A recent Gallup poll claims that the portion of Americas that believe Global Warming is exaggerated in the media has risen to 41%–the highest level since the poll began in 1997. While the fact that the majority of the country still believes that the media is either adequately covering global warming or under-estimates it, this is a disturbing figure. There are a number of the secondary readings that seem to stand out.
The fact that 66% of republican respondents are downplaying global warming is unfortunate. The reasons for this could be numerous from creationist mantra to big oil investment holders but it is difficult to take on issues in a bipartisan way when only a fraction of us are even on the train yet.
Somewhat unsurprising is the fact that the largest percentage rise in doubters occurred in the age group 65 and older. Of those surveyed this is most likely the least educated group on global warming issues, both problems and solutions, but also the least at risk given that the likelihood that material damage will occur in their lifetime is slim. Thankfully, the youngest age group of 18 to 24 remained unchanged.
The statistic that I find most important parallels exactly the focus of dialogue here at Intercon.
Altogether, 68% of U.S. adults believe the effects of global warming will be manifest at some point in their lifetimes, indicating the public largely believes the problem is real. However, only 38% of Americans, similar to the 40% found in 2008, believe it will pose “a serious threat” to themselves or their own way of life.
Though people may be starting to understand the concept of sustainability, the isolated nature of its media coverage has not lead people to how it affects them. For too many, environmental problems are still detatched concepts lingering on the periphery of daily life.
The frustrating part of this for those of us that have spent time in fields relating to sustainability is the notion that doubt is the result of ignorance. While some of us are flooded with information, this is one more example where a lack of education has kept the topic of sustainability and global warming from seeping too deeply into the population.
Image Credit and Article Source VIA Gallup