New Polling Shows Truth Is Defeating Climate Alarmism

Published September 22, 2023
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It can be quite discouraging, watching climate alarmism flexing a near-monopoly grip on media storylines and the education of our children, but recent polling shows truth is winning out. Truth can—and does—win the day against one-sided climate propaganda.

Climate activists and their leftist political enablers count on their one-sided climate messaging to demoralize climate realists and induce us to throw in the towel on the issue. I have heard many people, including strident defenders of actual climate science, say we have already lost the public opinion battle and should give up the fight. Don’t fall for that false narrative.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago, published on  June 1, shows less than half of Americans (49 percent) believe humans are the primary cause of any recent climate change. That is a decline of 11 percentage points since the Associated Press/University of Chicago asked the same question in 2018. Moreover, an Ipsos poll published on May 4 of this year found the exact same result, with only 49 percent of Americans saying humans are the primary cause of recent climate change.

Of course, human causation is merely one necessary component of the so-called climate crisis. Even if humans had caused all the recent warming, that wouldn’t amount to a crisis or even a serious problem if the benefits of warming outweigh or are roughly equivalent to the harms of warming. Almost certainly, some of the 49 percent of Americans who believe humans have caused a majority of recent climate change would correctly say the effects of our modestly warmer recent climate have not been significantly more harmful than the colder climate of the past.

The Associated Press poll dug deeper into the issue and provided additional encouraging results. Only 38 percent of Americans. are willing to pay even as little as $1 per month in higher energy costs to combat climate change. That is down 14 percentage points from 2018. Even among Democrats, only 43 percent would pay $1 per month to combat climate change.

Here are the most important takeaways from the recent climate change polls:

First, the American people are intelligent and discerning. One-sided propaganda in the media and in the schools does not mean climate realists are losing the battle of public opinion.

Second, momentum is on the side of climate realism. Not only do less than half of Americans attribute recent climate change primarily to humans, and not only are less than half of Americans willing to pay even a small increase in energy prices to combat climate change, but the percentage of those Americans is in a downward spiral.

Third, science provides the indispensable foundation for countering leftist climate policies, but emphasizing the high costs of alarmist climate policies is the nail in the coffin for climate activism. The Heartland Institute is proud to lead the charge for sound science and rational energy policy. With your generous support, we will keep on fighting and keep on winning.