South Coast researchers find that Democrats and Republicans have similar views on climate change, but they’re too party-focused to do anything about it.
Scientists from UC Santa Barbara and the University of Colorado Boulder conducted climate change surveys of several thousand people throughout the U.S. and found general agreement across party lines.
“Sixty-six percent of Republicans, 74% of Independents and 90% of Democrats said they believed in human-caused climate change and the utility of reducing greenhouse gases,” says David Sherman, a UCSB professor of psychological and brain sciences.
He says lawmakers have not enacted a national climate change policy because of psychological reasons.
“It isn’t so much that Republicans are skeptical of climate change but that Republicans and Democrats are skeptical of each other,” Sherman says.
In other words, people are more likely to support the same climate policy when they think their own political party supports it.