While Democrats constantly insist that the science on climate change is settled and humans are to blame, voters are not so sure. Even those who buy into the narrative do not want government restrictions on air travel and meat consumption.
Most voters disagreed with the claim that it is “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals,” which many alarmists claim to be the scientific consensus. Even so, 43 percent of voters held this view, according to a poll from the Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports.
Many voters said catastrophic climate change is “somewhat likely” (20 percent), while others said it is “not very likely” (18 percent), or “not at all likely” (16 percent).
Some might counter that 63 percent of voters said catastrophic climate change is “likely,” but the difference between “very likely” and “somewhat likely” seems important given the Democratic alarmism on the issue. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Grow Yucca in NYC) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Hell Yes We Take Your Guns) have insisted that the world only has 12 years (AOC) or 10 years (Beto) left to fight climate change. To alarmists like them, anything less than “extremely likely” counts as “science denial.”
Voters also proved skeptical on the causes of climate change. When asked, “Is climate change caused primarily by human activity or by long-term planetary trends?” a plurality (48 percent) pointed to “human activity,” while nearly as many voters (38 percent) pointed to “long-term planetary trends.” Fourteen percent said they are “not sure.” Alarmists insist that the science is settled (when it is not), but Americans are not convinced.
The poll went on to ask more questions of voters who blamed human activity for climate change. Pollsters presented four different forms of government regulation to fight climate change.
The vast majority of these voters (76 percent) agreed that “federal or state governments” should “require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions.” Only 14 percent disagreed, while 10 percent said they were not sure.
Half of the voters who blame human activity (50 percent) said governments should “punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives.” A quarter of these voters (25 percent) said no to this proposal, while another 25 percent said they were not sure.
Even those who blame human activity for climate change did not support restrictions on air travel or meat consumption, however. Only 34 percent said they would back government limits on air travel and 24 percent said the same for meat consumption. Most human-blamers said no to both proposals (50 percent against air travel restrictions, 61 percent against meat rationing).
Democrats proved more likely to agree that climate change is caused by human activity (67 percent), but even these Democrats proved unwilling to back government restrictions on air travel and meat consumption. Only 37 percent supported air travel bans and 27 percent backed meat rationing.
The poll also asked voters whether they had a favorable view of Sens. Bernie Sanders (S-USSR) and Elizabeth Warren (D-1/1024th of a Plan).
Voters with a “very favorable” view of Sanders were more likely to blame humans for climate change (78 percent). They were also more likely to support jailing fossil fuel executives (63 percent), government regulations to cap emissions (85 percent), restrictions on air travel (47 percent), and meat rationing (36 percent).
Similarly, those with a “very favorable” view of Warren proved more likely to blame humans (79 percent). These pro-Warren human-blamers also proved more likely to support jailing fossil fuel executives (69 percent), government regulations to cap emissions (83 percent), air travel bans (39 percent), and meat rationing (37 percent).
Authoritarians of a feather flock together. Another recent poll found that fans of Sanders and Warren proved more likely to support government restrictions on speech, complete with jail time for speech offenders.
When it comes to climate alarmism, Americans are right to be skeptical. Alarmist climate models have proven wrong time and time again. Last year, the Maldives refused to sink beneath the waves on schedule. Even the vaunted 97 percent “consensus” is an outright lie.
Climate catastrophe is possible, of course, but it is not likely. Americans should not abandon the immense wealth and opportunity of free-market capitalism based on false predictions and alarmist rhetoric.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.