The Truth About Climate Change: Who thinks What?

According to Dr. Shepherd Director of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia, many people who don’t believe in climate change cite cooler days in the Fall and Winter months as part of their reasoning.

“Climate is not defined by what happens on a given day,” said Dr. Shepherd, Director of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. “I’ll often have someone Tweet me on Twitter saying, “hey Dr. Shepherd it’s snowing I have 30 inches of global warming in my yard” but that is just a fundamental misunderstanding between weather and climate.”

Dr. Shepherd’s analogy of “weather is your mood and climate is your personality” is another way of describing the differences in weather and climate.

Climate Change Basics

There is a lot of evidence that shows that climate change is much more than just a warm day in the winter. According to the government research agency  National Centers of Environmental Information, it involves tornadoes, snow and ice, hurricanes and tropical storms and droughts. According to the Climate Change Guide, a website dedicated to building a sustainable environment, there are four main factors contributing to the evidence behind climate change.

  • Rising temperatures across the globe. The hottest ten years on record have all occurred since 1998 and increasing ocean temperatures.
  • Rising sea levels, about seven to eight inches have been added to sea levels over the last century.
  • Melting glaciers and polar ice caps, this is a contributing factor to the rising sea levels.
  • The extreme weather conditions, one of the most apparent factors over the past few months due to the back to back to back hurricanes.

What People think

The Pew Research Center conducted a survey around people’s opinions on climate change and the results may shock some. According to the Pew Research Center, people who reside in higher per-capital levels of carbon emissions are less concerned about the impacts of climate change, meaning people who reside in the larger cities and larger urban areas are contributing the most to carbon emissions but they care the least about the negative effects these emissions have on the environment. Specifically, the United States emits the highest levels of carbon per-capita, however we are the least concerned, according to the Pew Research Center. There are even some people who actively oppose that climate change or believe “global warming” is a hoax. 

The Politics Behind Climate Change

There is a very strong divide in opinions on climate change between the Republican and Democratic parties, according to the Pew Research Center. According to the Pew Research Center’s study: 

  • 20 percent of Republicans believe that climate change is a serious issue
  • 68 percent of Democrats believe that it is a serious issue.
  • 24 percent of Republicans believe climate change is effecting people now
  • 53 percent of Democrats believe it is harming people now.

Some may think these statistics are reflected in our current political environment, with a Republican President. President Trump is proposing budget cuts towards the Environmental Protection Agency and according to the Environmental Defense Fund, these budget cuts will deplete almost all of the funding for the EPA’s work against climate.

The results from the Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2015.

The Truth About Climate Change

The truth is, there are a lot of “truths about climate change” that can be found on the internet. As the Pew Research Center demonstrates, many people have their own opinions and ideas about what they think about climate change. Whether it’s about the rising temperatures, the severe weather the United States has experienced or the political aspects of it, when climate change is typed into the search bar, all “truths” can be found on the internet.

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