Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Islamic State and Climate Change Seen as World’s Greatest Threats, Poll Says - The New York Times

Climate change is essentially tied with the Islamic State as the most-feared security threat across much of the world — except in the United States, where cyberattacks are considered a greater danger than global warming, according to a Pew Research Center report released on Tuesday.

Residents of 13 countries ranked climate change as the greatest threat to national security, while in 17 countries the Islamic State was considered a more immediate problem.

In the United States, however, a gaping partisan divide pushed climate change to third-most severe perceived threat, after ISIS and cyberwarfare.  Just 56 percent of Americans surveyed identified global warming as the most serious threat to the country, compared to 71 percent for cyberwarfare and 74 percent for Islamic State attacks.

The American intelligence community concluded that Russia used cyberweapons to interfere with the presidential election last year, perhaps accounting for the heightened sense of threat. The Trump administration has consistently played down the dangers of a warming climate and has withdrawn the United States from the Paris accord on climate change signed by nearly 200 nations.

Jacob Poushter, Pew’s senior researcher and a co-author of the study, said that in most countries terrorism and climate change were seen as the most pressing dangers.  The United States was an exception, he said.

“The stark partisan divide between those on the left and the right means there is a large portion in the United States that doesn’t see climate change as a threat,” Mr. Poushter said. “But there’s a large percentage that does, so that lowers the number.”

The survey of 41,953 people in 38 countries was conducted from February through May.

Read more at Islamic State and Climate Change Seen as World’s Greatest Threats, Poll Says

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