World Opinion: Cool It, NOW! … additional thoughts

And, well, that includes America and Americans.

World Public Opinion just released a poll(full report, pdf, here)  that show that large majorities around the world:

  • Understand that “human activity IS a significant cause” of Climate Change
  • Agree that is is “Necessary to take major steps very soon to Address Climate Change”
  • Believe taht wealthy countries should ive financial/technical assistance to less wealthy countries that agree to limit GHG emissions

While the US is, consisently, behind other developed nations in all three categories (thank you climate deniers sound machine), even the US records strong majorities in responding to all three.

And, well,

The poll includes 14 of the 16 major economic powers invited by President Bush to Washington later this week (September 27-28) to discuss climate change and energy security.

This speaks, therefore, to the very leaders George Bush will address Friday. (RE this speech and meeting, you might want to consider The Sun Sets in the East:  White House Climate Change Talking Points (the Don’t Worry, Be Happy approach to Climate Change). (And, well, there is the protest Friday at noon, outside the State Department.)

And, this polling speaks strongly as to public opinion and knowledge across the globe.

What the poll shows is that ignorance of Global Warming means ignorance about its implications and need for action.

Not surprisingly, those who have heard more about climate change are more willing to take action. Among those who indicate they have heard nothing at all about global warming, only 47 percent support significant measures. That rises to 56 percent among those who say they have not heard very much, 64 percent among those who have heard some, and fully 72 percent among respondents who have heard “a great deal.”

Even in the United States, 92 percent of people believe that we should be taking action on Global Warming in the near term (59% “major steps very soon”; 33% “modest steps in coming years”).  Let’s think about that breakdown for a moment … 59 … 33 … 6 …

So, let us look at the results for another question: “Have you heard or read about Global Warming or Climate Change?”  The US response, 56% “A great deal”; 33% “Some”; 8% “Not very much”.  

Hmmm … what a strong parallel.

The more Americans know, the more convinced Americans are that humans are driving.

The more we know, the more concerned we are and the stronger we believe in significant action, soon, NOW!

And, this is a correlation that continues throughout the world.  Education and knowledge matters.  Informed citizens tend (overwhelmingly) to reality-based policy concepts.

Now, there is an interesting (and disconcerting) element in the poll. In some ways, the English-speaking members of the developed world (the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia) are behind the other developed nations (Spain, France, Italy, Germany) on understanding/concern. For example, is “human activity a significant cause of climate change”?  US, 71%; Canada 77%; Great Britain, 78%, Australia, 81%; Germany, 87%; France, 89%; Italy, 92%; Spain, 93%.  

And, well, the science in the International Panel on Climate Change committee is “very likely” (over 90% chance) that human action is the majority driver for current global warming.  In other words, basically 100% that “human activity is a significant cause” …

The question is, no longer, is there Global Warming? Nor is the question any longer: is humanity driving it?  The scientific community has spoken in the affirmative on these questions. And, this poll is yet another statement showing that the (American and around the globe) public understands this.  The question, the legitimate debate, is what to do, NOW and in the coming years.

And, well, the Global Citizens’ representative voice, to the extent this exists, spoke to this just yesterday, although it was barely reported in the United States that the UN was holding a major Global Warming conference / session.  From the  BBC’s reporting:

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to act quickly to deal with climate change.

“If we do not act now, the impact of climate change will be devastating. … Today I heard a clear call from world leaders for a breakthrough on climate change in Bali …”

Sadly, of course, Americans have no reason to expect the current occupant of the Oval Office to be one of those.

Thus, what can Americans do? What should we do?

We should, all, take personal action in our lives to reduce our carbon footprints.

But, while personal action and responsibility matters, it won’t solve the problems of the globe.

We must have collective action.

And, we require governmental action — from changing tax codes and incentives, to pushing research, to committing to changed energy policies, to changed regulations and codes, to … well, you can find many good ideas in Energize America.

But, we must, as individuals and collectively:

The tide has turned on understanding … this poll shows it clearly.

When it comes to Global Warming, Katrina opened the door and Al Gore walked boldly through it.  Now that the door is open and the light is shining on the problem, we all have the responsibility to take our share of the burden for educating, acting, and advocating for moves toward a sustainable and prosperous energy future.

Ask yourself:  Are you doing
your part to

ENERGIZE AMERICA?

Are you ready
  to do your part?

Your voice can
… and will make a difference.

So … SPEAK UP … NOW!!!

NOTES

  • BBC reporting on the poll which was done for the BBC. Note, the BBC has a good media site re Global Warming.
  • TAKE ACTION:  Global Warming protest outside Department of State, 28 September, noon to 1 pm.  WE all face a Climate Emergency.  We all have an obligation to fight for our collective future

One response to “World Opinion: Cool It, NOW! … additional thoughts

  1. I agree that education is key in solving this problem, but of course it will take a while. But, crucially, can we “solve” the problem if we continue on the same path of consumption and capitalistic expansion? I’m starting to doubt it, however, we must start coming up with reasonable action. Technological change to the better might make us slightly better off, but all technology comes at a cost to the environment too.

    Also, feel free to respond to an informal poll of mine on the subject at: http://lengthywords.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/serious-sunday-poll/

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