This brief explores how political views influence Americans’ understanding and perception of science. The research is based on a national version of the Community and Environment in Rural America survey called NCERA, and on New Hampshire’s statewide Granite State Poll. Author Lawrence Hamilton reports that most people on both surveys feel that they understand either a great deal or a moderate amount about global warming or climate change. However, deep partisan divisions affect both personal beliefs about climate change and perceptions of agreement among scientists. Democrats are much more likely to state they believe that climate change is happening, caused mainly by human activities. Republicans are much more likely to say they believe either that climate change is not happening, or that it is, but for natural reasons.

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Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

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Copyright 2011. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.