It appears that more and more American citizens are starting to believe that we are the ones to blame for climate change.
The results of a Gallup poll published this month have shown that 65 percent of the citizens of the United States claim that climate change is driven forth by the activities of humans. 64 percent of them have also expressed their concern about the effects. This is reportedly the highest percentage that was recorded since 2008.
This national shift started last year when the percentage of people who blame the human race for the changes has risen from 55 to 65. However, the number of Americans who believe this phenomenon will have grave consequences during their lifetimes has also increased from 37 to 41 percent.
The results of the poll reflect the opinion of 1,019 American citizens from fifty states. The reason for this change seems to be media coverage, according to the Climate Change Communication Yale Program director, Anthony Leiserowitz. He has stated that most Americans do not have access to climate change information, and they have to rely on media. Last year’s Paris climate summit did raise huge awareness on the matter. It was an official international statement that pursued an agreement for voluntary commitments by all nations.
However, the Gallup survey has pointed out that the reason is actually the weather. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2015 was the warmest year by a clear margin on record. The temperatures are expected to rise this year. The phenomenon has already begun, since February recorded the hottest weather, even warmer than the period between the years 1951 and 1980, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Authors of the poll Jeffrey Jones and Lydia Saad believe that if the current weather patterns continue in the same way, they might be the most efficient way to raise the concern of the public, more than any scientist or politician.
Gallup began tracking the perceptions of Americans on the matter in 1990 and has since recorded three years with a high level of concern: 2000, with 72% people, 2008 with 66% and 2016 with 64%.
In the end, people will mostly worry about affects them. The political opposition or the media coverage can be quite convincing, but they are still more distant than the rising heat we can feel on our skin.
Image Source: GH Scientific
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