Staff members at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment were pleasantly surprised to discover that @BarackObama tweeted last Wednesday, “A majority of Americans support limiting carbon pollution from power plants to combat climate change. Learn more: http://OFA.BO/Ek6P1V.”
That link takes you to a story that USA Today ran Wednesday about Stanford Professor JON KROSNICK’s new analysis of public opinion about climate change in nearly two dozen surveys. He concluded that, despite intense debate in Congress on global warming, a majority in every state polled wants limits on greenhouse gas emissions and believes the United States should take action on global warming.
By Friday afternoon, that tweet by @BarackObama, which has close to 40 million Twitter followers, had been retweeted 541 times and “favorited” 465 times – impressive numbers in the social media world.
Predictably, the conversation on Twitter soon became a battle between believers in and deniers of climate change. For example, Galen Bodenhausen (@GVBodenhausen), a Chicago-based psychology and marketing professor, tweeted, “New survey: Reassuringly, a ‘vast majority’ of Americans back #climate science | includes Jon Krosnick.” Taking a very different viewpoint was Tom Nelson (@tan123), “Carbon dioxide doesn’t cause bad weather.”
By late Friday, the climate change brouhaha had died down, and Organizing for Action was tweeting about affordable health care, a steel factory tour and ending LGBT discrimination.
—TERRY NAGEL, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment