The latest poll on climate change

10.20.2015

UTEP logoMore than three quarters of the American public accepts the reality of global climate change, according to a new poll. In the latest University of Texas at Austin Energy poll (PDF), 76% of respondents agreed that global climate change is occurring, while 14% disagreed and 10% were not sure. The level of agreement is the highest since the poll started asking the question in 2012.

There was a sharp divide along political lines: 90% of self-identified Democrats agreed and 3% disagreed that climate change is occurring, while only 59% of self-identified Republicans agreed and 29% disagreed. "Political ideology continues to be the single greatest determinant of Americans' views on climate change," commented the poll director Sheril Kirshenbaum.

The poll did not directly ask whether respondents attribute climate change to human activity. But it is suggestive that, among those who agree that climate change is under way, a majority selected deforestation, oil, and coal as significant or very significant contributing factors ("natural forces" was also offered).

The poll was conducted online between September 1 and 15, 2015, among 2019 U.S. residents age 18 and older. "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." The overall margin of error for the poll was +/- 3.1%.