After being hit hard by Hurricane Florence, North Carolina residents are re-evaluating their opinions on climate change, according to Newsmax.
A survey conducted by Elon University in October shows a huge shift in thinking among North Carolina Republicans. Now, 37 percent say that global warming is "very likely" to impact coastal areas of the state within the next 50 years. That's still a small number, but it's way up from the 13 percent who felt the same way in 2017.
Hurricane Florence did about $13 billion in damage to the state, and 40 people lost their lives in the storm. The hurricane additionally created massive flooding throughout the state that caused damage to many buildings.
"I always thought climate change was a bunch of nonsense, but now I really do think it is happening," said Margie White, 65, a Trump supporter and North Carolina resident. She recently spoke to The Virginian-Pilot.
White has personally noticed storms becoming more intense and more frequent in the past 26 years that she's lived in Wilmington. It's hard to ignore climate change when a tree crashes into your house, which is what happened to White.
GOP voters all over North Carolina are suddenly talking about climate change, and looking at it with new eyes.
A new report issued by the IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, gives the world until 2030 to make extreme and drastic changes to reverse the effects of global warming. If this isn't done, things are going to get worse all over the world. The report predicts massive food shortages and rising sea levels resulting from irreversible climate change unless the world acts now.
Donald Trump continues to dismiss climate change data while scaling back on environmental regulations and emissions restrictions. In a recent 60 Minutes interview, he expressed doubts that climate change is man-made, ignoring the scientific consensus that this is the case.
"I'm not a scientist. I just know what I see," said Republican Carl Marshburn, who has operated tour boats along the North Carolina coast for 30 years.
The recent poll results show a shift in attitudes that give environmentalists hope.
"That suggests to me that there's a very large minority within the Republican Party who are at least open to the first steps to accepting that climate change is a possibility," said Jason Husser, Elon University political science professor.
There's still a long way to go. In a nationwide poll conducted by Pew Research Center, only 11 percent of Republicans think climate change is a "very big" problem. Meanwhile, 72 percent of Democrats feel the same way.