Who, apart from the fossil fuel industry, bears responsibility for the ingnorance of the American public about the causes of global warming?
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In my opinion, much of the reason for this is the extremely complicated and speculative nature of the science involved.
It is hard for people to understand stuff that they do not feel. That means that it is hard for them to believe that temperatures are getting warmer when they cannot feel that happening. It is also difficult when they experience tough winters to convince them that climate change is real.
So I would say that it is the nature of the claim that is being made. The science is complicated and the proof is not easily seen.
As far as responsibility for Americans' ignorance on this issue, I feel that has to come straight back on us as educators, and on the media for not doing their jobs. Yes, the science is complicated, but the implications are not, and few people would be able to tell you even what the problems are that are associated with climate change.
Physics and Calculus are also complicated and difficult, but we teach those in almost every school. A more comprehensive curriculum in education is needed. As for the media, it's almost impossible to hold them accountable except to reward the media that does do its job effectively with our viewership and readership. Unfortunately, we also enjoy being entertained by news.
I think that the American public themselves are partially to blame. There is a lot of research out, a lot of television ads, newspaper ads, etc. that are targeted towards educating us on how to become more environmentally friendly. Most people know that burning fossil fuels is not healthy for the environment, yet most of us still do it.
One way to target this problem is by educating children at an early age. When I was in school (which was a very long time ago-70's and 80's) I do not remember being taught just how important keeping the Earth clean was. Currently, children are taught more and more about these issues. For example, teachers are getting students involved in Earth Day activities so I think as time moves forward we will see a generation of people who care deeply about the environment.
I believe there is plenty of blame to be shared with many groups: Governments who refuse to take action; businesses who abuse the Earth's sanctity; educators who don't emphasize the importance strongly enough; and, especially, individuals who refuse to take a decisive stand.
I agree with most of you. Apathy is huge on so many levels. The attitude of many Americans is if it doesn't affect them personally, who cares? We as Americans have such a self-centered attitude toward everything where most of the rest of the world has a more global view. The people making the money want it hushed due to greed, and the public doesn't bother digging into issues that don't touch them personally until, of course, it is too late to do anything about them.
There is enough information out there that if you are still ignorant to Global Warning it is probably your own fault. There is plenty of ways to educate yourself on the effects of Global Warning.
Politicians who are influenced by companies trying to sell points-of-view that will make it easier for them to continue to do business.
But it's also our own fault. We make choices every day that impact global warming/climate change. We can't blame everything on corporate greed and politics.
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