Thursday, October 18, 2012

Despite Media's Best Efforts, Climate Science & Carbon Cuts Still Not Controversial

Americans know global warming is happening and want the federal government to regulate the carbon pollution that's causing it. From a recent Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll:
36. Do you think the federal government should or should not regulate the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat? 
SHOULD 74% (51% strongly, 23% somewhat)
SHOULD NOT 23% (13% strongly, 8% somewhat)
NO OPINION 5%
The numbers hold strong across party lines - 87% of Democrats, 73% of independents, and even 61% of Republicans want the federal government to limit carbon pollution. The numbers are backed up by another new poll from the Pew Research Center.

A skeptic might point out this question doesn't force a hard choice - what about cost? Well, a 2009 Washington Post poll (when support for climate action was much lower) showed a majority of voters (55%) would support carbon pollution limits even if it cost them $25 a month, a figure far above actual cost estimates.

But studies show the American media keeps reporting climate action as controversial and looking for scientific debate where there is none. Media critic Jay Rosen calls it verification in reverse - un-nailing it.
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