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The United States: Where Climate Change Is Not Seen as a Top Threat


#1

The United States: Where Climate Change Is Not Seen as a Top Threat

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The Pew Research Center is out with the findings of a new global survey which shows that—in contrast to nearly half the nations surveyed—those in the U.S do not see climate change as a top threat.


#2

Typical results, since American education is the pits, critical thinking is a lost art, and propaganda rules the airwaves. Just look at the difference between the covers of Times magazine in the US versus the world...or headlines in news sources versus those emphasized in the US.


#4

A while back, I saw an incident that defines this generation of Americans. A man was sitting in his parked car outside of a store, engine idling, apparently waiting for someone. He saw someone walking by, smoking a cigaret, and made some comment about the smoker polluting his air -- even as his car was spewing soot and oil particles into the air (the cause of climate change).


#5

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#6

Hey Ted,

Maybe you could specify which "forecasting" from the book has not "transpired as they predicted."

Here's another view from a conservative energy economist and banker:

"Matthew R. Simmons (1943-2010) was the founder of Simmons & Company International, a private investment bank that specializes in energy research, trading, and capital structuring. Simmons was a former advisor to President George W. Bush and a member of the National Petroleum Council."

Two short clips from an extensive review Simmons published in 2000:

WHAT THE LIMITS TO GROWTH ACTUALLY SAID
"After reading The Limits to Growth, I was amazed. Nowhere in the book was there any mention about running out of anything by 2000. Instead, the book's concern was entirely focused on what the world might look like 100 years later. There was not one sentence or even a single word written about an oil shortage, or limit to any specific resource, by the year 2000. The members of the "Club of Rome" were also not a mysterious, sinister, anonymous group of doomsayers. Rather, they were a group of 30 thoughtful, public spirited-intellects from ten different countries. The group included scientists, economists, educators, and industrialists. They met at the instigation of Dr. Aurelia Peccei, an Italian industrialist affiliated with Fiat and Olivetti. The group all shared a common concern that mankind faced a future predicament of grave complexity, caused by a series of interrelated problems that traditional institutions and policy would not be able to cope with the issues, let alone come to grips with their full context. A core thesis of their work was that long term exponential growth was easy to overlook. Human nature leads people to innocently presume growth rates are linear. The book then postulated that if a continuation of the exponential growth of the seventies began in the world's population, its industrial output, agricultural and natural resource consumption and the pollution produced by all of the above, would result in severe constraints on all known global resources by 2050 to 2070."

"While many readers concocted various "imaginary" assumptions, the book's conclusions were quite simple. The first conclusion was a view that if present growth trends continued unchanged, a limit to the growth that our planet has enjoyed would be reached sometime within the next 100 years. This would then result in a sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity. The second key conclusion was that these growth trends could be altered. Moreover, if proper alterations were made, the world could establish a condition of "ecological stability" that would be sustainable far into the future. The third conclusion was a view that the world could embark on this second path, but the sooner this effort started, the greater the chance would be of achieving this "ecologically stable" success. The book, in its entirety, is beautifully written. It takes only a few hours to read. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is an interesting mixture of simple, tried and true economic laws, combined with a terrific dose of logic. Without a doubt, there are some serious doomsday elements laid out which our world would face if the conclusions of this modeling work were ignored, and key trends continue to rise at exponential vs. linear rates. But, the book essentially lays out an optimistic outlook on how easily these limits to growth can be altered if a real effort to accomplish this is made at an early stage, rather than attempting such changes too late. The most amazing aspect of the book is how accurate many of the basic trend extrapolation worries which ultimately give raise to the limits this book expresses still are, some 30 years later. In fact, for a work that has been derisively attacked by so many energy economists, a group whose own forecasting record has not stood the test of time very well, there was nothing that I could find in the book which has so far been even vaguely invalidated. To the contrary, the chilling warnings of how powerful exponential growth rate can be are right on track. The thesis that it is easy to misjudge this type of growth has also been proven by the volumes of misguided criticism that the report engendered."


#7

Much of American ignorance and skepticism on climate was purchased by Exxon-Mobile and the Kochs. Sadly the reality faced by climate scientists aware of the reality leads some to move to more informed countries to escape American idiocy.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/


#8

Anyone actually go and look at the poll results? Because the poll itself does not support Ms. Germanos's claim of weaker concern than the rest of the world regarding AGW. The level of concern about AGW in the US - admittedly inadequate, is about the same as the rest of the world - and on the high end for the global north as a whole (look at Poland!). The most significant inferences from the the poll that I see are:

  1. In the Global South, the high degree of concern about AGW, and far more reasonable levels of concern about those "bogeymen" of the Global North - Iran, Putin, ISIL, etc...

  2. The totally out-in-right field attitude toward Iran in the US.

Poll Results here:

Global-Threats: Very concerned about ...
Country Climate Change Economy ISIS Iran Cyber-attacks Russia China
U.S. 42% 51% 68% 62% 59% 43% 30%
Canada 45% 32% 58% 43% 39% 35% 19%
France 48% 49% 71% 43% 47% 41% 16%
Germany 34% 26% 70% 39% 39% 40% 17%
Italy 45% 48% 69% 44% 25% 27% 17%
Poland 14% 26% 29% 26% 22% 44% 11%
Spain 59% 63% 77% 52% 35% 39% 20%
U.K. 38% 32% 66% 41% 34% 41% 16%
Russia 22% 43% 18% 15% 14% * 8%
Ukraine 20% 35% 9% 11% 4% 62% 4%
Turkey 35% 33% 33% 22% 22% 19% 14%
Jordan 36% 39% 62% 29% 26% 18% 16%
Lebanon 44% 39% 84% 30% 17% 18% 16%
Palestine 33% 32% 54% 17% 24% 12% 10%
Israel 14% 28% 44% 53% 18% 6% 3%
Australia 37% 32% 69% 38% 37% 31% 17%
China 19% 16% 9% 8% 12% 9% *
India 73% 49% 41% 28% 45% 30% 38%
Indonesia 42% 41% 65% 29% 22% 15% 11%
Japan 42% 30% 72% 39% 39% 32% 52%
Malaysia 37% 37% 21% 11% 20% 9% 12%
Pakistan 25% 6% 14% 9% 14% 7% 18%
Philippines 72% 52% 49% 47% 49% 38% 56%
South Korea 40% 31% 75% 41% 55% 24% 31%
Vietnam 58% 37% 30% 22% 32% 19% 60%
Argentina 57% 49% 34% 31% 28% 22% 18%
Brazil 75% 60% 46% 49% 47% 33% 28%
Chile 62% 39% 31% 31% 22% 15% 15%
Mexico 54% 46% 23% 28% 30% 16% 14%
Peru 75% 58% 35% 42% 35% 26% 27%
Venezuela 60% 60% 28% 35% 38% 22% 24%
Burkina Faso 79% 50% 41% 28% 25% 17% 15%
Ethiopia 59% 50% 38% 23% 28% 20% 20%
Ghana 71% 67% 46% 34% 42% 30% 29%
Kenya 58% 44% 35% 29% 35% 19% 20%
Nigeria 65% 48% 36% 24% 29% 25% 24%
Senegal 51% 59% 35% 33% 37% 20% 16%
S Africa 47% 33% 26% 25% 28% 18% 22%
Tanzania 49% 56% 51% 37% 46% 30% 26%
Uganda 74% 62% 39% 33% 30% 24% 23%