(Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — It’s no secret that most Republican leaders and voters tend to downplay what most Democrats say are the imminent dangers of climate change, but a new study finds where a conservative stands on such theories often depends on where they live.

Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) obtained opinions on climate and energy issues derived from a large survey conducted between 2008 and 2016, matching this data with state voter files.

Climate change protest
A new study finds that while most Republican voters don’t put much stock in climate change theories, conservative views tend to vary depending on where the voter lives. (Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash)

This work allowed them to examine whether a region’s general political ideology (i.e., its level of liberalism or conservatism) shaped its beliefs and attitudes on climate and energy issues.

Although only a quarter of conservative voters nationwide believed in the scientifically-backed reality and causes of climate change, this figure did increase substantially for Republicans who lived in liberal states (e.g., New York, California, and Delaware).

One example of divergence from party platform would be with Republican voter support of Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies in 111 congressional districts held by Republican lawmakers.

Other examples include carbon dioxide being seen as a pollutant by a majority of Republican voters in all but one state, and conservative South Floridians supporting stringent regulation of carbon pollution.

“While subsets of the Republican voting public do not support climate policies and hold views consistent with party elite, Republican climate and energy opinions are more varied than might be presumed from political discourse,” explains Matto Mildenberger, who led the research, in a news release. “Similarly, the results emphasize consistent support among Democrats for climate and energy policies, despite variation in belief intensity.”

Mildenberger believes his team’s findings can help decision-makers, educators, and communicators working at the local level to better connect with voters.

“Accelerating state and local policymaking highlights the need for public opinion and policy preference data at these subnational spatial scales,” emphasizes Jennifer Marlon, the study’s co-author, of the team’s findings.

The study’s findings were published last week in the journal Climatic Change.

About Daniel Steingold

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. 1digger says:

    Seriously??? LOL! Where people live has NOTHING to do with individuals beliefs on the climate, it has to do with the facts. Despite all the
    hand-wringing, sky is falling rhetoric and arrogantly blaming ‘man’ for so-called climate change, it comes down to understanding that the
    climate and weather has been fluctuating since the beginning of the world and will continue to do so long after we’re gone. The whole global
    warming, cooling, climate change or whatever hysteria is being stoked by the elite’s like Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeff Bezos, those within the Democrat party, lamestream media, etc. who desire control over the populace, both financially and upon one’s individuals freedom all the while they live the way they want just as the hypocrites they are. Those swallowing the lies of the climate change shysters need to take their blinders off and see just how you’re being played. The environmental extremists are totalitarian power hungry control freaks that best need to be repelled, laughed at and ostracized.