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Tuesday, March 9, 2010; HE03

Adapted from The Post's climate change blog.

Young people don't seem to be especially hot about climate change

Contrary to popular belief, young people are not more politically engaged on the issue of climate change than older Americans, according to a new climate poll conducted by researchers at American, Yale and George Mason universities.

The researchers found "adults under the age of 35 are significantly less likely than their elders to say that they had thought about global warming before today, with nearly a quarter (22 percent) of under-35s saying they had never thought about the issue previously. Only 38 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 say that they had previously thought about global warming either 'a lot' (10 percent) or 'some' (28 percent), compared to 51 percent of those 35-59 and 44 percent of those 60 and older.

"In addition, the issue of global warming is not considered of any greater personal importance to under-35s than it is to those 35 and older. Seventeen percent of adults under 35 say that the issue of global warming is either extremely or very important to them, a proportion that is statistically equivalent to the 20 percent of those 35-59 and 22 percent of those 60 and older who say this."

Matthew C. Nisbet, an assistant professor in AU's School of Communication, blogs about what news sources young people trust when it comes to climate change. It turns out, he writes, that "only 33 percent under the age of 35 trust the news media as a source of information about climate change, a proportion lower than any other age group. This proportion is also only slightly higher than the 27 percent of those under 35 who trust Sarah Palin on climate change."

-- Juliet Eilperin

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