America: Land of the free, home of the brave, and kingdom of deniers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but a new poll has found that climate denial is thriving in the United States. In fact, the only countries that deny climate change harder than America are Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
The survey — conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Global Project in partnership with the Guardian — included 23 of the world’s largest countries where the U.S. ranks No. 3 on the climate denial scale. More than 25,000 people were surveyed online for this analysis, which found that 13 per cent of Americans believe that humans are not at all responsible for climate change. On the other hand, only 6 per cent of the Chinese and British public don’t blame people. What is wrong with us?!
Another 5 per cent of Americans don’t even believe the climate is changing. To put this all in perspective, that’s some 58 million individuals in the U.S. who are in denial of reality. This is despite growing evidence — like deadly arse hurricanes — that is, well, hard to ignore.
We kinda already knew this, though. A study from last year showed that the U.S. is an outlier in how closely tied climate change denial is to a person’s political affiliation. And another poll out earlier this year showed that about 14 per cent of Americans don’t think climate change is happening. The latest poll is a reminder of just how out of step America is with other large, developed countries.
Let’s not skip the good news here, though. Another recent poll showed that the proportion of Americans alarmed about climate change has more than doubled since 2013. Young people are more concerned than ever. And, well, most of us do trust science. Most of us aren’t sucked into a never-ending conspiracy hole where the earth is flat, the government controls the weather, and climate change isn’t real.
At least that’s what I tell myself to avoid losing it in this mad world.