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Why Trump doesn’t care that most Americans believe in climate change

Reuters/Joshua Roberts
More than half of Americans believe in global warming, but fewer than half think it will affect them.
  • Heather Timmons
By Heather Timmons

White House correspondent

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

US president Donald Trump is leaning towards pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, according to several reports.

Although every country but Syria and Nicaragua has signed the accord, and environmental groups, Democrats, and even some big businesses (oil majors included) support it, Trump’s move is unlikely to lose him much backing with his own voters. While 70% of all Americans believe climate change is happening, according to a Yale survey published in 2016, the country is deeply divided along age, gender, and party lines, according to a Gallup poll published in March.

Gallup ranked participants as “concerned believers,” “mixed middle,” and “cool skeptics,” based on how they answered several questions on the cause of global warming, how serious the threat is, and how concerned they are.

They’re also divided by gender, with men much more skeptical than women:

And by age, with middle-aged and older people much more skeptical than 18- to 34-year-olds:

Trump won the US election thanks to support from 26.4% of eligible voters, and attracted more male, older voters.

That age breakdown could explain another divide. Nearly 60% of Americans—and more than half in almost every congressional district—believe that climate change will affect people in the US someday, according to last year’s Yale survey, which created a statistical model based on survey data from 2008 to 2016.

But less than half of all Americans believe it will affect them personally.

Trump said he will deliver a decision regarding US participation in the Paris accords in a “few days.”

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