This is a series about possible crises the next president may face. Up to now, we’ve focused on what experts warn about. For this one, let’s see what average people worry about for the future.
A recent Gallup Poll says that Americans continue to view global warming as a serious threat.
At the end of the second warmest winter on record, Americans’ views on global warming were unchanged in the past year across a number of dimensions. This includes 46% saying they worry a great deal about the issue, 45% thinking it will pose a serious threat in their lifetime and 64% saying that earth’s higher temperatures result from pollution and human activities rather than natural environmental changes. . .
The largest group, describing 51% of Americans today, are what can be termed “Concerned Believers.” They attribute global warming to human actions and take the threat seriously.”
The poll also shows the following:
• 61% say most scientists believe global warming is occurring
• 61% believe global warming is caused by human activities
• 54% believe effects of global warming have already begun
• 33% worry a great deal about global warming
• 31% think global warming will pose a serious threat in their lifetime
• 32% think the news underestimates the seriousness of global warming
Meanwhile, an Ipsos-Mori poll says that, yes, Covid-19 is our main concern right now, but in fashioning the recovery, “green conditions” should be put on stimulus funds.
A new Ipsos-Mori poll across 14 countries in the G-20 shows a majority in every country surveyed agrees economic recovery should “prioritize climate change.”. . . U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to shift his climate focus away from the U.N.’s own disrupted negotiations to push instead for green national stimulus packages, and an end to $5 trillion in annual global fossil fuel subsidies.
Business publication, Forbes, says, The Next “Natural” Disaster Is As Foreseeable As COVID-19 Was.
After watching Bill Gates’s TED Talk from 2015, it is clear to your correspondent that the destruction COVID-19 has inflicted on human civilization is almost entirely man-made – the result of policy short-sightedness leading to a lack of commitment to sensible, easily executed preparatory steps. . .
Members of the academy and of industry first started to sound data-driven warnings regarding anthropogenic global warming (AGW) caused by the combustion of fossil fuels in the 1970s. Despite what tinfoil hat-wearing revisionists might try to get you to believe, even the earliest climactic models have proven to quite accurately forecast the observed atmospheric CO2 and temperature increases.
The point is that as we get “back to business,” is there a way to rebuild in a more healthful way? The Ipsos poll notes that 71% of the people surveyed believe that climate change is as serious as Covid-19, in the long term.
Because of the pandemic shutdown, annual carbon dioxide emissions will fall by about 8 percent in 2020, projects the International Energy Agency. As it happens, 8 percent is roughly how much emissions must fall each year during the next decade to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement. If temperature rise instead reaches 2 degrees C, the resulting additional heat waves, droughts, fires, storms and other climate impacts will cause massive loss of life. “Hundreds of millions—or even billions—of people will run short of food,” science writer Mark Lynas explains in his new book, Our Final Warning. . .
The European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the mayors of 33 of the world’s biggest cities, the leaders of Europe’s two biggest economies, Germany and France, a coalition of investors who manage more than $32 trillion worth of assets—these are just some of the voices arguing that the government stimulus programs being devised to revive pandemic-stricken economies must be green. . .
Who would have expected at a time of rising coronavirus death tolls that 71 percent of adults think that climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19 is in the long term? That’s according to an Ipsos poll of 28,000 people in 14 countries that also found that 65 percent of the public wants governments to “prioritize climate change in the economic recovery after COVID-19.”
While Democrats and Republicans are often diametrically opposed regarding climate change, young Republicans are breaking away.
Young Republicans, disappointed by the climate denialism of party leaders, in April unveiled a conservative answer to the Green New Deal.
In fact, USA Today says there is more agreement across party lines than most people realize.
Despite all the squabbling, the majority of Americans – of all political parties – say climate change is real and agree on many things we need to do to fix it. There’s substantial accord on several areas that would help fight global warming while strengthening the economy. That consensus has stayed well above 50% over the past 20 years.
A new Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos survey finds a preponderance of Americans – Republicans, Democrats and independents – support increasing energy efficiency, modernizing the electric grid, investing in research to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and government help for cities and states to fight climate change.
Overall, 86% of Democrats, 55% of Republicans and 78% of independents say they want to reduce the effects of global climate change. . .
When it comes to the transportation system, there’s broad backing to create a nationwide system of low pollution, high-speed trains, supported by 58%of Republicans, 79% of Democrats and 75% of independents. . .
The portion of Americans who consider themselves “alarmed” by climate change reached 31% in November, an all-time high, according to Yale data. That number tripled from 2015 to 2019. Six in 10 Americans consider themselves either “alarmed” or “concerned.”
There are a lot of possible challenges facing us, as we are showing in this series. The public sees global warming as “the next” crisis—documented, quantified, and confirming decades-old predictions. Since we will be “rebooting” our economies now, perhaps this is the time to change direction to prevent, or at least, ameliorate this predicted catastrophe.