We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

It’s time to look at the (political) science behind climate change

2 62 213
11.12.2018

In 2018, California recorded its deadliest wildfire in state history. The combined intensity and duration of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans’ tropical storms and hurricanes reached a new recorded high. A group of researchers reported that worldwide fossil-fuel-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to hit 37.1 billion tons in 2018, yet another annual record.

It’s time to take a clear-eyed look at the science behind these developments — the political science.

The data show that, for all the evidence that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous, and despite wide public acceptance of those propositions, people in the United States do not necessarily want to stop climate change, in the sense of being willing to pay the cost — which is the only sense that really matters.

“The public’s level of concern about climate change has not risen meaningfully over the past two decades, and addressing the problem with government action ranks among one of the lowest priorities for Americans,” according to a comprehensive review of public opinion literature published in 2017 by Patrick J. Egan of New York University and Megan Mullin of Duke University.

In a series of open-ended Gallup surveys this year asking Americans to name the “most important problem facing the country,” environmental issues never scored above 3 percent.

Even before the recent riots against President Emmanuel Macron’s climate-change-related........

© Washington Post