The fight against climate change starts with public opinion
This week, a science guy, the Secretary of State and a billionaire all stood up against public apathy towards climate change.
Secretary of State John Kerry, TV Celebrity Bill Nye and billionaire Tom Steyer are just a few big names that stood up against climate change this week—and those who deny its existence.
A recent Pew survey found that the number of Americans who ranked climate change as a priority for elected officials to address has not changed in five years, and less than one in three ranked it as a top priority. On a global scale, fewer Americans ranked climate change as a major threat to the country than the rest if the world. People from Latin America expressed the most concern about the issue.
Why aren't Americans as concerned about climate change? Part of the problem could be that 26 percent still believe that there is no solid evidence and another 18 percent think that "natural patterns" are responsible, as opposed to human activity.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn is one of the non-believers. The GOP leader also happens to be Vice Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee. On last Sunday's Meet the Press, she debated Bill Nye (the science guy) under the moderation of David Gregory, and maintained that scientists have not agreed on global climate change and its causes.
"You can pick out particular skeptics but you can't really say, can you, that the hundreds of scientists around the world who have looked at this have gotten together and conspired to manipulate data," Gregory replied to the Congresswoman's assertions, citing a natural gas company's awareness of climate change.
"What we have to look at is the fact that you don't make good laws, sustainable laws, when you're making them on hypothesis or theories or unproven science," Blackburn replied.
"What people are doing is introducing the idea that scientific uncertainty," Nye argued. "We all have to acknowledge that we have a problem."
Billionaire Tom Steyer is trying to solve that problem—through your TV and computer. The retired investor plans to spend around $100 million in the upcoming election season to put climate change at the forefront of political debates through massive ad campaigns.
Yesterday, John Kerry told college students in Indonesia that climate change is as big a problem as disease, poverty, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction—"the greatest challenge of our generation."
Perhaps an even greater challenge is convincing a generation to care.