World Public Opinion Urges Action on Climate Change

Fri, 2009-07-31 10:58Mitchell Anderson
Mitchell Anderson's picture

World Public Opinion Urges Action on Climate Change

A global public opinion poll shows that people around the world are demanding that their governments do more to tackle to climate change – often in the largest emitting countries.

The survey by WorldPublicOpinion.org surveyed 18,578 in 19 countries and found that 60% of people think their governments should be doing more to reduce carbon emissions. Only 18% felt their governments were doing enough and 12 % thought they were doing too much.

Nations with the highest frustration with their own government’s inaction on climate change included South Korea at 81%, Mexico at 79% and the UK where 77% felt the government should be doing more.

Even in countries with massive emissions, most citizens felt their government was dragging its feet on climate policy. For instance, 61% in China think their government should do more, 56% in Russia, and 51% un the US.

The main take away from this expansive polling effort is that people around the world recognize that climate change is a crisis and are demanding collective action, in spite of the global recession.

“Many government leaders express worry that their publics are not really ready to absorb the hardships that would come with addressing climate change,” said Steven Kull, a director at WorldPublicOpinion.org. “But most people around the world appear to be impatient that their government is not doing enough to address the problem,” he said.

One of the outliers in the data was the United States. When asked to rate how high a priority the government should place on dealing with climate change, Americans on average said only 4.7 out of 10. This compares with 9.1 for people living in Mexico, 8.8 for China and 8.2 of the UK.climate change opinion

Even countries with brutal security and poverty problems such as Iraq and the Palestinian Territories had a higher rate of public concern about climate policy.

So why is US public awareness of this global crisis at the bottom at the bottom of the barrel? Perhaps because America is ground zero for the denial machine’s efforts to confuse the public about climate science.

“Other countries don’t necessarily have Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and people like Glenn Beck who go on TV every day and try to make people believe that climate change doesn’t exist,” said climate policy observer Nick Berning. “They don’t have a coordinated war on science like we see here. That’s left some Americans ambivalent. It can be confusing.”

People in other countries also haven’t been subjected to a $45 million PR campaign funded by the coal industry to convince the public the world’s dirtiest fuel is “clean”. They also don’t have to contend with a constellation of Astroturf groups funded by Big Oil to confuse the public on climate science.

The US was also one of the only countries in the world where the head of state for eight years was publicly questioning the “theory” of global warming.

While the US under the Obama Administration has made great strides to improve energy policy, they remain saddled with enormous public ignorance on climate science resulting from decades of spin doctoring from the fossil fuel lobby.

A good example of this is how public opinion on climate science splits on partisan lines. In California, 76% of Democrats and Independents feel that climate change is happening vs. only 36% for Republicans. According to Solveclimate.org, 34% of Republicans said global warming would never happen, up from 24% last year.

This stunning level of misinformation is not just Obama’s problem, it is humanity’s problem. The upcoming climate gathering in Copenhagen this December will determine whether the world can collectively come together to deal with this crisis. It seems that world public opinion, and about half of American public opinion is already there.

However, the tiny minority of those in the world who remain indignantly ignorant of climate science represent a disproportionately powerful voice in the most powerful nation on Earth. Big Oil knows that and they are blowing the bundle to ensure that things stay that way.

As they say in the PR business: “It pays to advertise.”

 

Comments

Climate change is really affecting all countries nowadays. It is because of too much gas emissions through smoke factories, cars and other forms of gas emissions like burning of coals for cooking or burning trash or household waste. Some might because of over population, but above all, it is through the abuse that we do to our environment. Maybe as early as now we should start resolving our climate change issues, because if this will continue to worsen even no fax payday loans aren’t enough to save the planet we all live in. Let’s do simple ways, like planting more trees, avoid burning our waste, try to use fuels that are environment-friendly, and participate in organizations that advocate stopping the climate change in our country. Let’s act now before it’s too late.

We have more carbon output and we have changing weather and so we make the link - but thats a bit too easy. Weather patterns that seem stable were never permanent. For example - you go through 30 years of cold winters on the prairies and you think it’s always cold in the winter - it has been my whole life. But humans are lousy at remembering beyond 30 years or 50 or 100 when the winters were different. Things change. It’s not necessarily the carbon.

The fact is most people in the world couldn’t tell you anything at all about their great grandparents lives and certainly nothing about the weather back then. We forget.

Even a small capital like Vermont can make a big impact on this issue. Either the people can build nor destroy the earth. we live in. Here’s a little trivia for you people – ever wondered what the smallest state capital is? The smallest state capital is Montpelier, Vermont. It has an area of 10 square miles and a population of just over 8,000. The nearest national capital in size is St. George’s, capital of Grenada, with a population of about 7,700. The largest state capital, by comparison is Phoenix, Arizona, which has a population of about over 5 million. The town was settled in the late 18th century, and incorporated as a city in 1895, though it previously had been an unincorporated township for over 100 years. (It means a town is there, but doesn’t have the right paperwork.) However, the smallest state capital is a full service town – in a region perhaps worth payday loans to go see.

Climate change crisis. when the earth is getting warm and almost all people in the world just keep saying oH! it is so hot, but they do not want to change anything or do something to make it better. Please At least start it from yourself try to turn off the electric power when it is not nescesary, use recycle stuff and reduce plastic.
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