Americans don’t worry much about climate change, although most of them are aware of this phenomenon, a recent study published on November 3 has shown.
The poll was conducted between October 15 and 18, by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, through online and telephone interviews. 1,058 adult respondents were included, who are part of the nationally representative AmeriSpeak panel.
It was determined that around 65% of all Americans are knowledgeable about global warming, and believe it is happening as we speak.
Moreover, a large part of them are also informed regarding the fact that climate change is to a great extent the result of man-made activities, while just 10% believe this phenomenon has resulted from natural trends in the environment.
Despite the fact that Pope Francis has invoked the moral need to impose new emission control legislation, almost half of the participants believe climate change isn’t in fact an ethical issue, and 79% say they don’t associate it with religion in any way.
Less than a quarter of all U.S. subjects declare themselves to be extremely or very alarmed about the consequences of these disastrous weather patterns.
Around one in three people claim that they are just moderately worried, while the largest portion of the American public (38%) isn’t in fact too concerned or not at all concerned about the impact of global warming.
According to researchers, this topic has never been of interest to the people in the U.S., when it came to choosing which political candidate to support and vote for.
Moreover, the overall lack of preoccupation for this phenomenon means that it is highly unlikely that Americans will demand measures to curb fossil fuel pollution or other actions associated with greenhouse gas emissions.
As a result, efforts to combat global warming will most probably not come from this country, because there isn’t enough involvement in this matter.
“If the American population were to lead on the issue of climate, it’s just not going to happen”, declared Dana Fisher, director of the Program for Society and the Environment, at the University of Maryland.
If this lukewarm attitude continues, experts believe rapid changes in weather patterns will unfold unchecked, and eventually a crisis will be reached, when the entire ecosystem will be under threat.
These disturbing findings aren’t actually surprising to researchers, since previous polls have also shown indifference towards this topic among American respondents, despite clear evidence of a rise in temperatures.
It may be that the issue seems too abstract to some, or its consequences seem so distant that more pressing matters such as terrorism or street violence tend to take precedence.
This new survey comes ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, scheduled to take place in Paris, France between November 30 and December 11.
The objective is raise awareness of the far-reaching effects of global warming and to finally establish a binding and universal agreement on climate, after more than 20 years of negotiations.
One of the goals is to limit greenhouse gas emissions, so that the rise in temperatures by the end of the century can be capped to 2 degrees Celsius, above levels before the Industrial Revolution.
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