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Study: Americans pay lip service to global warming

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.

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By Care2 editorial staff

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
8:17AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

time to do more than lip service is way overdue

1:12AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

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 !

5:05AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

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

1:09AM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:49AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

Thanks for the info.

12:18AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

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

6:00AM PST on Dec 3, 2010

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!

10:28PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

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.

10:22PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

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

10:21PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

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.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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