Fellow Goodjers, I hope you are less ignorant than 87% of Americans.

I was so shocked when I found out how few people knew this basic fact that I had to start a separate topic for it. I mean, I was floored.

First, let me just say that this is not a topic for discussion & debate. Let's just deal entirely with facts. What to do with those facts is a topic for discussion and debate, so please, let's not talk about that here. Let's just talk about this basic fact that 87% of Americans don't understand. If you want to discuss and debate, please start a topic in the appropriate forum to do so. I only want to make sure everyone knows this simple fact:

At least 97% of climate scientists agree that human-caused global warming is happening.

A recent annual report was issued by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication showing that only 13% of Americans correctly identified that over 90% of all climate scientists have concluded that human-caused global warming is happening. Since so few people got that right, I am willing to bet that more than a few Goodjers don't realize that either.

That is not good. This is an important topic, and a basic understanding of the facts is critical to moving forward with the debates and decisions needed and the votes you will want to cast and the leaders you will want to support to address the issue as you see best.

Again, this thread is not the place for debating how to deal with climate change. I am posting this because I want to make sure that everyone understands the fact that climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that human-caused global warming is happening.

To quote the NASA page: "Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver."

NASA is not some fly-by-night operation. That statement was issued in 2009 by 18 scientific organizations. Eight years ago, and still barely more than one in ten people in the USA know it.

Thank you for trying to spread awareness of this fact. I'm impressed at your resolve to separate the debate from the awareness. Good luck.

Well yeah. The Right Wing Noise Machine is a thing.

I taught at the community college for a number of years. Once I realized that about half of the students in my beginning algebra classes didn't know how many states there are in the US (I taught in the US), there is very little about American ignorance that will surprise me.

Horrify me, yes.

It's not a condition unique to any nationality. I'm constantly appalled by what pops up in my FB feed (usually shared for entertainment by my small circle of friends). Sure it can be fun to mock the determination of someone to stay utterly ignorant and misinformed but the implications for our future are terrifying.

Jonman wrote:

Well yeah. The Right Wing Noise Machine is a thing.

If it were just the right wing noise machine the number wouldn't be that high. Anti-intellectualism and both-siderism infects a whole lot of people all over the political spectrum.

While true, denying anthropogenic climate change (or that the climate is changing at all) is far more prevalent on the right than the left.

I honestly don't think it's a partisan thing. The number of correct responses is so low that the energy industry's misinformation campaign has to be working at least to some extent all over the political spectrum. That was the really scary thing for me.

I didn't dig into the details, so it may be that there's a significant percentage of respondents that only slightly lowballed how many scientists assert human-generated greenhouse gases as a primary driver of warming. Maybe it's some misguided attempt to hope that things aren't as bad as they really are.

The bottom line for me is that everyone needs to understand that this isn't some far-off hypothetical condition. The effects are real, they affect everyone, and they are already well underway.

BadKen wrote:

I honestly don't think it's a partisan thing. The number of correct responses are so low that the energy industry's misinformation campaign has to be working at least to some extent all over the political spectrum. That was the really scary thing for me.

Exactly. If the number is truly 87% than it probably encompasses the majority of people who consider themselves Democrats/liberals as well.

I truly think that a big part of the problem is that mainstream media loves arguments, horse races and controversy. A "debate" between a climate scientist and an oil lobbyist or politician gets more attention than correctly reporting the truth, it misrepresents both sides as being equally valid, and it lets low information people get away with saying "gee, it looks like there's a bunch of smart people with conflicting opinions, guess no one knows for sure".

There's a disturbing amount of people who think that not taking any stances and constantly acting above the fray makes them smart.