An ever-growing mountain of facts and scientific studies to support man-made climate change—not to mention extreme weather incidents and changing seasonal patterns being experienced every day—wasn’t enough information to keep the United States from taking the top spot in climate change denial, according to a UK Global Trends poll reported last week in EcoWatch that included 16,000 people in 20 countries.
The US even beat Australia, which is unexpected since that country now has a climate change-denier Prime Minister Tony Abbott and recently abolished its carbon tax program. But apparently Australia, a nation suffering from decades of severe drought conditions, has citizens who aren't as easily duped.
However, the US has been the recipient of mass ignorance and misinformation media campaigns facilitated for years by the likes of Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal. Misleading ads full of blatant lies are often paid for by the likes of coal-baron brothers’ Koch Industries, while being supported by conservative think-tanks like the Heritage Foundation.
Notwithstanding, there are multiple climate change deniers in the US Congress, who actively deny climate science and claim global warming is just a hoax perpetrated by clever liberals:
A hoax that has increased global temperatures steadily overall in the past few decades, increased the frequency and intensity of storms, caused severe droughts all around the globe, increased wildfires dramatically in Western states, while extending winter cold into summer months in the East.
The dilemma was recently described this way by Rmuse in PoliticusUSA:
One of the real travesties in America is that besides a steady stream of climate change denial from Republicans, the religious right, and fossil fuel industry, the profound level of ignorance among the population prevents a great number of people from understanding that ocean temperatures affect the currents that control the climate. It is nearly impossible to believe every American does not understand the simple concept because it is part of curriculum in every eighth-grade science class. Unless of course, it is schools where science has been replaced by the bible, or red states where climate change is portrayed as an evil United Nations’ plot to subvert America and destroy the fossil fuel industry.
Almost simultaneous to the Global Trends’ poll, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a study showing that ocean temperatures in June were the hottest ever recorded and the trend is expected to increase.
Why should we care how hot the oceans get?
Scientists explain it as a big cycle. Oceans affect the atmosphere and the atmosphere influences the oceans. The hotter the air, the more heat is absorbed into sea waters and warmer oceans cause more extreme tropical storms, degrade marine ecosystems and contribute to rising sea levels.
The denial of climate change by so many US citizens should be a wake-up call to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and officials at the Department of Defense that reported climate change as a major national security risk earlier this year.
They need to do a better job of selling reality.
Meanwhile, the poll revealed the most informed nations that believe climate change is real and a major threat to the planet were France, Spain, Italy, Argentina and Turkey with scores of 80 percent in the study.