Climate in a new Harris poll


A new Harris poll finds that nearly half of Americans believe that global climate change is occurring and that human activity is responsible for it. Asked "Which of these best describes your feelings toward global climate change?" 45% of respondents selected "I believe it exists and humans are the main cause," 30% selected "I believe it exists but that its causes are mainly not related to humans," and 13% selected "I do not believe it exists"; 12% were unsure.

Acceptance of the first answer, "I believe [global climate change] exists and humans are the main cause,"  was more prevalent among the young (50% of respondents 18-36, 47% of respondents 37-48, 43% of respondents 49-67, and 37% of respondents 68+) and among Democrats (65% of Democrats, but only 45% of independents and 22% of Republicans), but equally prevalent among men and women (45% and 46%, respectively).

The poll was conducted on-line within the United States between March 12 and March 17, 2014, among 2,234 adults (aged 18 and over). According to Harris, "Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. ... Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimate of theoretical sample error can be calculated."