Seeing (or experiencing) is believing on climate change.
Following 2018’s horrific wildfires in the west, drought, extreme rainfall and extensive damage from Hurricanes Florence and Michael in the southeast, America may have reached a tipping point on climate change.
More than half (51 percent) of Americans are “extremely” or “very sure” global warming is happening now, according to a survey conducted in December and released Jan. 22 by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
That’s up from 37 percent from the “Climate Change in the American Mind” study conducted in the spring of 2015.
Edward Maibach, a professor at George Mason University, said the extreme weather conditions of 2018 shifted the perception of global warming as a distant worry to a more immediate threat.
He told Inside Climate News: “And from everything I understand about the social science of how people think about climate change, it’s when they get the fact that it’s not just a polar bear problem, that’s when they come to deeply care.”
The survey also found that nearly three-in-four (73 percent) of Americans agree with 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists that global warming is happening. Sixty-two percent understand that human activity is largely responsible for climate change.
While Americans make the connection between extreme weather and global warming, the denier-in-chief wallows in his ignorance.
President Trump took advantage of the recent cold snap to tweet on Jan. 20:
“Be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!
Trump’s position would be sad, if it wasn’t so tragic. He’s the guy who is slashing environmental regulations and gutting the Environmental Protection Agency.
And in a way, Trump’s wish for a little warming has come true. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reported that 2015, 2016 and 2017 ranked as three of the four warmest years on Earth in more than a century of record-keeping. Note to Trump: that's not good news.
Numbers for 2018 are not yet available because NOAA researchers aren’t considered essential federal workers and are furloughed thanks to Trump’s shutdown of the federal government over a wall that nobody wants.