- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 27 January 2016
- Written by RICHARD FELICETTI | ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
A recent Monmouth University Poll revealed that every seven out of ten people believe that climate change is real.
According to NASA, climate change is an alteration in the usual weather found in a place. On Earth, climate change can lead to many disastrous repercussions such as sea level rise, erosion, extreme heat, and crop destruction.
Climate change has long been a topic of great contention, as many believe the phenomenon does not exist and is simply a lie to mislead society for a variety of reasons. Contrarily the vast majority of scientists have consistently asserted that the effect is indeed real and if action is not taken, Earth will be in grave danger.
“I definitely think that people are becoming more and more aware of what is going on in regard to climate change,” said Andrew Betro, a sophomore psychology student. “Whether they are feeling it outside or reading more about it through the different forms of media, it is definitely becoming more prevalent and people are taking notice.”
Although the poll revealed that most people believe in climate change, it showed mixed opinions on who was responsible. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents pointed the finger toward human activity as the main cause of change. Additionally, forty percent believe that climate change is a very serious issue and that preventative steps need to be taken.
“Public opinion is catching up with the vast majority of scientists who have agreed for many years that climate is changing as a result of the increased carbon in the atmosphere from human activities,” said Tony MacDonald, director of the Urban Coast Institute at the University. “News about the increasing threats from extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, the drought in California and western wildfires, while not necessarily linked to climate change, has raised the level of awareness and concern about the potential of even greater impacts from future climate change.”
Jihad Johnson, a sophomore communication student, said that the unpredictable weather patterns in recent years has caused people to open their eyes to climate change and therefore become more aware of its effects.
Furthermore, 43 percent of respondents in the poll who identified themselves as Republicans believe that climate change does not exist, whereas most democrats do. Therefore, there is some political difference in regard to the issue.
“The poll is a majority because now more than ever technology has connected users to multiple facets of everyday life,” said Caroline Alvarado, a sophomore business student. “In previous years, social media was used mainly for connecting with friends, but now apps such as Twitter have options to view top headlines, which include the climate change crisis. This allows more awareness to the issue and gives readers a better idea of the dilemma our current climate is in. Overall, I believe social media’s impact has made people more aware of issues in the world.”
Additionally, Ava McClendon, a sophomore art student, said she believes people can feel the changes for themselves if they do not already believe in climate change.
“I think many people are starting to believe in climate change because of the delays and fluctuations of temperature in certain seasons,” said McClendon. “The length of certain seasons compared to others is most certainly questionable, but in all honesty throws off the balance of how each season is naturally supposed to feel.”
In accordance with the poll, a recent survey by the University of Michigan also revealed that seventy-percent of people believe that climate change is happening. Additionally, an ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed that 63 percent of people believe that climate change is a serious threat.
As for the future, MacDonald said he believes the recent trend will only increase, and more people than ever will believe in climate change.
“I expect that there will be a growing consensus that climate change is a reality that requires more aggressive action by government, as well as businesses and individuals,” said MacDonald. I am concerned, however, that the political gaps between the views of Republicans and Democrats that are reflected in the polls, as well as debates about the expense and impacts on the economy of alternatives will make it very difficult to forge agreement.”
IMAGE TAKEN from hammer.ucla.edu