Climate Change Is Getting Worse — Why Aren’t Americans Worried?
Natural disasters are occurring at unprecedented levels this summer — yet less than half of Americans are “very concerned” about the impacts of climate change, according to a Morning Consult survey.
Why aren’t people concerned? To name a few reasons, there are short-term cost benefits in maintaining the status-quo for people and business operations; it’s harder to identify nonlinear threats, like climate change, that accumulate over time; and, right now, many people are psychologically distant from any direct effects of climate change, writes Art Markman, cognitive scientist and author.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an August report that cites “each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850,” with human activity being the main cause of rising temperatures. Natural disasters will become more frequent once the temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius is breached. The IPCC says that avoiding this breach is still within reach: Countries need to increase their efforts to curb carbon emissions — but urgency will be key.