A recent global survey on the thoughts and feelings of humans, concerning climate change and its effects, was recently released by YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, that has made a science of global online surveying.
This particular study is compiled from the answers of 30,000 people in 28 countries and demonstrates significant differences in attitudes between East and West (see series of tabular figures below), including:
- Almost 90% of the world believes climate change is real
- 71% of people in India think that human activity is the main reason that the climate is changing
- People in Eastern and Middle Eastern countries are much more likely than those in the West to think that climate change is important
- 38% of Americans think that the climate is changing mainly as a result of human activity, 37% think that the climate is changing partly as a result of human activity, while 9% think the climate is changing but not due to human activity, and only 6% say the climate is not changing at all
- 75% of those from the Philippines say that climate change will significantly impact their life versus just 24% of those in the United States
- Scandinavian countries don’t seem to care very much, which is interesting since they have such a cold climate that global warming will turn theirs into temperate zone climates by the end of this century
- Most people of the world feel that we are still able to avoid the worst effects of climate change although it would need drastic changes soon in how we tackle it
- Most people of the world feel that climate change is likely to destroy the world’s economy, flood cities, cause mass migrations and even cause regional wars. More than half of the world also feels that climate change will cause a new world war, although Europe and the United States think that is less likely.
These results are important politically. Young people are more likely to take climate change seriously. And 42% of the world’s population is under the age of 25. 26% is under the age of 15.
So, if most people on Earth think that climate change is happening, that humanity is the main culprit, that climate change will dramatically impact their lives, and that we are still able to avoid the worst effects of climate change by acting quickly, then why are global carbon emissions still climbing?