Friday, December 21, 2018

Americans Don’t Understand How Bad Climate Change Is or What They Can Do About It

Have scientists and advocates failed to convey the horror of climate change?

Impacts at 1.5 degrees C and 2 degrees C of warming (Credit: Carbon Brief) Click to Enlarge.
“I’m certain that most Americans would be a lot more worried about climate change if they understood even a small fraction of what has been projected by climate scientists in (recent reports).  As a public health professional (and as a human), I find the prospect of 3 or 4 degree C of global warming to be nothing short of terrifying,” Ed Maibach, director of the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, said in an email.  “Thus, we need to do a much better job of sharing what we know about the likely impacts of global warming, because people are not nearly as worried as the situation warrants.”

Despite the overwhelming evidence that Earth is headed for a planetary catastrophe, Americans just aren’t that bothered about climate change.  Only around half have thought about it more than “a little,” according to research from Yale and George Mason University.  Only around a third say it is personally important to them, and just one in five say they are “very worried” about it.  Numbers like that suggest scientists and advocates have perhaps been too cheerful on climate change, too reluctant to speak to the catastrophe to come.

Read more at Americans Don’t Understand How Bad Climate Change Is or What They Can Do About It

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