Guess Which Country Has the Most Climate Change Deniers. (You’ll Need Only One Guess.)

Do you know which country has the highest percentage of citizens that deny climate change? Iíll gladly give you three guesses, but you probably only need one: itís the United States. (USA! USA!)

The Washington Post looked at some research on this subject and found that time and time again the country that has the most people unwilling to listen to climate science is America. While you can find a small percentage of people in every country that disagree that climate change is caused by humans, there are few other places in the world – and nowhere else in the industrialized world – where that percentage is so large.

The leading factor in this discrepancy is almost certainly our politics. In the U.S., we have an entire half of our political system comprised by elected leaders who are unwilling to acknowledge the dangerous reality of climate change we face. At best, a lot of Republicans dance around the subject, obfuscating the issue rather than addressing it head-on.

Most Americans arenít even aware how unusual this debate is. Norweigan researchers concluded that no other major political party in the world discounts climate change science in the way the Republican Party does. Itís not as if conservatives and liberals bicker about this issue in other countries Ė even rightwing groups abroad accept the consequences of global warming and the need to address it.

To understand how it became this way in the U.S. and the U.S. alone, take a look at the larger political system and not just the GOP. Money, specifically corporate money, is a major influencer in American elections. Oil, gas and coal tycoons can afford to give money to politicians in an effort to ensure that their industries thrive. For legislators to meaningfully pull that off for them, though, they must pretend the science is wrong. Hence, we have a manufactured debate.

Political bribery isnít the only factor, of course. Corporate-owned media plays another part. The Washington Post also points to a collaborative study between Oxford and Reuters that found that 80 percent of all quotes coming from climate change deniers that were published in major newspapers were found in publications from the U.S. or the U.K. We read climate change denial in the media we consume, which comes from companies that presumably profit from an economy where oil remains a chief product.

Itís relevant to point out that other parts of the world are already experiencing the effects of climate change more seriously than the U.S., so itís just plain harder for people in countries where the sea level is rising and the temperature is unbearable to act as if the climate isnít changing.

If the United States were less of a world power, itíd be easier to dismiss a single country that doesnít accept science as a relatively harmless outlier. Alas, the United States is the biggest carbon polluter in the history of the planet, and continues to be a leading destructive force against the environment. The whole world is in jeopardy because the U.S. maintains the idea that dismissing climate change is somehow a valid opinion.

The sooner the U.S. can get its metaphorical head out of its rear end and recognize that no other country on the planet thinks this way, the sooner we can be better global citizens and stewards for the environment. Until then, the rest of the world has every reason to put a disproportionate amount of the blame on the United States for evolving a system that perpetuates climate change.

Photo Credit: Climate Reality Project

93 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks

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Melania P
Melania P8 months ago

Not surprising, but it is mostly the US government. Most people in the US believe (yes, as if it was a religion...) and want change when it comes to the environment/climate change. So sad, the planet needs our help more than ever!

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson9 months ago

no surprise, ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson9 months ago

no surprise, ty

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Angela K
Angela K9 months ago

noted

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Dan B
Dan Blossfeld9 months ago

Eric,
Yes, these 'heretic' have been presenting data, as opposing to rhetoric for decades. This seems to be symptomatic of the entire environmental movement. Make wild cataclysmic prediction and chastise those that present data to the contrary. Remember the 'great die-off', in which Paul Ehrlich predicted that 4 billion people would die in the global famine of the 1980s? Peter Gunther went a step further, claiming that by the year 2000, the entire world, except for the first world countries, will be in a massive famine. Pollution was predicted to be so bad that urban dwellers would need to wear gas masks outside, and Kenneth Watt predicted that the pollution would reduce sunlight reaching the surface by half, killing crops and lowering temperatures, throwing the planet into another ice age. Paul Ehrlich also claimed that those born after WWII have a reduced life expectancy of only 49 years, and even that would be reduce by the turn of the century. Remember the 50 million climate refugees that were supposed to be disposed by rising seas a decade ago? Climate scientists claimed that the Arctic would be ice free in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016, etc. My personal favorites are all those encouraging ski resorts to close up shop as 'children will just not know what snow is,' according to David Viner (2000).

Why ruin a good climate apocalypse with facts?

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees9 months ago

Let's not ignore than any scientist that releases actual data that does not fit the human caused climate change narrative is labeled a heretic and is pretty much career ending. Is this really the way we want anything to be carried out? I think full transparency is the best approach.

"My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic
My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House"
https://www.wsj.com/articles/my-unhappy-life-as-a-climate-heretic-1480723518

Let the facts lead us.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld9 months ago

Bill A.,
Interesting database, as it includes every minor sect and belief. It also breaks down Catholicism into over one hundred sections, based largely on language. This are all basically the same. They do not worship a different God. I did enlighten myself, and you are right. You are not 'blowing smoke.' You are being purposefully deceitful.

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Bill Arthur
Bill A9 months ago

No Dan B, I was not 'just blowing smoke' when I noted that there were hundreds and thousands of gods. Enlighten your self and check it out
"Adherents.com is a growing collection of over 43,870 adherent statistics and religious geography citations: references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, " then there is the fact that few people with in any of the religions will describe their gad the same as others in that denomination since no one has ever seen any of the many gods no one knows what it may look like or want of it's believers.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld9 months ago

Eric,
Agreed. Pollution is a much more pressing and immediate issue. If we cannot get a handle on this, then what happens next century is immaterial.

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