Climate Change Has Arrived, but Americans May be the Least Likely in the World to Believe It
Climate change is affecting all parts of the United States, but the majority of Americans aren’t very concerned.
A new study, known as the National Climate Assessment, says droughts, floods, heat waves and other forms of extreme weather are here to stay and yet multiple surveys reveal most Americans don’t take climate change or global warming very seriously.
Last June, a Pew Research Center poll showed only 40% of Americans listed global climate change as a major threat to the nation. Financial instability, Islamic extremism and nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea were more pressing among respondents.
Residents of other developed nations put climate change much higher on their lists. More than 50% of people in Canada, Australia, France and Germany considered the issue serious, while the percentages in Italy and Spain topped 60% and eclipsed 70% in Japan.
A Gallup survey conducted in March found only 35% of Americans said they worry a great deal about climate change. The percentage is higher among Democrats (56%), but lower among independents (29%) and Republicans (16%).
“This political differentiation of global warming attitudes is not isolated; other research shows that in today's political environment, Republicans are much more likely to say that concerns about global warming are exaggerated and that warming’s effects will not affect them personally in their lifetimes, and are less likely to say scientists believe global warming is occurring,” Gallup’s Frank Newport wrote.
Younger respondents, for the most part, are more concerned about climate change. According to Gallup, 38% of those aged 18 to 29 worry about global warming a great deal. For those 65 and over, only 24% worry about it a great deal.
To Learn More:
Americans Are Outliers in Views on Climate Change (by Megan Thee-Brenan, New York Times)
Americans Show Low Levels of Concern on Global Warming (by Frank Newport, Gallup)
Climate Change and Financial Instability Seen as Top Global Threats (Pew Research Center)
U.S. Climate Has Already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heat and Floods (by Justin Gillis, New York Times)
Climate Change Denial Gets Billions in Dark Money from Conservative Groups (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Temperatures Rising as Belief in Global Warming Drops (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
Insurers Prepare for Climate Change…Except in U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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