Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1633932
 
 

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Climategate, Public Opinion, and the Loss of Trust


Anthony Leiserowitz


Yale University

Edward W. Maibach


George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

Connie Roser-Renouf


George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

Nicholas Smith


Yale University

Erica Dawson


Yale School of Management

July 2, 2010


Abstract:     
Nationally representative surveys conducted in 2008 and 2009 found significant declines in Americans’ climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and trust in scientists. Several potential explanations for the declines are explored, including the poor state of the economy, a new administration and Congress, diminishing media attention, and abnormal weather. The analysis also specifically examines the impact of Climategate – an international scandal resulting from the unauthorized release of emails between climate scientists in England and United States. The results demonstrate that Climategate had a significant effect on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists. The loss of trust in scientists, however, was primarily among individuals with a strongly individualistic worldview or politically conservative ideology. Nonetheless, Americans overall continue to trust scientists more than other sources of information about global warming.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

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Date posted: July 3, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Leiserowitz, Anthony and Maibach, Edward W. and Roser-Renouf, Connie and Smith, Nicholas and Dawson, Erica, Climategate, Public Opinion, and the Loss of Trust (July 2, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1633932 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1633932

Contact Information

Anthony Leiserowitz (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
Edward W. Maibach
George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Connie Roser-Renouf
George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Nicholas Smith
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
Erica Dawson
Yale School of Management ( email )
135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
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