Respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty
The Eurobarometer poll (pdf) suggests that the majority of the public in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem. Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty.
Connie Hedegaard, European climate commissioner, said: “This is encouraging news. The survey shows that the citizens of Europe can see that economic challenges are not the only ones we face. A clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians and business leaders to address the serious climate challenge now.”
She said it was striking that the public were even more concerned about climate change than in the runup to the landmark Copenhagen summit on climate change in late 2009.
The number of people rating climate change as a very serious problem has risen slightly, from 64% when the poll was last conducted in 2009, to 68% this year. When asked to rank the seriousness of the problem, people put it at 7.4 out of 10, compared with a score of 7.1 out of 10 two years ago.
People also said there were economic benefits to tackling climate change, with eight out of 10 people saying that dealing with the problem would provide an economic boost and create jobs. Two years ago the number was just under two-thirds.
There was also wide support for moving taxation to penalise greenhouse gas emissions and encourage energy efficiency, with an average of 68% of people across the EU in favour of such a move.
However, there was less enthusiasm for people taking personal responsibility for tackling climate change. Only one in five said they took personal responsibility, with more people saying it was the responsibility of national governments, EU authorities and businesses.
Despite this, most respondents said they had taken action to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the previous six months. But for the greatest number that action was recycling household waste, which ranks fairly low on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Just look at this. Europe is finally beginning to understand the severity of the problem climate change poses to life on Earth. In the United States, climate change, let alone any environmental concerns really, isn’t even on the political agenda. How often do you hear about climate change in the mainstream media? Not that often. When you do hear about it, how often is it tied in with climate science denial? Quite a bit. We have this disconnect between the American population and the scientific community primarily due to 1.) a terrible media, 2.) massive widespread scientific illiteracy, and 3.) scientists who do not publish studies in laymen-friendly terms or make publications readily available. We’re still sitting around debating whether or not it’s a viable man-made threat.
Nonetheless, this is encouraging news.
Texas climatologists have recently stated that the ongoing dry spell is the worst one-year drought since Texas rainfall data started being recorded in 1895. The majority of the state has earned the highest rating of “exceptional” drought and the remaining areas are not far behind with “extreme” or “severe” ratings by the U.S. Drought Monitor. So far, Texas has only received 6.5 inches of the 16 inches that has normally accumulated by this time of year….
Streams throughout Texas are running well below normal and reservoirs are running at 50 percent of capacity. Only one boat ramp remains open between Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan and water levels are falling by a foot per week. For farmers and ranchers who depend on Mother Nature to provide water for their livestock and crops, this lack of water has been crippling. Agricultural losses have already mounted to a record 5.2 billion, and the drought has not yet broken.
Texas has suffered through mega-droughts in the past, so how does the current one compare?
Figure 1 shows the year of the worst 6-12 month drought for various areas in Texas. For 55.8 percent of the state, the current drought is the worst on record. No other drought was as bad in so many places. The previous standard for a one year drought, 1925, can now only be considered the worst ever in 14.6 percent of the state.
For July, the statewide Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), which is a measure of dryness that takes both temperature and moisture into account, recorded its lowest ever reading. This surpassed the worst July readings for 1918, 1925 and 1956, the droughts of record in Texas….
What we know from the past climate record, how the trend fits with our physical understanding of climate change, and what climate models project for the future, is strong evidence of an increase in drought risk that must be managed to avoid increasing costs to citizens, communities, and businesses of the Lone Star state. Residents, water managers, and community leaders in Texas would do well to both prepare for the possibility that the current drought will last longer than anticipated and that the future climate in Texas will be at risk of more severe and longer droughts (regardless of how long the current drought continues). The current drought represents an opportunity for Texans to identify drought adaptations that will allow them to better respond to the increased risks of a drier future.
(link via starsatnighttexas)
I can believe it.
“I called Rick Perry a year ago and told him, ‘If you’re running for president, I’ll be the first to endorse you,’ ” Inhofe said at a State Chamber of Commerce breakfast at the Tulsa Press Club. “I’m going to be that person on Monday.”
What a duo! Their states are almost entirely under extreme or exceptional drought — drier than the Dust Bowl (and hotter). Their states’ preferred adaptation strategy is prayer.
And, of course, they are hard-core climate deniers who take big bucks from Big Oil and smear climate scientists — and if their do-nothing policies continue to triumph in this country, they will turn their states, and the entire SouthWest, into permanent Dust Bowls. I smell bromance in the air.
Here’s why Inhofe wouldn’t support Romney (or Gingrich):
Inhofe said he “likes Mitt Romney, but he’s a little mushy on environmental issues” and “Newt Gingrich, I always have this vision of him sitting on the couch holding hands with Nancy Pelosi,” but that he has no reservations about Perry.
Inhofe said he also thinks Perry has the best chance of any Republican to defeat Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.
I don’t think that is true. Sure, Obama could easily lose with a bad economy and even worse messaging. But Perry is Bush Lite: Everything people disliked about Bush, but without the faux compassion. Still, as TPM’s Josh Marshall reports:
… two new polls show Perry opening up a big lead over the Mittster nationwide. That dramatically changes the contours of the race and — most significantly — ends Romney’s inevitability, de facto nominee strategy.
It’s quite true that we don’t nominate presidents in nationwide primaries. The problem for Romney is that the actual states that are going to be deciding are considerably more conservative than the GOP electorate nationwide.
UPDATE: Romney is already back-pedaling on the science, as Reuters reports today:
“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.
“What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.”
But the evidence does, in fact, suggest that what we’re getting now is a first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we’ll face in a warming world. And given our failure to act on greenhouse gases, there will be much more, and much worse, to come.
These are the kind of concrete lies and deceptions that can be clearly proven false. I wonder why misinformation that actively works against the best interest of the public is allowed to continue relatively unchallenged.
there IS other news! OUTRAGEOUS SNOW TOTALS! Okay, are you wondering how all these snow storms could be happening, in the midst of Global Warming?
From TIME: “hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow. Colder air, by contrast, is drier; if we were in a truly vicious cold snap, like the one that occurred over much of the East Coast during parts of January, we would be unlikely to see heavy snowfall.”