Last week, the world celebrated: Americans are increasingly concerned about global warming! Hurrah! Four out of five Americans understand that climate change poses a serious threat -- up 7 percent from 2009. Which means that by 2020 or so, 100 percent of Americans will be convinced, perhaps even including the 1 percent (Congress).
But, alas and alack, there are storm clouds brewing. (Figuratively, in addition to whatever the North Atlantic has in store for us next year.) Another poll or survey or whatever suggests that Americans also feel impotent about being able to address the problem. That's America for you, bouncing from hope to despair between new episodes of Three and a Half Men.
From the Times:
Americans may be buying more compact fluorescent light bulbs these days, but they are less likely to set their thermostats low during the winter than they were four years ago and have less confidence that their actions will help to curb global warming, according to a new survey.
The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication found that the proportion of people who say their own energy-saving actions can make a difference in arresting global warming dropped to 32 percent in the latest survey, conducted in September, from 37 percent six months earlier.
So, following this trend, by 2015 no one at all will think we can do anything personally. That's encouraging.