It probably won’t surprise Celsias readers to learn that concern about global warming has tapered off in the United States. That country, after all, just went through the sort of financial crisis that portends another Great Depression when it saw its credit rating downgraded for the first time in recorded history.
Okay, granted, the U.S. doesn’t have that much written history. Less than 300 years, while Jolly Old England (Britain) can effectively date its history back to 1042, the reign of Edward the Confessor, and the soon-to-be completion of Westminster Abbey (official site of the seating and interring of England’s kings and queens).
In the U.S., according to the Nielsen survey, global warming concern has dropped from 72 percent in 2007 to 69 percent in 2011. Global warming deniers point to the figure as proof that the American public is finally seeing through the deception of carbon dioxide as an atmospheric pollutant that traps heat inside the bottommost, weather-related layer of earth’s atmosphere; the troposphere.
These deniers insist that the furor over global warming is nothing more than a way to collect carbon taxes – air being the last untaxed venue on the planet. (Even the water you get from your public water facility carries a well-hidden tax, monies from which are used to refurbish or upgrade the system).
The rest of us understand that – when peoples’ livelihoods are threatened (as they have been in the U.S. since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008) – concern over global warming/climate change falls to second or even third place. First comes food, and shelter, then come societal concerns like warming, equal rights, and war.
Unsurprising, global warming concerns remain highest in Latin America, the Mideast, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region – places where climate change has, until recently, exhibited its most devastating effects. This elevated level of concern in Latin America is exemplified by Ecuador and Bolivia, each of whom has declared Nature a person, with rights of Her own.
In Africa, in Kenya, they are turning back toward crops they grew – and grew well – before the white man came with melons and pineapples. Called indigenous agriculture, these edible native plants show that wisdom isn’t always found between the covers of books.
In the Mideast, we have the singular example of Masdar City, a Mecca of civilization in the desert which will be powered by renewable energy (and the belief that mankind can live on the planet without contaminating it with hydrocarbon wastes).
In the Asia-Pacific region, we have the example of Bangladesh, the most crowded nation on earth, and one set to disappear under the blue surface of the Indian Ocean by the end of the current century if global warming continues apace – and perhaps even if it doesn’t, given the level of average temperature increase that has already occurred.
And then there is China. But this is another surprise. America, caught up in the slow death of its extravagant capitalist lifestyle, apparently doesn’t have time to worry about a two-degree rise in temperature. China, equally caught up in its race to overtake the developed world in terms of production and lifestyle, also doesn’t have time. In that nation, concern over global warming has fallen 17 percent in the last two years, proving yet again that when you fill a man’s rice bowl every day, he’s willing to die of slow poisoning.
A final takeaway from the survey? In North America at least, people believe that buying locally is the best thing they can do for the environment. This bodes poorly for China, which is busily trying to entice American eaters with its frozen veggies, garlic, honey and fish.