SA on global warming front line

Pat Wise
January 25, 2019

The study shows 62 percent of Americans understand that climate change is mostly human-caused, and around half of Americans believe they or their loves ones will be impacted by upcoming climate changes. For the first time, the vast majority of Americans accept that climate change is happening, which means perhaps we can finally start to do something about it.

"The thing that is most encouraging in these polls is that they show the public has now become aware that climate change is here and now", Bob Inglis, executive director of RepublicEN, an organization encouraging conservatives to respond to climate change, told NBC News.

Americans' concerns about climate change have surged to record levels, new polling shows, following a year marked by devastating storms, wildfires and increasingly dire warnings from scientists. With a topic as politically divisive as climate change, imprecise language and factually incorrect statements not only provide easy targets for the other side but also hinder conversations focused on building a consensus around real solutions.

While 57 percent of those surveyed would contribute $1 a month to combat global warming, that number drops significantly when the monetary contribution increases.

This survey focused its questions on respondents' emotions toward global warming in addition to simple knowledge of the issue.

Nearly half of respondents, 46 percent, find it at least moderately important in their social circles to take action to combat climate change, and 40 percent say they have family or friends who already are. 69% said they are very or moderately interested and 53% said they were very or moderately disgusted.

With her husband, Andrew Farley, Hayhoe wrote "A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions", a book that breaks down the complex science and tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming. This is the highest that number has ever been, up from 63 percent in 2015.

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Among Australia's major insurers, IAG and Suncorp have release climate change action plans, while QBE has indicated it will rethink its underwriting strategy on fossil fuels.

Having a president who denies climate change has also swayed public opinion.

Only 14 percent believe that it is already too late to do anything about global warming.

The survey also showed conditional support for taxing carbon emissions and attaching the levies to coal, oil and natural gas.

Majorities would support a carbon tax if the money went to restore forests, wetlands, and other parts of the environment; fund research and development into renewable energy sources; or expand public transportation. During an interview the next day Ocasio-Cortez said "the world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change".

And that while the Mother City had averted so-called "day zero", when it would run out of water, "a recently published climate change attribution study tells us that the risk for droughts of this magnitude occurring in Cape Town has already increased by a factor of three as a effect of man-made climate change".

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