People believe in climate change but don’t think it’s our fault (it is)
There’s overwhelming agreement among climate scientists that the earth is getting hotter, and it’s due to human pollution greenhouse gases. Because the earth has been getting hotter for decades, people around the world are already suffering the consequences.
Just 100 emission-heavy corporations are responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas pollution. Without public consensus on the reality of climate change change, it’s nearly impossible to expect representatives elected by the public to appropriately regulate these corporations. Between 2008 and 2018, the the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication asked more than 22,000 people across the continental U.S., as well as Alaska and Hawaii, a series of “agree” or “disagree” questions regarding their attitudes about climate change.
Today, the groups released an interactive map illustrating their findings. While people seem to agree the world is getting hotter, they are blithely unaware we are the ones causing it and the resulting destruction. The U.S., a relatively-well-off nation (though with a large contingent of people already directly affected, remains somewhat selfishly aloof to this very serious problem, since economically vulnerable people of color are disproportionately more likely to suffer. For instance, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last summer, where almost half of all people lived in poverty before the hurricane hit.
Users can sort the findings based by county, metro area, Congressional district, and state, or select an option to see the national average. Warm colors like yellow and red indicate that more than half of people agreed with a statement, while shades of blue represent less than 50 percent agreement.
Okay, here’s the good news: most people across almost the entire U.S. do believe that the earth is getting hotter.
The bad news: many of these people who believe that the earth is getting hotter aren’t worried about it, and don’t believe that it’s caused by human activities. It is.
Less than half of the people in almost every county in the country believe that climate change is hurting people now, but quite plainly, it is. Storms are slower and more deadly, which is why places like Houston, TX experienced such devastating flooding due to Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
97 percent of all climate scientists, a ridiculous majority, recognize the fact that climate change is happening. This should be a universally recognized fact. The fact that it’s not highlights the success of public deception efforts from conservative think tanks like the George C. Marshall Institute, as well as the influence that lobbyists for big oil have had on politicians who are overwhelmingly conservative.
One of the ironies of climate change is the fact that everybody is aware of it, and yet no one wants to talk about it. The hesitation is understandable: it’s not exactly a heartening topic that gives you hope about the future. Perhaps by at least engaging with other people, certain misconceptions and inconsistencies could change on a wide scale.