Record numbers of Americans believe climate change is real, and a majority understand that humans are to blame

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Yeah well, it’s obvious, given we don’t know to what extent it’s too late, that we should do what we can, but AFAIK it may already be a case of rearranging deckchairs…


a record-setting 73% of Americans believe that climate change is real and 60% believe humans are “at least partially responsible” for this fact.

As long as Citizens United remains in effect, as long as campaign finance remains unreformed, as long as gerrymandering and the Electoral College remain as-is, those figures could be 90% and 75% respectively and it wouldn’t make a difference as far as the government doing something about global warming is concerned.

Changing the political system so that its priorities shift away from serving “slow AIs”, their shareholding humans, and deluded low-information voters may seem like a monumental task, but it’s a necessary precursor to and child’s play compared with what will have to be done to mitigate the effects of climate change.


I’d love to hear more about it not being too late to do something about it. At this point I’m certain we could definitely make things worse for the next generation, but I’m not sure there’s much that we can do to make things better.

I’ve heard about things like giant solar shades that we put in space to block some of the sun. Are there other solutions?

Record numbers of Americans believe climate change is real, and a majority understand that humans are to blame

I guess that they finally believe that weather and climate are two different things.


Climate change is occurring on a very slow time frame, and that is a real problem in getting people to recognize and do something about it. It IS too late to do anything that will have an effect during our lifetimes. I suspect that it is too late do to anything that will benefit our children. But we can DEFINITELY do things that will effect our great^n grand children. Because right now we are doing thing to greatly enmiserate them. The costs and pain that we are causing our great great great grandchildren by the amount of climate change and sea-level rise that is already baked in are dwarfed only by the pain that WE can visit on THEIR great great grandchildren.


I think it’s happing at an alarmingly fast rate. As in within my lifetime, there have been changes, and I’ve noticed an acceleration.

Caveat, personal experience, N=1 all that sort of thing.


It’s not about blame. If we’ve made it, we can unmake it. Hanging our heads in shame is not a solution.

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From the perspective of a single human lifetime, possibly.

But from the perspective of observable climate history going back to the end of the last Ice age (ca. 20000 BCE) the recent climate change is dizzyingly fast, utterly unprecedented.

To put that change in perspective: As much climate change as we experienced in the preceding 22000 years, we can expect to experience in about the next 85

Eighty-five years is long enough that any given Republican in a position of power doesn’t give a fat damn.

But to anyone who still has a conscience and any fucks left to give for Homo sapiens as a species, it’s long past time for emergency action.


There was an interesting post over on Reddit last week by a poli-sci major, who suggests that we could turn the attitude around if we stopped calling it global warming, and called it something else. He suggests “global pollution epidemic.”

My degree (not germane to my actual job) was a BA in political science with a concentration in the influence of rhetoric on public opinion and the influence public opinion has on rhetoric.

Always thought we should rebrand it from climate change to “global pollution epidemic” because eliminates the typical counter argument “oh, but there’s always been climate change” and makes it impossible for anyone to deny. There hasn’t always been a global pollution epidemic, it is what’s causing climate change, so why not switch the rhetoric around and hit climate change deniers with a rhetorical knockout punch?


Man, I’ve been preaching that for almost 20 years now. It’s nice to see other people speaking out!

The problem is pollution. What we need to address is the problem, not the symptoms.


Well, someone does. Maybe not the U.S…

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Everybody everywhere has to help; there are no bystanders in a planetary event.

It seems to me that this chart simply shows dirty US industries relocating to China and operating with fewer environmental controls and worker protections.

But anyway the problem is pollution, not CO2. Pollution.

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It’s not a bad suggestion, but the denialists will come back with “but…but…pollution was worse in the 19th and early 20th centuries and we didn’t have climate change then.” Of course it’s BS, but it’s the kind of BS proven to be on the menu of their dim-witted coal-rolling suckers.

If they’re unable to get past the BS it’s going to be impossible to get them to understand concepts as basic as the difference between weather and climate or the interrelation between the problems of pollution and elevated CO2 levels. That’s exacerbated by the fact that the BS has also been focused on turning them against experts.

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Yeah, now – in July. Always remember though: winter is coming. Before you know it, the (Fox) news will be full of Senator Snowball again.


Of course the per capita carbon footprint of China is much smaller than in the US.

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Do you mean that CO2 is only part of the problem, and that by focusing on CO2 we make it harder to combat the real issue?

Or do you mean that it is impossible to pollute with CO2?

Or some other nuance that I’ve failed to register?

Well, life on earth - particularly human life - depends on CO2, so it’s hard to unambiguously categorize it as a pollutant. Carbon dioxide is dangerous in the same way that too much oxygen or water can be.

But, anyway, I meant that talking about microissues that can be dismissed with the magic-bullet-of-the-news-cycle or outright denialism is bad strategy, proven not to work by 30 years of unrelenting attempts culminating in the election of Donald Trump. We need to hammer home the message that pollution is poisoning us, and (unless we are researchers actively working out mechanisms) we need to redirect every conversation about individual symptoms into a conversation about pollution. People need to stop throwing stuff out of their windows and using disposable containers and burning gasoline and buying unnecessary plastic items. Start valuing quality and sustainability over cost and availability.

Remember, if the oceans die, the most likely outcome is that humanity ends. Solving one small part of the pollution problem will not significantly help, we need to attack on all fronts, we don’t have time to focus on single sound bites like “global warming”.



I disagree, Medievalist, it might not as simple as that. I mean, does it cost more to recycle than to buy new?