More People Believe in Climate Change : Roll Call Opinion

By Honda, Michael M | Roll Call, November 16, 2012 | Go to article overview

More People Believe in Climate Change : Roll Call Opinion


Honda, Michael M, Roll Call


Every day, Americans are experiencing the realities of global climate change.

Autumn hardly seems to have arrived in much of the country. In the Northern Hemisphere, September 2012 tied with 2009 as the second- warmest on record. Globally, September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest in the 133-year history of record keeping.

In the first six months of 2012, we saw more than 22,000 daily high temperature records tied or broken and the largest drought declaration in more than 50 years, encompassing more than two- thirds of the continental United States.

A new survey released by the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University indicates that a growing number of Americans are accepting the reality of climate change. More people are expressing concern about how climate change affects them, their loved ones and the world at large.

The report, "Climate Change in the American Mind - Americans' Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012," saw a notable shift in Americans' beliefs since this spring, when similar polling was published.

Key findings from the report indicate that 70 percent of Americans believe that global warming is real, while the number who say it is not happening has declined to just 12 percent.

More than half of Americans, 54 percent, now believe global warming is a result of human activities, an increase from 46 percent in March 2012. This marks the first time since 2008 that the figure has been above 50 percent, an encouraging finding that suggests the disinformation campaign led by fossil fuel interests to deny climate science is failing in the face of the facts.

A growing number of Americans, now 57 percent, also understand that climate change threatens our national security, and they are already noticing the negative effects stemming from this threat.

The study finds that an increasing number of Americans, 40 percent, believe that climate change is currently negatively affecting people overseas, up from 32 percent in March; 36 percent of people believe that global warming is harming people here in the United States, an increase of 6 points in as many months. …

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