climate change

Climate Change Is Current Threat: Shifting Attitudes in the US

According to a recent survey from Yale and George Mason University, National Geographic reports that the attitudes towards climate change are shifting. A record number of Americans are acknowledging it, and those that believed in it before now see it as a more pressing issue.

What Changed?

  • 60% of respondents acknowledged that humans are responsible for climate change, the highest level for the annual survey since its inception in 2008.
  • Recent wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme temperature swings seem to have left an impression – most (76%) cited “extreme weather events as the most influential factor shifting their views.”

Climate Change: A Current Threat

  • Many respondents who had previously believed in climate change now see it as a pressing current issue, rather than a future threat
  • 51% of respondents said they felt “helpless”
  • A mental health phenomenon called “eco-anxiety” or “climate-anxiety” has become common, especially in areas prone to natural disasters

What’s the Solution?

  • The bright side is that we seem to have reached a tipping point; people have acknowledged the problem and are concerned enough to support solutions
  • Surprisingly, 67% of respondents supported a carbon tax, with the proceeds going to conservation and restoration work
  • Although many people report feelings of anxiety, the best antidote seems to be empowerment through action, especially within your social network
  • Rather than adding costs, some climate solutions are now money-savers as well.

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