#8 – Why I’m lukewarm to climate change…

Reason #8 – Low on American’s worry list


I’m neither a denier nor a zealot …  so, according to British writer (& phrase-coiner) Matt Ridley, I’m a “lukewarmer”.

In a prior posts, I covered: (1) Unsettling science (2) Expired doomsday predictions (3) The “97% of scientists” baloney  (4) Dinking with the data  (5) Temperature readings – plus or minus (6) What’s the earth’s temperature? and (7) The Climategate emails

Let’s move on…


Reason #8: Climate change is low on American’s worry list

According to a survey reported by tleft-leaning Brookings:

About 2/3’s of Americans think that they’ve read or heard solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer.


OK, they say that they think the earth is getting warmer.

But here’s the rub:

Even if folks agree  that they’ve read or heard that the earth is warming, they don’t seem to care much.


Gallup is the Gold Standard of polling, right?

So,what has Gallup found?

When asked “What is the most important problem facing this country today?

Climate change doesn’t even make the list.

Pollution and the environment do, with a whooping 3% citing it as the most important problem .


Let’s look at another Gallup survey…


OK, climate change isn’t considered  the ‘most important’ problem, but folks might still consider it to be important, right?

When Americans are given a list of 13 things that they might be worrying about, and then they’re asked how worried they are about each of the 13 …

Climate change ranks 12 out of 13 … with 40% indicating that they’re “not very worried or not worried at all”



These results shouldn’t really surprise anyone.

People care most about the things that have the most substantial and immediate impact to them.

Things like job security, healthcare costs, ISIS, North Korean nukes, etc.

Face it, even if true, a 1o or 2o centigrade bump in temperatures in a couple of generations down the road sounds miniscule … and reads as somebody else’s problem.

So, treat it like the rest of the big problems the government wrestles with … kick the can down the road.


Side note:

Last week, I had an air conditioner problem that got isolated to the thermostat.

When the HVAC technician installed the new thermostat, he causally asked if I wanted it to read Fahrenheit or Centigrade?

I rolled my eyes and the guy started to chuckle.

“I’m just playing with you.  I always ask the question, just to see people’s reactions. Most have no idea what I’m talking about.”

First rule of marketing: talk the way your target market talks if you want them to understand.



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