Pew: Tea Party, Republicans Divided On Global Warming

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File photo taken inside Republican party headquarters on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

File photo taken inside Republican party headquarters on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the Republican Party is divided on the matter of global warming.

“Just 25 percent of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61 percent of non-Tea Party Republicans,” a release on the study’s findings read.

In all, 67 percent of Americans believe that global warming is a reality that needs to be addressed, while 26 percent overall feel there is no solid evidence on the matter. The other 7 percent were unsure.

Of those who believe that climate change is negatively affecting the planet, most believe that humans are to blame. As for those who disagree with that notion, the majority are sure that it is “just not happening,” rather than merely doubting the idea.

Despite skepticism from a portion of the Republican Party, some of the world’s top climate scientists discussed the issue of global warming by saying recently that wind and solar energy won’t be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they’re asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution.

Four scientists who have played a key role in alerting the public to the dangers of climate change sent letters Sunday to leading environmental groups and politicians around the world. The letter, an advance copy of which was given to The Associated Press, urges a crucial discussion on the role of nuclear power in fighting climate change.

Environmentalists agree that global warming is a threat to ecosystems and humans, but many oppose nuclear power and believe that new forms of renewable energy will be able to power the world within the next few decades.

That isn’t realistic, the letter said.

“Those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough” to deliver the amount of cheap and reliable power the world needs, and “with the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology” that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.

The letter signers are James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia.

The Pew poll was conducted by asking 1,504 randomly selected American adults throughout the nation their thoughts on the matter earlier this month.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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