Republicans and Climate Change: An Audience Analysis of Predictors for Belief and Policy Preferences
48 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2012 Last revised: 23 Mar 2012
Date Written: November 7, 2011
Climate change is increasingly polarized within American politics. Yet, political orientation and climate change views are not synonymous, and research identifying the characteristics of counter-normative groups — such as Republicans concerned about climate change — is key to communication strategies to encourage wider acceptance of science-based views about climate change across the political spectrum. The evidence presented here demonstrates that there are distinct and reliable predictors of which Republicans are more likely to believe that climate change is occurring and express support for mitigation policies. While some of these variables (such as religiosity) are relatively inaccessible to climate change communication campaigns, others (such as correctly understanding the scientific consensus that climate change is happening) should likely form the cornerstone of communication efforts. The current study provides strong guidance on where to begin, and where more research is needed to better understand these phenomena.
Keywords: climate change, global warming, Republican, political party
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