This summer, the Climate Constituencies Project surveyed the top policy actors involved in climate and energy issues at the federal level and in four swing states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. In each, the ‘top policy actors’ were identified using a methodology adapted from our previous work, which has been published in Nature Climate Change, and Contexts. The pre-election survey component of the study closed in the beginning of September. As part of it, we asked these policy actors their attitudes about the science of climate change. Responses were scored on a scale of 1-5 ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, mean scores are reported in the table above.
The results show that there is an overwhelming level of consensus around the science of climate change among policy actors at the Federal level and in these four swing states. In fact, even with all of this talk of climate denial, opinions have gotten even stronger and the numbers have gone up since summer 2010 when we conducted a previous round of this research. Across the four swing states and the federal level, there are no statistically significant differences in opinions on these questions.
When asked about potential policy instruments to address climate change and energy options, however, there was much less agreement. Opinions around a potential cap-and-trade bill were statistically significantly different across the swing states and the federal levels, with policy actors in Florida and at the federal level having much lower opinions than the other states.
- Dana R. Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org)