In spite of all evidence to the contrary, a majority of Republicans in America believe there is no scientific evidence to prove that climate change is happening, or that it is being exacerbated by human activities.
According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, 53% of Republicans say there is absolutely no evidence of global warming. That number jumps to a staggering 70% among supporters of the "Tea Party" movement in America.
The poll also shows that Republicans do not believe that human activities have any effect on climate, and that the government should not take any action on the matter because it is not a serious concern.
But these attitudes are fairly new amongst the Republican Party. Just three years ago, as Pew points out, 62% of Republicans believed that there was clear evidence that global climate change was taking place.
As a possible explanation for this opinion shift, James Hoggan points out in his book "Climate Cover-Up," there has been a concerted effort among industry insiders and lobbyists to misinform the public about climate change, and convince us that there is too much doubt within the scientific community to say with certainty that climate change is real.
Hoggan tells us that there is actually no debate within the scientific community over climate change, including the role that humans play, and this holds true for scientists across the globe.
The dismissal of climate change is not limited to the outer fringes of the Republican Party - many elected Republicans in the United States share this view, as well. And with Republicans winning a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives during this year's midterm elections, they will be taking over leadership posts on all House committees, including the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Some of the top contenders for the leadership post on that committee (which overseas U.S. energy policy) include Representative Joe Barton (R - TX) who issued an apology to oil giant BP after the government made the company fork out $20 billion this summer to clean up the Gulf of Mexico, the site of largest oil spill in history. Also in the running for the leadership post is Representative John Shimkus (R - IL) who believes that God would never allow global warming to happen.
These prospects make the chance of climate legislation passing the House seem grim, and as long as the misinformation campaigns that Hoggan wrote about continue, the attitudes towards climate change are unlikely to change.
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