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More Americans Believe Climate Change is Real

More Americans Believe Climate Change is Real

Summer 2012 is breaking all sorts of records.  On the bright side, one benefit of extreme weather is that it wakes people up to the fact the climate is changing.  Record high summer temperatures gripping most of the continental U.S. and severe drought conditions appear to be helping Americans connect the dots between climate change and their daily life.  The big question, however, remains: what are we going to do about it?

In a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post and Stanford University, six in 10 say global weather patterns have become unstable in the past three years and almost as many say average temperatures were higher during the past three years than previously. The poll went on to say that “55% said a ‘great deal’ or ‘good amount’ can be done to reduce future global warming. At the same time, 60% of those polled say it will be extremely or very difficult for people to stop [global warming].”  Interestingly, two-thirds of those polled mentioned that they want the United States to be a world leader addressing [global warming], even if other major industrial countries do not pitch in.”

So why is the U.S. still dragging its feet when it comes to swift and overarching climate policy?  The Washington Post and Stanford University poll clearly indicate that more Americans are aware of and concerned about climate change than mainstream news media sources may lead you to believe.  Not only that, these figures suggest Americans want something done about it.  Still, extreme weather shouldn’t be the only factor that “convinces” the public that global warming is real; weather patterns can shift and we’ve all seen the fickle mentality that comes when weather returns to “normal.”

Climate models are much longer term and are composed of weather events over time, so even if weather returns to something a bit more familiar next summer (unlikely), that doesn’t necessarily mean the overall climate is stable.  This fact is ultimately what fuels the climate “debate” that has been fed to the public by sources like the Koch Brothers and Fox News who continue to deny the existence and severity of climate change  – and therefore stall abatement — in order to maintain financial and political interests.

Even so, it’s not just the weather that’s troubling, it’s the domino effect.  Meteorologists call for the drought presently afflicting the U.S. Midwest, the drought said to be the worst in a quarter of a century, to “worsen, taking a bigger toll on the country’s corn and soybean crops.”  This, in turn, will significantly impact livestock and meat production across the nation (most of the corn and soybean crop being impacted isn’t used for human consumption). Furthermore, there is water scarcity.  Reservoirs and watersheds are drying up with so much heat and so little rain that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared “over 1,000 counties in 26 states as disaster areas — the largest declaration in history — as a result of the recent drought, wildfires and other extreme weather events…”

All of this information can feel utterly depressing and debilitating, but the positive flip-side is reflected in the above mentioned poll: the majority of Americans want something done to address climate change. The unfortunate news is that climate change is already happening, yet we continue to live our lives the same way we always have.  Debating the existence of climate change is frankly a waste of time at this point and seeing is believing.  Let’s just hope this polling trend continues so we can take positive, swift action against climate change as a country and as a united global community.

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Photo Credit: Diego Moya

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7:54AM PDT on Oct 2, 2012


7:57AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

not real i meant LOL

7:56AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

who the f*** voted no! Global warming is real! 2012 is not the end i think its the begining when everyone decides that global warming is truely here!

8:59AM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

You gotta be either blind or retarded to think climate change is not really happening.

1:34AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Good. Now hopefully more americans will start taking responsibility for their actions. We need to change.

12:19AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing it!

8:30PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

I do think most people agree that climate change is happening. I think it's the cause of climate change that has people in disagreement.

8:14PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012


7:20PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Nicole, Stop and take a deep breath, take the necessary time to listen to your elders. At the end of the day, we will welcome you to stand beside us.

Meme, To state that the Occupy Movement does not mention CO² is patently false, the Occupy Movement was a process linked to evolution...the re-education of America. Were you ready to listen to the Occupy Movement and their many views as to Global Climate Change.

Think of it as an American Spring...and yes, we missed an opportunity to take back America from the 1% and don't blame them. Blame all us, a nation full of obese, lazy, bastards with an IQ of a lizard.

Truth be known, GAME OVER, and where does the fault our feet.

4:56PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

More and more Americans are coming to believe that Global Climate Change (GCC) is a real and ever present danger to the planet and the survival of man. Gosh, I hope that statement means that they actually understand what GCC is and how we created this mess.

Next move...let us all start to do something about it, if not for ourselves but for those we leave behind to endure the horrors that we have "created."

Truth be know, "GAME OVER," We lose. To halt the progression of GCC means that ALL human activity would have to come an end, but then again, that was easy...we have NO choice.

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