The Ninety-Seven Percent Consensus Myth

    Public opinion on global warming/climate change has been relatively stable for some time across the globe.

    Naturally, there are variations between nations, age-groups, and time-periods, but most surveys show a rough division of opinion between two-thirds of respondents who believe that global warming is largely caused by human activity and a serious threat to the world, and those who are skeptical on both points.

    Of some moderate interest is that older people and those on the Right (Republicans, Conservatives, Tories) are somewhat more skeptical than younger people and those on the Left (Democrats, Labourites, etc.)

    Inevitably, however, the explanations for these examples of partisanship are partisan, too.

    Are young people more idealistic and global-minded in their concerns? Or are older people simply wiser because they’ve experienced other official “scares” as they’ve gone around the block?

    Do Democrats have more trust in government forecasts than the GOP? Or do Republicans have a stronger nervousness about rising costs of policy and the bottom line?

    There are no correct answers to these questions because partisan attitudes tend to change when we change the subject.

    Democrats tend to be more concerned about rising costs when the money is spent on defense programs.

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