So where do politicians views on climate change come from?
A new report out today by the Massachusetts-based Better Future Project found it often isn't from the university they studied at.
The study evaluated the climate stance of 16 current and aspiring members of Congress from Massachusetts, as well as the two presidential hopefuls, against faculty at 24 higher education institutions they attended. Of the 203 faculty that published on climate change or related topics, 202 of them - over 99.5 percent - agreed that climate change is happening and people are responsible through the emissions of greenhouse gases from cars, power plants and industry.
Yet only 10 of the 18 politicians surveyed - about 55 percent - have publicly and “unambiguously” backed what their professors do, according to the study. Of the other eight six have not taken a clear public position while two - Sen. Scott Brown and former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney - have changed their public statements on whether climate change is happening and people are responsible, the study notes.
"If they aren't convinced by the experts at their own alma maters, then who will they trust,'' asked Craig Altemose, report author and executive director of the Better Future Project. He said the study was done to push politicians to recognize the scientific consensus on climate change.
The one scientist Altemose found to disagree with manmade climate change was at Brigham Young University, Romney's undergraduate alma mater. However, the other six scientists there who published on topics related to climate change agreed with the consensus. So did 100 percent of the scientists at Stanford and Harvard where Romney also attended.
For a more detailed look go here.
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