A majority of liberal news media viewers say they believe climate change could doom humanity within 100 years, and viewers of those networks are also likely to overestimate the amount of global warming that has already occurred, according to a poll conducted by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports.
“There is a strong correlation between a likely voter’s favorite television news outlet and his or her understanding of basic facts about climate change,” Justin Haskins of The Heartland Institute said.
The study found non-cable news watchers, or those who tune into networks like Newsmax, Fox, the Blaze, ”were more likely to correctly estimate the amount of warming that has occurred since the late 1800s.”
The study reported more than four in 10 of the respondents in these three categories answered correctly, compared to about three in 10 viewers of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The poll states 54% of likely U.S. voters who say MSNBC is their favorite news channel and 53% say CNN is their favorite say, if global carbon dioxide levels continue to rise at a rate comparable to the past decade, humans would be extinct in 100 years due to climate change.
The poll also found 25% of Fox News viewers believe climate change will cause humanity’s extinction within 100 years.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists say the Earth’s temperature has increased by about 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s. Around 37% of voters correctly answered that the impact of global warming is between 1 and 3 degrees Fahrenheit — 14% underestimated by one degree.
However, 27% overestimated it was between 3 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit; another 14% estimated it was between 5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and 8% believe temperatures rose more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s.
Voters who said Fox News was their favorite channel answered correctly by 41% concerning the measured amount of global warming since the 1800s, and so did 30% of MSNBC and CNN viewers. While most Fox News viewers polled were likely to underestimate the amount of global warming, the number of MSNBC and CNN viewers was likely to overestimate it.
Around 68% of MSNBC and 65% of CNN viewers believe global warming temperatures have increased by 3 degrees Fahrenheit or more since the late 1800s. In contrast to that, 38% of Fox News viewers overestimated the amount of global warming. And a near 30% of CNN and MSNBC viewers say they believe global temperatures have increased by 5 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to just 16% of Fox News viewers.
The survey of 2,000 U.S. likely voters was conducted April 29-May 3, 2021. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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