The Challenges Of Solving Climate Change


by SavvyRoo on May 3, 2016 | Views: 132 | Score: 1

For many people, climate change seems to be an ominous, faceless force with unstoppable momentum. How can the actions of any singular person influence the slowly-changing climate and atmosphere. Mother Nature, it would seem, yields to no man, and neither does the international industrial complex which produces much of the world's pollution. Nevertheless, the role of the individual is crucial to solving the issue of climate change. Only by overcoming the free-rider problem can the world prevent further catastrophic damage to this planet. While climate change is a global concern, it is also a personal one.

Recognizing The Problem

% of Americans that believe that the world's climate is...
Changing as a result of human activity56
Changing but NOT a result of human activity26
Don' know / No opinion10
Not changing8

The first step to solving a problem is always acknowledging that one exists. For a number of Americans, though, this remains a dubious task. Almost one in ten Americans outright deny the existence of climate change altogether, while another quarter argue that humans are not at all to blame for the increasing global temperature and growing levels of atmospheric CO2. The majority of Americans do, however, recognize that human beings play a role in climate change: a small victory for those concerned about the health of the planet.

Low On The Priority List?

Access to cleans waterAccess to healthcareHunger and food wasteEnding povertyAccess to primary and secondary educationThe environmentGender equality
% of Americans that care about the following concerns88858380777267
Social Concerns
%

Despite the claims of many environmentalists that climate change and the environment are immediate and pressing social concerns, it would appear that many Americans don't share that sentiment. While 72% of Americans claim to care at least a little about the environment, it actually ranks as one of the least concerning social issues. According to a poll by Harris Interactive, access to clean water, healthcare, hunger, poverty, and education are all more pressing concerns.

The Political Divide

ExaggeratedNot sureNot exaggerated
Republicans701020
Democrats20773
% of Americans that believe the threat of climate change has been...
%

The political nature of environmental protection and climate change is another substantially limiting factor in personal commitment to the cause. Beliefs about the status of the environment tend to break along red and blue lines, with the vast majority of Republicans claiming that the threat of climate change has been exaggerated while the vast majority of Democrats arguing the opposite. This divide creates both governmental gridlock and large amounts of misinformation as both sides cater to the political tastes of their proponents.

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