By Robinson Meyer
And after that vote of support, confidence in the field drops off. Less than a third of Americans think climate scientists understand the causes of climate change very well. Less than a fifth think they understand the best ways to address it. But most Americans, across both parties, do credit climate scientists with at least a fair amount of confidence to act in the public interest.
These were all findings of the Pew Research Center’s 1,100-person poll of Americans on their feelings not just about climate change but on the whole bundle of climate and energy issues. The poll’s headline number is that 48 percent of Americans correctly understand the Earth to be warming due to human activity. This number has recovered to 2006 levels, when it stood at 50 percent. It fell below 40 percent following the election of Barack Obama.
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