Record Number of Americans Worried about Climate Change, but will it matter?

The number of Americans who worry “a great deal” about climate change rose from 37 percent in 2016 to 45 percent in 2017, a recent Gallup poll found.

Not only that, record percentages of Americans consider global warming a serious threat and believe that it is caused by human activities.

In 2015, 57 percent of Americans believed human activities caused climate change. This year, it’s 68 percent, according to the poll.

The number of Americans who believe the effects of global warming have already begun has also risen, from 55 percent in 2015 to 62 percent this year.

Gallup says the level of worry about climate change in America has seesawed over the past 20 years – fluctuating along with things like the release of “An Inconvenient Truth” and the economic recession.

So this year’s heightened fears could be related to the fact that the poll was taken on the heels of one of the warmest February’s on record in the U.S.

It could also be because they no longer have a president who is at least trying to address the issue. President Donald Trump, unlike former president Barack Obama, has promised to scale back efforts by Obama to reduce carbon emissions and other environmental protections.

Hell, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency is Republican politician Scott Pruitt – from Oklahoma. You know, the state with sudden seismic activity following all the fracking. 

I wrote about that in 2014 for Al Jazeera America – that Oklahoma nearly doubled the amount of earthquakes that California that year. California recorded 88 of magnitude 3.0 or higher while Oklahoma recorded 174.

The rise in seismic activity was paralleled by fracking – and the state that once recorded about one earthquake a year now records about one every day.

Trump’s statements on cutting environmental protections, reviving coal, and appointing oil and gas guys to the highest levels of government all makes for an atmosphere in which Americans might not feel like their leader is addressing the problem – even as seas and temperatures continue to rise.

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