A climate march in Australia. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Ithaca, N.Y. — Tompkins County residents are more worried about global warming than residents of almost any other county in the entire United States, a new study says.


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In the report, academics at Yale and Utah State University uncovered wide differences in public opinion across America about climate change.

“This model for the first time reveals the full geographic diversity of public opinion in the United States at these critical levels of decision making,” Anthony Leiserowitz, one of the study’s authors, told the Washington Post.

As a supplement to the study, the Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication produced a revealing (and highly entertaining) interactive map that lets users compare counties’ thinking on climate change. (See the map here.)

It’s perhaps not surprising that Tompkins County, which is known to lean left, had higher results of concern over global warming than other parts of the country. But the extent of the county’s liberal base may surprise some nonetheless.

Here, for instance, are the 10 counties whose residents say they are most worried about global warming … The national average is 52 percent:

District of Columbia, District of Columbia74
New York County, New York73
Alameda County, California71
San Francisco County, California71
Suffolk County, Massachusetts70
Bronx County, New York70
Honolulu County, Hawaii69
Tompkins County, New York68
Hawaii County, Hawaii68
Hudson County, New Jersey68

Again, it’s not news that Ithaca is among the most likely places to say it’s worried about global warming. But Tompkins County proved more liberal, on this issue at least, than several other areas typically considered bastions of the left: Than King County, Washington (home of Seattle); Marin County, California; and Boulder County, Colorado.

A climate march in Australia. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Similarly, Tompkins also came up in the top 10 for counties most likely to say that global warming is happening.

Here are the 10 counties most likely to say that global warming is happening:

District of Columbia, District of Columbia84
New York County, New York81
Alameda County, California80
San Francisco County, California79
Suffolk County, Massachusetts78
Honolulu County, Hawaii77
Alexandria city, Virginia77
Bronx County, New York76
Tompkins County, New York76

The map can also be looked at by Congressional district; unfortunately, it does not provide the numbers by city.

Here’s how The Washington Post summarized its overall findings:

The least belief in and concern about global warming (and the least support for action) tends to be focused in the central United States, northern Rockies, and in big coal states such as West Virginia and Wyoming.

The Northeast and the West Coast, by contrast, are hotbeds of global warming belief and concern.

That is, of course, except for Ithaca.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.