Study: Americans pay lip service to global warming

JANUARY 31, 2008—Flapping lips don’t make wind energy. While Americans demonstrate increased awareness of global warming—thanks to films like “An Inconvenient Truth”—their actions don’t match their words. That’s the conclusion of a study done by George Mason University.

The nationwide survey shows that only a slim majority of Americans believe global warming is “a very serious problem.” Of those, many aren’t taking the green actions they support, according to the study.

“Clearly, there’s a lot left to do in raising awareness,” Edward Maibach, survey author and head of a center on climate change at George Mason University, told the USA Today. “There has been too much fear-mongering and not enough emphasis on what people can do.”

More than 11,000 Americans participated in the poll, commissioned by Porter Novelli, which shows a rift between scientific evidence and public understanding of the climate change threat. According to the study, 62 percent of participants consider global warming a serious danger.

Additionally, Maibach said that more people support green actions than take green actions.

While Democrats are three times more likely to rank global warming a serious threat than their Republican counterparts, they live only slightly greener lives.

Children of survey participants were included in the poll. In contrast to their parents, children were more apt to find global warming a serious threat and more optimistic about taking actions to reverse its effects.

People “are more enthusiastic about government and businesses doing things than doing stuff themselves,” Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University political scientist, told the USA Today.

By Care2 editorial staff

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

time to do more than lip service is way overdue

Pauli Kesäläinen

Kaikkien ja erityisesti poliitikkojen sekä päättäjien olisi syytä hiukan viisastua eikä ainoastaan tulla aina ahneemmiksi !
Myös tavallisten kansalaisten osuus ,ruoka,autot öljy,hiili,saastuttamanen,maalla ja merellä koko elämäntapa olisi pistettävä uusiksi ja nopeasti jos halutaan pelastaa planeetta nimeltä MAA !

Chad A.
Chad Anderson3 years ago

I am reading this four and a half years late and the situation is worse! What ever happened to progress?

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Bon L.
Bon L.4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

All that lip service is going to ensure that the planet dies slowly and painfully.

Debbie W.
Past Member 4 years ago

LIP SERVICE ... from the top down, is an American trademark, since power and greed, not issues, became the money-maker. Common sense with follow-through has been moved to the back burner.

Even those who are now "aware" of the problems lack follow-through with the measures necessary to make a difference.

Sacrifice of any kind is not an American trait unless forced. Think about it!

Monica D.
Monica D.5 years ago

Have fewer children, drive and fly less, insulate homes and eat less meat - these may be some of the main changes that can help reduce climate changing emissions.

Monica D.
Monica D.5 years ago

Perhaps something similar to the Sabido method can be used to help get the behaviour changes needed.

Monica D.
Monica D.5 years ago

I think actions are more important than professed attitudes. We have to get people making the changes in their lives that are needed. And I think it needs to come from both directions - top-down from government, and also from the people.