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Climate Change: Majority of Americans Would Pay to Fix It

One ironic thing about the media-saturated world in which we now live is that – even though there is more information available at our fingertips than ever – many of us can get caught-up in an echo-chamber of ideology and news. Rather than seeking out opinions or analysis of topics that challenges their beliefs, news consumers visit sites (and share links to stories) that most closely match what they already believe.

For those who doubt the legitimacy of climate change, they may very well doubt how widespread the consensus – of both scientists and simply rational Americans – actually is on this issue. In my own (wildly unscientific) inquiry on social media about climate change, only three out of 26 respondents believed that global warming is real and not man-made. Two of those three are partisan parrots who typically repeat whatever comes out of their chosen echo-chamber.

A more scientific survey was conducted by Bloomberg, who polled 1005 American adults, which found that “Americans are willing to bear the costs of combating climate change” and will consider that issue when voting by “an almost two-to-one margin.”

Interestingly, while a majority of Americans see climate change as a threat, more than half doubt President Obama’s claims that “a reduction of soot and smog will lead to substantial health benefits.” It seems politics extends even to Americans’ fears.

In what could be a promising sign of things to come, Forbes published an essay in which the writer states “there are those opposing the very idea [of climate change] in order to protect their own financial and economic interests” and that taking steps to curb emissions “can be done at minimal economic cost.”

A future post will take a look at the various policy initiatives and ideas for addressing climate change, but it seems as if finally climate change is being taken seriously.

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.