Heating Up the Media Climate: How Political Media May Affect Public Opinion on Global Climate Change
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Type of Work32 pages
Scholars have focused on level of education, religious affiliation, and region of residence to explain the partisan polarization of climate change. This thesis offers an explanation for the persistence of the belief by a segment of the population of the United States that global climate change does not exist. The central claim is that politically biased media influences public opinion- specifically public opinion on the existence of climate change and I suggest that partisan news actively polarizes the discussion of global climate change. I support this hypothesis with available online polling data and General Social Survey data of people's opinion on climate change, the types of media they consume, and party identification. I find that there is a correlation between the media that one consumes and their opinion on the existence of global climate change, though this correlation is especially pronounced among those who actively consume conservatively biased media and identify with the Republican Party. Results are discussed.