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PEW on interest in climate change

by on October 28, 2009

There are a number of ope ed's and such pointing to this poll showing lees public interest and less credibility attributed to warming.

there are two issues: first, many more are aware of the issue, but with that awareness come biases that sometime support and sometime undermine the findings. This seems normal as more people are involved. But the negative shift in opinion also is amplified by something more complex: if global warming is rel, given our perceptions of government capability, nothing can happen, so hey, let's look on the bright side, maybbe they are all nuts, or self serving alarmists looking for contracts. meanwhile I've a job to worry about.

In my own casual interviews i am finding that people are deeply concerned and want to turn it off because they feel helpless, and worse, that the pliticians are helpless. Hence lowering warming as a priority issue. the increased concern about economic survival and potential violence always ways heavily.

hence I would not conclude that there is simply less interest in global warming; rather than the perfect storm means increased concen for other issues and decreased priority for global warming (planetary change).

The obvious weakness of the Obama admin to deal with banking, Afghanistan, Katrina, health reform, and Israel/Palestine suggest that the government will not be able to deal with climate. So change the channel.

This means it is our job to show how climate change issues and the other issues are all interconnected, in fact a big deal, and in fact needing systemic responses that might just need to really change things quickly. – doug


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One Comment
  1. katrina maloney permalink

    My heart grew cold as I read the results of the Pew poll . As a college and graduate level science educator, I am especially in this trench. My kids are not interested in the science behind the planetary systems–they are too busy figuring out life as an emerging adult. this relies heavily on socializing via technology–twitter, facebook and IM communications during class time are what they do…
    But, what triggered my need to respond, Doug, is the idea in your last paragraph: interconnected systems require a systemic response. Systems thinking is a powerful tool in both ecological and sociological research. “all is connected” is not just a buzz phrase.

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