States with a foot and a half of water — or fill Lake Erie eight times.

The University of Michigan study doesn’t specify whether the two-thirds of Americans who believe climate change is real also think men are causing the earth to warm. The poll numbers fluctuate, but the debate is always the same. The disagreement that counts is not over whether climate change is real but whether men have mastery over the weather and whether we should implement government policies to somehow “control” the climate — to the detriment of other concerns, like the economy.

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