In Contrast to Americans, A Majority of Iranians View Climate Change As a Critical Threat
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
As Earth Day approaches, expect a number of major polling reports on American views of global warming. I recently had a study accepted at Public Opinion Quarterly that analyzes twenty years of available polling trends on global warming, and I will be updating the analysis in the next two weeks as these most recent surveys come out. I was interested in doing the study because, despite the availability of dozens of survey studies over the past two decades, no authoritative summary of their collective findings exists. As a consequence, survey results often become an ideological Rorschach Test, with one side in the policy debate citing polls as reflective of a public demanding action on global warming, while the other side claiming that polls reveal an American citizenry unwilling to bear the economic costs of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. In the study, I wanted to try to arrive at some answers as to where the American public stands on the scientific and political dimensions of the issue, while also trying to understand how U.S. views have changed over time. Stay tuned for more details on this forthcoming study.
Speaking of new survey data, released today is the latest in a series of cross-national comparisons conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. The countries captured in this latest survey include the U.S., Australia, China, India Israel, and several developing countries. Western European countries, where there is very strong public support for action on climate change, are not included in the poll.
As the Washington Post observes (and I concur), of noticeable interest is that a strong majority of Iranians (61%), along with a majority of citizens in several other developing countries, consider climate change to be a "critical threat" compared to only 46% of Americans.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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