The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication just released their latest national survey results on "Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes," and a couple of the results jumped out at us.
First, the study found that "only 13 percent [of Americans] trust oil, gas and coal companies (e.g., ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy) as sources of information about global warming." In stark contrast, 74% of Americans trust climate scientists, 47% trust President Obama, and 43% trust the mainstream news media. Overall, the fossil fuel companies came in dead last, behind car companies and consumer goods companies, in terms of who Americans trust regarding information on global warming.
Second, the level of distrust for the fossil fuel companies, at least on this subject, is intense. In fact, despite an aggressive, well-funded campaign by companies like ExxonMobil to sow doubt about climate science, the new Yale survey finds that an astounding 87 percent of Americans distrust the fossil fuel companies for information on global warming, and that a near-majority (48%) of Americans strongly distrust the fossil fuel companies.
The bottom line: despite many millions of dollars spent by the fossil fuel companies to spread disinformation, including funding of science denial groups like the Heartland Institute, on climate science, the American people simply do not trust them for information on this subject. Perhaps the fossil fuel companies might have better spent their money on promoting wind, solar, and other clean energy sources instead?