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Public views on the dangers and importance of climate change: predicting climate change beliefs in the United States through income moderated by party identification

Abstract

Previous research has identified the interaction between political orientation and education as an important predictor of climate change beliefs. Using data from the 2010 General Social Survey, this article looks at the moderating effect of party identification on income in predicting climate change beliefs in the U.S. Probing this interaction reveals that increased income predicts a higher probability of dismissing climate dangers among Republican-leaning individuals when compared with Independents and Democrats. Alternatively, increased income predicts a higher probability of ranking climate change as the most important environmental problem facing the United States among Democratic-leaning individuals compared with Republicans. The results indicate that income only predicts climate change beliefs in the presence of certain political orientations, with poorer Republicans less likely to dismiss climate change dangers than their affluent counterparts.

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Acknowledgments

The author thanks Cindy Buckley, Anna Marshall, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this research.

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Correspondence to Jeremiah Bohr.

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Bohr, J. Public views on the dangers and importance of climate change: predicting climate change beliefs in the United States through income moderated by party identification. Climatic Change 126, 217–227 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1198-9

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Keywords

  • Climate Change
  • Income
  • Political Orientation
  • General Social Survey
  • Party Identification