“Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another,” said Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll. “People are starting to connect the dots.”
Yeah! Finally! Awesome! Not sure what else to say about that quote and the study finding that are to be released today stating that over 69% of american’s agreed with this statement “global warming is affecting the weather in the United States”
Dr. Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University and researchers at George Mason University, commissioned the survey, conducted by Knowledge Networks. They surveyed 1,008 American adults by computer in the last half of March, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Knowledge Networks is known for having more statistically accurate web surveys because they include households of low income by providing them with computers.
The survey shows that people are starting to believe and understand the scientific communities position that greenhouse gases and the human contribution to that has affected our weather. For instance, when people were asked whether they attributed specific events to global warming, recent heat waves drew the largest majorities. Scientists say their statistical evidence for an increase of weather extremes is indeed strongest when it comes to heat waves.
Asked whether they agreed or disagreed that global warming had contributed to the unusually warm winter just past, 25 percent of the respondents said they strongly agreed that it had, and 47 percent said they somewhat agreed. Only 17 percent somewhat disagreed, and 11 percent strongly disagreed.
Majorities almost as large cited global warming as a likely factor in last year’s record summer heat wave, as well as the 2011 drought in the midwest. Those views are also consistent with scientific evidence, which suggests that global warming is causing heavier precipitation in all seasons.
One of the more striking findings was that 35 percent of the public reported being affected by extreme weather in the past year. The United States was hit in 2011 by a remarkable string of disasters affecting virtually every region, including droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and heat waves.
Dr. Leiserowitz said that recent events might be puncturing the public’s “very simplistic mental model of what global warming is supposed to be.” Past survey work had suggested, he said, that people tended to see the climate change problem as “distant in time and space — that this is an issue about polar bears or maybe Bangladesh, but not my community, not the United States, not my friends and family.”
In reading part of the actual survey results is that 58 percent of Americans would be interested in learning what their favorite TV weathercaster has to say about global warming. This really shows the a great majority of people really want to learn more and from trusted sources. I would venture to guess that people actually like their weatherman/women more than their newscaster. People want to learn more and they do not necessarily trust the news media on this topic.
It seems that people are starting to realize our actions are affecting the planet and that those actions have serious repercussions. This is great research to come out during the week of Earth Day but I hope that people really see that there is a need for
For more information read the NYTimes article “In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change,”
For more information read the survey results here