Nearly 15% of Americans don’t believe climate change is real, study finds

(The Guardian, 14 Feb 2024) Denialism highest in central and southern US, with Republican voters less likely to believe in climate science.

Nearly 15% of Americans don’t believe climate change is real, a new study out of the University of Michigan reveals – shedding light on the highly polarized attitude toward global warming.

Additionally, denialism is highest in the central and southern US, with Republican voters found less likely to believe in climate science.

Using artificial intelligence, researchers analyzed over 7.4m tweets posted by roughly 1.3 million people on the social media platform X (previously Twitter) between 2017 and 2019. The social media posts were geocoded, and classified as “for” or “against” climate change using a large language model, a type of artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI.

“Over half of the tweets we looked at simply denied that climate change was real, that it was a hoax,” said Joshua Newell, co-author of the study and professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan. “It wasn’t surprising but it was disappointing, I would hope that more and more Americans would believe in climate change and the importance of addressing it.”

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The Guardian, 14 Feb 2024: Nearly 15% of Americans don’t believe climate change is real, study finds