from the who-cares-about-future-generations dept.
Papas Fritas writes "Megan Gannon reports on Live Science that, according to a new poll, although most Americans believe the effects from global warming will take hold during their lifetime, they don't expect these changes to pose a serious threat to their way of life. A Gallup survey found that 54 percent of Americans believe global warming is already impacting the planet; another three percent think these effects will occur in a few years and eight percent think these effects will occur in their lifetime.
Meanwhile, 16 percent think global warming's effects will happen sometime after they die, and 18 percent don't expect these effects to ever take hold. But the way the public perceives the reality of global warming seems to be somewhat disconnected from how they perceive the threat of a warming world. Just 36 percent of people in the United States think global warming will eventually disrupt their way of life, they survey found.
Age also affected how people saw the effects of a changing climate. Among Americans ages 18 to 29, Gallup found that 78 percent thought the effects of global warming were already occurring or would occur during their lifetime. Just 47 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) said the same. Gallup officials say their poll's results could explain why Americans don't politically prioritize environmental issues; instead, their top concerns are issues that will affect them immediately, like the economy and health care.
"Whatever the reasons, those who argue climate change is the top problem of our age are no doubt aghast that even now, in 2014, Americans are not more worried or concerned than they are. A lot of the efforts to raise concern levels and awareness to date have obviously not worked well. It may be that new tactics are needed. So far, however, even if it is a case of whistling past the graveyard, Americans are clearly more focused on other issues.""