Here is a global warming fact you might not be aware of: while global warming seems to worry the living daylights of environmentalists, a recent survey has revealed that almost of half of America’s population does not feel too bothered about climate changes.
The survey follows the recent reports that suggested that the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining more mass than it is losing, which came as a shock to many global warming experts.
According to the recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, two out of three Americans accept global warming, but not as a veritable threat to civilization. Even more interestingly, less than one in four Americans seem to be extremely worried about global warming, while a staggering 38 percent of those surveyed conceded that they are not worried at all about the changes scientists say global warming is causing to the climate.
The survey comes just before top-level international negotiations take place in Paris later this month, with the aim to limit greenhouse gas emissions. It is widely believed within the international community that Americans consider guns and international conflict as far bigger threats to their security than global warming, though the survey cannot confirm such allegations. International media has been critical of the results emerging from the poll, with Japan Times being especially scathing and direct in their reproach.
“Americans don’t care about global warming. That attitude is keeping the American public from demanding the changes that are necessary to prevent global warming from becoming a crisis.”
However, some within the country believe that though global warming should be taken seriously in the long term, it should not be treated as a pressing concern. For Myron Ebell, a policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, the poll shows that only the elites living on the coast are worried about the impact of the global warming, because farmers and ranchers who live in the heartland are used to the vagaries of extreme weather, according to Business Insider.
“They don’t see it as much of a problem, because it isn’t,” he said.
However, scientists do not necessarily agree with Ebell. According to Huffington Post, climate scientists believe that no matter where we live, the long term effects of global warming will be far-reaching. “We are all vulnerable to the impacts,” Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution said. “If you are a farmer in Illinois or if you work on a railroad in Alabama or are a miner in West Virginia, there are impacts that are going to affect your life, your health and what you’re going to pay for things in the grocery store.”
Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer agreed, though he said that the “lukewarm” response shown by Americans taking the survey only proves the fact that global warming is not, at least for the common American, an issue that decides his vote. And he says it is an issue that is likely to say that way, with or without the climate talks looming.
“The issue hasn’t quite boiled up enough so that people have put it on the top of things they want to focus on.”
Katherine Hayhoe of Texas Tech said it is imperative that the American people begin thinking seriously about global warming.
“More global warming facts are not going to fix the problem,” Hayhoe told a meeting of top climate scientists last week in Washington. “Nearly every human on the planet has the values they need to care about climate change. We just need to connect the dots.”
So what is your take on the global warming facts revealed recently and the survey?
[Photo via Joe Raedle / Getty Images]