But starting in 2008, Republican anti-environmental voting increased progressively, hitting its peak in 2010. Additionally, media coverage of Al Gore's documentary faded, and the 2008 financial collapse caused unemployment to increase and the GDP to decline.
The researchers conclude that any communication strategy to raise awareness about climate change must be coupled with a broader political strategy.
"Political conflicts are ultimately resolved through political mobilization and activism," the researchers write in their study, published online Feb. 3 in the journal Climate Change. "Further efforts to address the issue of climate change need to take this into account."
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