August-2007-Twenty-Years-of-Public-Opinion-about-Global-Warming.pdf

August-2007-Twenty-Years-of-Public-Opinion-about-Global-Warming.pdf

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American Association for Public Opinion Research and Oxford University Press are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize , preserve and extend access to The Public Opinion Quarterly. American Association for Public Opinion Research Trends: Twenty Years of Public Opinion about Global Warming Author(s): Matthew C. Nisbet and Teresa Myers Source: The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (Autumn, 2007), pp. 444-470 Published by: on behalf of the Oxford University Press American Association for Public Opinion Research Stable URL: Accessed: 16-02-2016 00:46 UTC Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] This content downloaded from 129.174.21.5 on Tue, 16 Feb 2016 00:46:45 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3, Fall 2007, pp. 444-470 THE POLLS-TRENDS TWENTY YEARS OF PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MATTHEW C. NISBET TERESA MYERS Abstract Over the past 20 years, there have been dozens of news organization, academic, and nonpartisan publicopinionsurveys on global warming, yet there exists no authoritative summary of their collective findings. In this article, we provide a systematic review of trends in public opinion about global warming. We sifted through hundreds of polling questions culled from more than 70 surveys administered over the past 20 years. In compiling the available trends, we summarize public opinion across several key dimensions including (a) public awareness of the issue of global warming; (b) public understanding of the causes of global warming and the specifics of the policy debate; (c) public perceptions of the certainty of the science and the level of agreement among experts; (d) public concernaboutthe impacts of global warming; (e) public support for policy action in light of potential economic costs; and (f) public support for the Kyoto climate treaty. Perhaps no other contemporary issue portends as many wide-ranging impacts as global warming. Spanning local, national, and international politics, global warming forces consideration of contentious policy measures that require major societal, economic, and lifestyle changes. Given the political stakes involved, the scientific findings specific to global warming have been selectively inter- preted in ways that fit the political goals of elected officials, interest groups, and even scientists. The use and abuse of public opinion data is no exception to this trend. Over the past 20 years, there have been dozens of news organiza- tion, academic, and nonpartisan public opinion surveys on the topic, yet there exists no authoritative summary of theircollective findings.
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