A new study from Pew Research Center reveals that Americans who identify as Republican, or lean that direction, view climate change as a “low-priority issue.”
Conducted during the last week in April, the Pew survey notes that only 10% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents call climate change a “top personal concern.” That’s a stark difference to the 49% of Democrats and Democrat-leaners who feel the same.
The study also notes that in the last presidential election, only 11% of Trump supporters said climate change was important to their vote. By contrast 68% of Biden backers thought the same.
Biden has made a series of highly controversial moves to address his party’s climate agenda, many of which directly impact key facets of Alaska’s economy. Last month, he banned all large-scale old growth timber sales in Tongass National Forest, specifically to address his climate change concerns. Earlier this summer his administration suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife, reversing policies approved by the Trump administration.
These moves have been widely condemned by Republicans, including Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
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Overall, Pew found that Republicans “do not see a strong link between human activity and climate change” with only 17% believing that human activities – such as burning fossil fuels – contribute “a great deal” to climate change. About 42% say human activity contributes some to climate change, while 28% say it contributes not too much and 12% say not at all. These numbers have held steady over the past decade despite climate activists warning otherwise, Pew stated.
“Republicans express a degree of skepticism toward climate scientists,” Pew states. “Greater shares say climate scientists have too much, rather than too little, influence on policy debates (44% to 27%).”
Another 62% of Republicans say climate scientists understand “the best ways” to address climate change either “not too well or not at all well.”
While Biden has tied action on climate change to job growth, Republicans have serious doubts about the economic impact of his climate efforts, the Pew study found, adding that “59% of Republicans think Biden’s plan to rebuild the country’s infrastructure in ways that are aimed at reducing climate change will hurt the U.S. economy.”
Read the full report here.