It’s Official: USA is #1 at Climate Change Denial

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.

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Warren Webber
Warren Webber10 months ago

Live long and prosper!

Donna F.
Donna F.about a year ago


Paul Meyer
Paul Meyerabout a year ago

Energy companies contrive to minimize awareness of anthropogenic global warming so that they may continue business practices that maximize profit. Their well compensated executives can afford residence in the dwindling ever more expensive quality places to live while the rest of us are left to wallow in their externalities. Thus, they lack incentives to care about the environment. Their incentive comes from business, as usual, and to advocate for ever increasing deregulation. The dangerous part is that so many authoritarians without any understanding of science have been duped by the likes of the Koch bros. to advocate for the energy companies economic interests. The most absurd extreme examples of this are the coal rollers polluting the roads in esp. TX and AZ where obscurantism tends to come imbued with macho. The people who say we had a cold snowy winter last year, so that disproves global warming feed into this, too. Where they live is not the whole world. Global warming is most strong in the high latitudes.

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeldabout a year ago

Many prefer to blame corporations for the American people not subscribing to global warming alarmism. While propaganda does have influencing effects, the availability of information tends to mitigate these effects - that was why the USSR et. al. tried to control mass media. That said, it is hard to convinve people that the globe is warming, when locally, temperatures are not.

Particularly difficult is the cooling in the US over the past decade.

While reports of far away climate anomalies are being reported, locally not much change is being observed. Tornadic activity has decreased, tropical storms have diminished since the devastating 2005 season, and wide-spread drought has decreased. The less discussed outcomes, are the benefits of warming; crop production has increased due to many factors, including increased precipitation, decreased frosts, and rising CO2 fertilization. Winter heating bills have decreased in milder winters. Reports of impending doom, without accompanying results, eventually become ignored, just like the guy on the street corner holding the sign saying, "the end is near." Unless warming changes are felt personally, people are unlikely to change their viewpoints.

Nimue P.
Nimue Pendragonabout a year ago

Hardly surprising.

Carol P.
Carol P.about a year ago

I am NOT a part of this group. Fortunately, most Americans don't believe in denial either, but unfortunately, the big businesses that lobby against energy efficiency seem to have more pull than your average citizen.

Robert B.
Robert B.about a year ago

Shame, shame on corporations, lobbyists AND the general media. And shame on our congress for being bought and paid for by the super rich. How disgusting.

Janet B.
Janet B.about a year ago


Brett Byers
Brett Byersabout a year ago

Fight climate change for the cost of a cup of coffee - stop 1000 tons of CO2 emissions by saving acres of rainforest for just a few dollars:

Grace Adams
Grace Adamsabout a year ago

Money answers everything. If we BUY lots of coal as mineral rights with an agreement that we are buying exactly enough to bring the coal firms $ sales up to their average over 2011, 2012, and 2013, maybe that will reduce the coal firms incentive to push product, specially if we pay a slightly higher price for coal as mineral rights than what utilities pay for coal extracted and ready to ship and point out that the coal firms only cost will be to have its lawyer make out a bill of sale for coal once a year. And it will not hurt the fossil fuel firms--in fact it will be very generous to them. ONLY if we can convince fossil fuel firms that it is possible to fight global warming without goring the fossil fuel firms' ox will it become politically feasible to fight global warming.