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Public Awareness of Climate Change Last Updated on 2010-12-16 00:00:00 Most people, when surveyed about current issues, express at least a fair amount of concern about global climate change. They also believe that human activities are largely responsible for changing the climate and the problems that result from such changes. Nonetheless, they rank global climate change as less important than the economy, jobs, terrorism, education, health care, poverty, crime, and other issues. Surveys and media coverage indicate that public concern about global climate change has been waning since about 2006. A string of new cataclysmic climatic events of the magnitude of the European heat wave in 2003 or Hurricane Katrina in 2005 would place global climate change higher on everyone’s priority list, [1] but we hope that such stimuli will not prove necessary. The recent decline in concern, however, highlights the difficulties in keeping the public eye focused... More »
Societal Factors and Views on Climate Change Last Updated on 2010-12-16 00:00:00 We are all, to some degree, products of our environment. Consequently, national origin, education, gender, race, income, age, and religion influence our opinions about global climate change. The following sections examine each of these factors. National Origin People from various countries have different opinions about the risks of global climate change. At the extremes, people in Japan express the most concern about the problem, whereas people in the United States express the least. Indicators (such as lower unemployment benefits) suggest that Americans, relative to citizens of other developed countries, are risk takers and thus are less worried about long-term risks such as climate change. These indicators reflect a positive, “can-do” attitude where a person takes advantage of current opportunities rather than dwelling on negative potentialities. Unfortunately,... More »