Extreme Weather More Persuasive on Climate Change Than Scientists
Climate sceptics, it turns out, are much more likely to believe direct evidence of a changing climate in the form of extreme weather events than they do scientists, when it comes to global warming. A poll released by the Associated Press-GfK found rising concern about climate change among Americans in general, with 80% citing it as a serious problem for the US, up from 73% in 2009. Belief and worry about climate change were rising faster still among people who do tend not to trust scientists on the environment.
Some of the doubters said in follow-up interviews that they were persuaded by personal experience: such as record temperatures, flooding of New York City subway tunnels, and news of sea ice melt in the Arctic and extreme drought in the mid-west. About 78% of respondents overall believed in climate change, a slight rise from AP’s last poll in 2009. The result was in line with other recent polls. Among climate doubters, however, 61% now say temperatures have been rising over the past century, a substantial rise from 2009 when only 47% believed in climate change.