Did you know that, despite all of the media coverage, scientific warnings, and even Pope Francis's plea for all of us to "protect our common home," most Americans are just not that concerned about climate change? In a new poll taken by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, results revealed that about two out of three Americans polled acknowledge that global warming is a legitimate issue for which human actions are at least partly to blame, but less than one in four Americans polled are extremely or very worried about it, about one out of three Americans polled are moderately concerned, and 38% of the 1,058 people polled (the highest percentage of all) were not worried at all.
The bottom line is, most Americans just don't think global warming is going to affect them. One woman polled even went as far as to say, in a joking manner, that because she lived "in the middle of the country," she will be one of the "last ones to be submerged." Although perhaps this woman spoke in jest, her comment reveals what a lot of Americans are thinking, but perhaps not saying out loud: if it's not going to directly affect me, I'm not going to worry about it.
It's the whole "kick the can down the road" mentality. Because life is fairly normal for most folks right now, why bother worrying about it? It takes effort and forethought to make some real changes in our lives and frankly, many Americans are short-sighted, given how relatively easy life is in America compared to the third world.
Sure, temperatures are higher, forest fires are more common, droughts are more severe, but if it's "not in my backyard," what does it matter to me? What most Americans don't realize is it IS going to affect ALL of us, as well as our children, and on an even more frightening scale if changes aren't made, our grandchildren. For example, in terms of current issues that are direct results of global warming that affect all of us, watch as prices soar in grocery stores because farms are decimated due to climate change complications. Everyone will start to worry when their pocket books are affected, without a doubt.
We are ALL responsible for the health and wellness of our "common home." We should ALL be worried, so much so that we all look deeply into the choices we are making on a daily basis. As always, reduce, reuse, recycle, and conserve. Small, everyday changes can make a big difference.