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Americans still divided on climate change says online survey
World leaders met in Paris this month to try and come up with plans and new strategies for dealing with global climate change. President Barack Obama met with other heads of state at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in an effort to come to a consensus on how best to limit global warming in the coming century.
As for the American people, there is still considerable disagreement over the cause of climate change and how big of a commitment the U.S. needs to make to fight it. A new online survey from YouGov revealed just how divided people are when it comes to addressing the issue.
Over the next several decades, increased levels of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to trap heat that would otherwise be radiated back out into space, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This will likely result in higher global temperatures which can change weather patterns and melt polar ice caps, which in turn may raise sea levels.
The EPA reported that in 2011, the U.S. was responsible for 16 percent of all CO2 emissions worldwide, even though the U.S. is home to less than 5 percent of the world's population. YouGov's online survey revealed that some Americans feel as if the U.S. needs to become a leader in fighting climate change.
According to the poll, 52 percent of the 1,000 American adults surveyed believe the U.S. should take a leadership role in attempting to prevent climate change. Another 22 percent said they were unsure of what role the U.S. should play. The survey also found that 44 percent of Americans believe that slowing or stopping global climate change needs to be addressed at the international level.
Another 15 percent of respondents stated that mitigating climate change needs to be done by individual nations themselves, but in this country, there are still many Americans who are unsure that global warming is even an issue worth addressing.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute reported that the number of adults in the U.S. who believe mankind is responsible for global climate change is still low, and has dropped since it peaked in 2007.
According to EESI, countless surveys have revealed that about 50 percent of adults believe that human activities are causing climate change. For that reason, it is difficult for the government to commit to laws and a plan of attack. Some 78 percent of Americans do support federal regulations on greenhouse gases, EESI reported, so perhaps there is more political continuity than other surveys might suggest.
Interestingly enough, women are much more worried about climate change than men. Pew Research Center reported that 83 percent of women in the U.S. believe global climate change is a serious problem compared to just 66 percent of men. Another 75 percent of women expect major lifestyle changes as a result of climate change, whereas 57 percent of men anticipate that problem.
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