U-S-A! U-S-A! The greatest nation the world has ever known — our politicians keep saying it so it must be true – is #1 in a lot of categories… especially if they pertain to climate change denial. Thanks to corporate-funded misinformation campaigns and a healthy skepticism of “science,” American citizens have proven themselves to be the BEST at being ignorant to the destructive environmental crisis around them.
A newly released Ipsos Global Trend study asked inhabitants of 20 developed nations to either agree or disagree with statements relating to climate change. The good news is that we came out on top in a few categories. No one, I repeat, no one beats the United States at pretending that global warming isn’t real. Better luck next year, Argentina.
#1 at choosing inaction over safeguarding the planet!
“We are heading for environmental disaster unless we change our habits.”
Consequences? What consequences? Only 57% of American citizens agree with this statement, compared to 73% of the global population. Good luck getting Americans to give up any of their current creature comforts just to save the planet.
On the other end of the spectrum, 91% of China agreed that a change in habits was necessary. Given the extreme levels in pollution the Chinese population deals with on a daily basis, it’s not hard to guess why China is more aware of impending ecological destruction.
#1 at not blaming ourselves for the problem!
“The climate change we are currently seeing is largely the result of human activity.”
With just 54% of Americans agreeing with this statement, we’re so far ahead in this category that it’s not even close. The nearest competition is Great Britain, a full 10% points behind with 64% of agreeing to the claim.
Although 76% of the world acknowledges the role humans are playing in warming the globe, not nearly as many Americans are willing to do the same. We’ve all seen enough Law & Order to know not to admit any guilt or incriminate ourselves. America: we’re just like one of those “Not Me” Family Circus comic strips.
#1 at calling global warming “natural!”
“The climate change we are currently seeing is a natural phenomenon that happens from time to time.”
Technically, we’re tied with India on this one with 52% of residents from both countries agreeing, but since India has a higher percentage of people who disagree with the statement than the U.S. (42% vs. 35%), I’m going to give America the edge.
There are only a few countries where the majority of residents are willing to say that global warming is natural. In South Korea, a whopping 69% outright disagree with the statement posed.
Discouragingly, we’re also second place in a fourth category:
#2 (booooo) at letting businesses off the hook for being environmentally reckless!
“Companies do not pay enough attention to the environment.”
Despite being considered by many to be a corporatocracy, the United States let down its corporate overlords by ranking only second by agreeing to the statement at a rate of 65%. It’s still way more trusting of big business than the 77% who agree worldwide.
Which country do we need to unseat for this distinction? Japan. To be fair, corporate environmental regulations are taken more seriously in Japan, perhaps giving them reason to trust businesses a bit more. Still, with campaign finance reform out the window, just give America a few more election cycles where corporations can buy all of our politicians, and I’m sure we’ll regain our rightful place at #1 in this category, as well.