Environment

Surveying the Green Mind

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorApr 27, 2009 3:18 AM

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Still can't fathom why global warming isn't more of a bugaboo to the average American (unlike, say, a case of pandemic hysteria)? Read Nate Silver's take on this survey conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and George Mason's Center for Climate Change Communication. The survey contains various permutations of questions and lots of wonky polling data to chew on. But to Silver, the data, taken as a whole,

reveals that Americans are concerned about global warming in the abstract -- but perhaps only in the abstract.

Silver also realistically assesses the world we live in:

Although more aggressive policy responses on climate change generally poll fairly well, they are also often the first things to be sacrificed in Americans' minds when something else intervenes, such as a recession or higher energy prices. Advocates of cap-and-trade may need to find ways to personalize the terms of the debate.

All this was elaborated on in greater context in last week's New York Time's magazine, which I discussed here. Bottom line: peddling visions of Mad Max meets Soylent Green won't cut it.

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