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From Brittany

by on May 7, 2013

From Brittany

I thought this post by Climate Change Communication called “Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013.” They highlight some interesting statistics about Americans attitudes toward the state of climate change. Two statistics that stood out in my mind are the following:
“About six in ten Americans (58%) say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.” and “Overall, 85% of Americans report that they experienced one or more types of extreme weather in the past year, most often citing extreme high winds (60%) and extreme heat (51%).”

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  1. krreer14 permalink

    I’m glad you posted this article because I was actually unaware that this many Americans believed climate change affected them. In my personal opinion I feel that this shift is very dependent on many of the natural disasters that have happened in the past few years (in comparison to just the weather shifts). I was most shocked but understanding of this stat: “Over half of Americans (54%) believe it is “very” or “somewhat likely” that extreme weather will cause a natural disaster in their community in the coming year.” That is a very large amount and something I did not expect to see at all. After Hurricane Sandy and living in New Jersey in a town where I truly never thought a natural disaster would hit this is more understanding to me that more people are genuinely concerned for their community.

  2. Chapin Evans permalink

    Statistics are so difficult to judge… I wish they would do statistics based on the different parts of the country and then a nationwide study, just to see which areas are more affected or have more knowledge of climate change. Perhaps in the areas down South they feel the immediate effects of it more through storms and tornados and things such as that, but that is only my speculation about the differences between the different parts of the country. The United States is such a large country and the bottom half (the south) is closer to the Global South that Parenti talks about in Tropic of Chaos, so perhaps there are some similarities.
    Aside from statistics being the way they are, they are as close as we can get to understanding how others thing in an objective manner. It seems as though many people are 50/50 on whether or not there has been change or they believe global warming exists, so maybe people are too indecisive to say “oh, this is attributed to global warming” or “oh, it definitely exists.”

  3. I think it would interesting to see how people in different parts of the world view climate change. Whether or not people in the catastrophe convergence areas felt more or less strongly about climate change then those in northern wealthy areas. I think that people who knew of climate change in poor regions would be more likely to be concerned as it more directly affects them, and they do not have the resources to get away from its impacts as wealthier societies do.
    It is also interesting to see the different attitudes in the United States by region and by other factors. I think one important stat is actually the number of people who do not believe that climate change is either real or a problem created by humans. I think that we cannot have a rational discussion until we all understand the realities of the situation we are in.

  4. I always thought that my neighborhood would suffer from some extreme weather conditions. These thoughts occurred way before Hurricane Sandy arrived, as I live on a peninsula so a level of skepticism of being safe from floods is not uncommon. Despite thinking it would happen, I was not prepared for when Sandy hit and I returned home and seeing my home town devastated by the storm. I guess we got a taste of some of the issues the global south encountered in Tropics of Chaos, living in a low income neighborhood and being outside of the city garnered less attention than the damage done to the train system or the amount of money the city lost due to the storm.

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