From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/14404/the_weathermen_dont_know_which_way_the_winds_blowing/
Four in 5 Americans believe in global warming–but nearly half of local weather reporters don’t.
BY David Sirota
January 12, 2013
There’s a big reason climate change differs from so many public policy challenges: unlike other crises, addressing the planet’s major environmental crisis truly requires mass consensus. Indeed, because fixing the problem involves so many different societal changes—reducing carbon emissions, conserving energy, retrofitting infrastructure, altering a meat-centric diet, to name a few—we all need to at least agree on the basic fact that we are facing an emergency. This is especially the case in a nation where, thanks to the U.S. Senate filibuster, lawmakers representing just 11 percent of the population can kill almost any national legislation.
That’s why as encouraging as it is to see a new Associated Press-GfK poll showing that 4 in 5 Americans now see climate change as a serious problem, it is also not so encouraging to see that after the hottest year on record, 1 in 5 still somehow do not acknowledge the crisis. Unfortunately, that 1 in 5 may be enough to prevent us from forging the all-hands-on-deck attitude necessary to halt a planetary disaster.
What, if anything, can be done? Short of eliminating the filibuster so that lawmakers representing this 20 percent don’t retain veto power over climate change legislation, America desperately needs a serious public education campaign.
The good news is that with such education, many of those who don’t yet believe climate change is a serious problem can, in fact, be reached—and convinced to accept obvious reality.
This is the conclusion of a new study by researchers at George Mason University and Yale University. It found that those with a “low engagement on the issue of global warming…are more likely to be influenced by their perceived personal experience of global warming than by their prior beliefs.” Summarizing the findings, Grist.org reporter David Roberts writes that “people who have made up their mind have made up their mind,” but for those in the “mushy middle,” personally facing severe weather—and being exposed to facts about what that weather really represents—“can make a real difference.”
Continue reading at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/14404/the_weathermen_dont_know_which_way_the_winds_blowing/