Politics & Global Warming, April 2022
8.1. Registered voters trust NASA, family & friends, and climate scientists most as sources of information about global warming
Seven in ten or more registered voters “strongly” or “somewhat” trust NASA (74%), family & friends (74%), and climate scientists (71%) as sources of information about global warming.
Six in ten or more registered voters trust their primary care doctor (69%), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; 65%), TV weather reporters (64%), environmental organizations (63%), teachers (61%), and the American Medical Association (61%) as sources of information.
At the bottom of the list, only 30% of registered voters trust the Fox News Channel as a source of information about global warming, and about one in four (24%) trust oil and gas companies.1
Of the people and institutions we included, liberal Democrats trust climate scientists the most (98%), followed by environmental organizations (96%) and the EPA (95%). Moderate/conservative Democrats trust climate scientists the most (85%), followed by the EPA (84%) and environmental organizations (80%). Liberal/moderate Republicans trust NASA the most (80%), followed by family & friends (76%) and their primary care doctor (69%). And conservative Republicans trust family & friends the most (67%), followed by their primary care doctor (57%) and NASA (53%).
8.2. Registered voters blame developing countries and fossil fuel companies the most for global warming.
Six in ten or more registered voters blame developing countries (68% blame “a great deal” or “a moderate amount”), fossil fuel companies (66%), industrialized countries (65%), CEOs of fossil fuel companies (63%), and corporate lobbyists (62%) for global warming. Additionally, about half of registered voters blame Republican politicians (51%), citizens themselves (49%), and Democratic politicians (48%).
Liberal and moderate/conservative Democrats are most likely to blame fossil fuel companies, (92% of liberal Democrats and 76% of moderate/conservative Democrats), industrialized countries (91%, 72%), and CEOs of fossil fuel companies (90%, 74%) for global warming. Liberal/moderate Republicans are most likely to blame developing countries (73%) as well as fossil fuel companies (72%) and industrialized countries (70%). A majority of conservative Republicans (59%) blame developing countries.
8.3. A large majority of registered voters think the U.S. government is not responding well to global warming.
Across the political spectrum, there appears to be widespread dissatisfaction among registered voters with how the U.S. government is responding to global warming: few “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that the U.S. government is responding well to the issue of global warming (14%), that people like them have a fair say in how the U.S. government responds to the issue (16%), or that people like them are respected in the national conversation about global warming (11%). Most feel that “some people have too much influence on how the U.S. government responds to global warming” (71%).There is less agreement across the political spectrum, however, about who will be unfairly harmed if the U.S. government does, or does not, take action to reduce global warming. Liberal Democrats (77%) and moderate/conservative Democrats (58%) are much more likely than liberal/moderate Republicans (33%) and conservative Republicans (12%) to agree that people like them will be unfairly harmed if the U.S. government does not take action to reduce global warming, while conservative Republicans (50%) are more likely than the other groups to agree that people like them will be unfairly harmed if the U.S. government does take action to reduce global warming.
Table of Contents
1. Global Warming as a Voting Issue
2. Global Warming and Clean Energy as Government Priorities
3. Support for Policies to Reduce the Pollution that Causes Global Warming
4. Energy Production as an Economic Issue
5. Who is Responsible for Action on Global Warming?
6. State and Local Government Action on Global Warming
7. Political Actions to Limit Global Warming
8. Trust, Blame, and Grievance
Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Rosenthal, S., Kotcher, J., Carman, J., Neyens, L., Myers, T., Goldberg, M., Campbell, E., Lacroix, K., & Marlon, J. (2022). Politics & Global Warming, April 2022. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.