by Geoffrey Lean [Geoffrey Lean is Britain's longest-serving environmental correspondent, having pioneered reporting on the subject almost 40 years ago.]
Here's a turn-up for the books. If a poll is to be believed (and I agree its a bit of an "if") the proportion of Americans who agree with the conclusion of the vast majority of climate scientists that the world is warming has jumped over the past year.
Eighty-three per cent of respondents told a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll that global warming is taking place, compared with 75 per cent last year. Even more surprisingly – and in sharp contrast to equally hot issues like healthcare and the deficit – the great majority of supporters of both main political parties are on the same side. Ninety-two per cent of Democrats said the climate change is happening, but so did 72 per cent of Republicans.
Admittedly 27 per cent of those who agreed the world was warming did not believe that it is wholly or partially caused by human activities, as opposed to 71 per cent who did place the blame on them. But that still suggests much more concern than you would expect from the state of the political debate.
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