Climate Change — The Perfect Problem for not getting Fixed

Yale’s school of Forestry and Environmental Science in conjunction with the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason recently conducted a survey (n = 815) about public opinion relating to climate change and released the responses (.pdf) earlier this month. The questions’ coverage is extensive, some of the findings I thought were interesting were:

  • 38% of respondents thought global warming should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress, down from 54% in 2008
  • 60% thought development of clean energy should be a high or very high priority
  • Across the board, democrats were more supportive of enacting climate change initiatives than any other group (i.e. independents, republicans).
  • 57% thought the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do, down from 67% in 2008

This last point is significant because climate change is a global issue, one that will require many nations cooperate. Cooperation on a local level is hard enough, international cooperation will be even harder. David Fahrenthold wrote about the difficulties of this global problem last year (link), arguing the climate change problem was almost like it was designed to be ignored — there are no clear villains and no one-step solutions.

-Posted by Tyler

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