AMERICA’S VIEW ON CLIMATE CHANGE

In lecture last week we touched upon what it would take for people around the globe to finally take action towards improving environmental crises. Climate change and its impacts on regions across world is clearly the biggest issue that we are, and will continue to face, in the 21st century. The sad thing is that most people like to pretend that it isn’t happening or that it will never escalate to the point that it will directly impact our lives in any way. I felt like most of the class seemed to agree that it would take a major disaster in order for everyone to begin working together to actually tackle the issue and limit the disastrous impacts. While it is true that there ARE many organizations, efforts, scientists, and everyday citizens who are working together to try to bring awareness to these problems and what needs to be done, its not enough.

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After researching the issue more on my own, the various statistics that I came across were more than concerning, especially in regards to the general American opinion on climate change. Not just Americans, but Europeans as well, tend to take an apathetic stance on the matter. The Pew Research Center reported that only 42% of Americans and Europeans would consider themselves “very concerned” about the climate change. In other areas of the world, where the impacts are much more noticeable, the percentage is higher. Africa and Latin America are the most concerned. The same survey shows that the number one concern for Americans and Europeans is the terrorist group ISIS, which is of course a more pressing concern for many Americans and Europeans today. Unless something more drastic happened due to climate change that directly impacted us, I don’t think that the percentage of Americans who are “very concerned” about it will rise.

This year CNN posted an interesting article that discussed why climate change isn’t as big of an issue here, and one of their main points was that it’s not talked about enough. This is evident from the lack of knowledge and misconceptions that many citizens have in regards to climate change (The second source from the CNN article includes a ten question survey to test your knowledge). 97% of scientists agree that climate change is a direct result of human activity, and it is astounding to me that there are people who do not care or choose to ignore it. The article also states that only 10 percent of Americans are even aware of this statistic. Other startling statistics include that many Americans are likely to believe in whatever their relatives or friends are saying, the U.S. has contributed the most to climate change, and three quarters of Americans claim to never talk about climate change. Hopefully our country can become better educated and come to terms with what is happening to our planet, and begin to understand that we don’t have to wait until something catastrophic happens.

Colleen Crawford

Sources:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/09/25/relatively-few-in-u-s-europe-see-climate-change-as-a-serious-threat/

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/08/opinions/climate-change-quiz/

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2 thoughts on “AMERICA’S VIEW ON CLIMATE CHANGE

  1. I was amazed when talking with my friend over the weekend to hear their views on the environment. One of them claimed they are not concerned about climate change because it won’t matter to them, they’ll be dead when it happens.
    That was very frustrating to hear since I hope to pass on a healthy Earth to my children, not the remains of a greedy generation.
    Emily Weglage

    Like

  2. I think it is hard for some people to understand pollution or ecosystem degradation in one part of the world, can have devastating effects across the planet. Until global industries decide to use up less nonrenewable resources and deforest major portions of the rainforest, we will continue to see the negative outcomes of these actions. Bringing awareness to the general public is a good start, but in order to see a significant change, businesses, government, and social groups must all work together towards a common goal of a sustainable future.

    John Casnellie

    Like

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