More Americans believe in haunted houses than global warming : A scary Halloween tale.

In the United States, more people believe that houses can be haunted by the dead than believe that the living can cause climate change. Is this simply a scary Halloween tale or our frightening future?

The latest Pew poll on global warming shows a large drop in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising, from 71% down to only 57% in the last 18 months. And global warming due to human activity? The overall numbers have declined from 47% to 36%. To put this in perspective, a Gallup poll found that 37% of Americans believe that houses can be haunted. This contrast is particularly dramatic among conservatives: Only 18% of republicans believe that there is evidence of global warming caused by human activity, while 28% of conservatives believe in haunted houses.

Haunted houses remain a favorite theme for entertainment media, from TV shows such as Ghost Hunters to movies such as Paranormal Activity. While there have been a few movies dealing with the human causes of climate change, maybe we need more to sway public opinion. Or perhaps we could just use Jason as the spokesperson for cap and trade legislation.

On a more positive note, the 57% who still believe that the planet is warming is significantly higher than the 39% that believes in evolution. Since Darwin has had a hundred and fifty year head start, I guess scientist should rejoice at the rather speedy success in spreading the word about a warming planet. To be fair to the natural selection crowd, they have tough competition: The world’s most read book is in conflict with evolution. 44% of Americans believe the biblical version of creationism –that humans were created in their present form by God less than 10,000 years ago –and this number climbs to 70% among weekly church-goers.

Since republicans attend church much more regularly, perhaps a more active stance by churches on climate change would increase the urgency and conviction? Well at the highest levels, this has already happened. In 2001, the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying, in part,  “At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both ‘the human environment’ and the ‘natural environment’ …Passing along the problem of global climate change to future generations as a result of our delay, indecision, or self-interest would be easy. But we simply cannot leave this problem for the children of tomorrow.”

If anything, the science, advocacy, and global commitment on climate change is stronger than ever. But as climate bills move through the house and senate, the dollar costs of taking action is also becoming clearer. My guess is that the drop in belief, which coincides with a reeling economy, is more about the emerging realities of fixing the problems. Once again it is an inconvenient truth, and it is easier to dismiss the science than deal with the problem. As Ibn al-Haytham, the early developer of the scientific method said: “Finding the truth is difficult, and the road to it is rough.”

But the truth is out there and needs to be dealt with, whether we like it or not. For those who doubt it, a summary of the science is available on the ClimatePath Website.

Photo : barb_ar at flickr  / CC 2.0 License

96 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago

Thank you for article.

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LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago

Thank you for article.

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LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago

Thank you for article.

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LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago

Thank you for article.

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Daniel M.
Past Member 7 years ago

Fuel
Planting only 6 percent of the continental United States with biomass crops such as hemp would supply all current domestic demands for oil and gas.
Did you know the average American spends 33 of 40 working hours to support their need for energy? It's true; 80 percent of the total monetary living expense for everything we do is ultimately wrapped up in energy costs; from the energy it takes to make the food we eat, to fuel for the cars we drive, to the manufacturing, storage and transportation of the products we buy. And 80 percent of solid and airborne pollution in our environment can be blamed on fossil energy sources. It is estimated that America has already exhausted 80 percent of its fossil fuel reserves.
Industrial hemp is the number one biomass producer on earth, meaning an actual contender for an economically competitive, clean burning fuel. Hemp has four times the biomass and cellulose potential and eight times the methanol potential of its closest competing crop - corn. Burning coal and oil are the greatest sources of acid rain; biomass fuels burn clean and contain no sulphur and produce no ash during combustion. The cycle of growing and burning biomass crops keeps the world s carbon dioxide level at perfect equilibrium, which means that we are less likely to experience the global climactic changes (greenhouse effect) brought about by excess carbon dioxide and water vapors after burning fossil fuels.

GOOGLE HEMP, GO TO WIKIPIDIA

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