Fox News Viewers More Likely to Doubt Human Role in Climate Crisis
A study by climate communicators at Yale University has found that the majority of people who regularly watch U.S. news networks are concerned about climate change and believe it is human-caused—except, that is, for Fox News viewers, many of whom put it down to natural changes.
More than 80% of those who regularly tune into CNN, MSNBC, or National Public Radio, together totalling more than half of the population of the United States, said they were either “alarmed” or “concerned” about global warming, with roughly the same share believing climate change is already wreaking havoc in their country, reports The Independent.
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Consistent with this level of alarm, the majority of these viewers, along with those who watch the national nightly news programs on CBS, ABC, or NBC, said media should be doing more to communicate the facts about global warming.
By contrast, among Fox News viewers, 25% don’t believe that climate change is even happening. Among the 53% who do accept that the planet is warming, 48% attribute the change to natural causes. More than a third of Fox viewers do believe in anthropogenic climate change, and roughly the same proportion consider that media must do more to educate the public on the issue. But only 24% of Fox viewers believe climate change is already having an impact in the United States.
In a notable finding in light of the upcoming U.S. election, the Independent notes that “most people in all viewing audiences”—from 90% of MSNBC regulars to 66% on Fox—say climate and other issues relating to the environment “will be important to their vote for president.”
Regardless of news viewing preferences, the Yale study found that the large majority of respondents underestimate the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change, which currently stands at more than 97%.