Posted: 04/22/15 00:29, Edited: 04/22/15 00:32
by Dave Mindeman
It is Earth Day. Let's hope we can still be celebrating this well into the future. But if any changes are going to occur, I think this country is going to need a shift in educational perceptions.
A Yale Climate Opinion study in 2014 gave us a little more nuanced look into the way Americans view climate change -- and they broke it down by state.
The interactive map can be viewed here....
A number of things were disappointing in the survey.
While 63% do believe that global warming is happening...only 48% attribute it to human activity. Unless we accept the fact that we have culpability in this problem, there isn't much likelihood that we will make the sacrifices necessary to find a solution.
What is somewhat surprising is that although Texas and Minnesota have an equal belief (63%) that global warming is happening, Texas actually has a slightly higher acceptance that it is man-made (49% TX - 48% MN) The MN number there is quite surprising...and extremely disappointing.
And here is an even more discouraging note - only 41% of Americans believe that most scientists have a consensus on climate change. 34% believe that there is quite a bit of disagreement. I find that astonishing.
The misinformation has been effective.
The urgency of the situation is also questioned by most people. Only 34% believe that climate change can harm "me" personally; yet, 61% will concede that future generations will be affected.
Still, it seems, the lack of personal effects reduces the willingness to confront the problem.
On this Earth Day, I think it is necessary to take stock of the education needed to make this particular generation understand what is at stake. This is not about our own comfort level or effects - it is about what we leave for the future. And frankly, that is the near future as we watch the predictions begin to take hold.