The more things change, the more some people deny change

"This Week in Birds" is taking a Thanksgiving vacation and will return next week. Instead, this week on the eve of the big conference on climate change in Paris, I am rerunning a post that I did in April 2012. It concerned a New York Times poll that found that a majority of Americans believed that global climate change was affecting the weather. However, the comments from Times readers about the story told a very different tale of climate change denialism. Three-and-a-half years later, has anything changed? Is there any more acceptance of the truth of human-caused climate change and the urgency of taking action to stop it? Well, certainly not in Washington where denialism still prevails in Congress. 


April 18, 2012

Climate change affecting the weather? Ya think?

Headline in The New York Times today: In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change. The story under the headline relates how a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.

Can this really be true? After years of being in denial despite climate scientists' best efforts to make the case that human-caused climate warming is happening and that we need to try to slow or reverse it, is the public finally ready to accept the truth of climate change?

“Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another,” said Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll. “People are starting to connect the dots.”
Maybe. But after reading the story in the Times, if you follow up by reading the reader comments on the story, you may be excused for wondering if that is really true. There are too many people out there who still believe, in all seriousness, that the whole thing about climate change is just one big conspiracy of those damned scientists and the liberal media.


  1. I have a renewal of hope because of the Paris conference. Even my family, who is very conscious of climate change, didn't know about it. So I talked it up all during our Thanksgiving get together. Of course, it got upstaged by the terrorist thing.

    1. Good for you! We all need to spread the word - including the word that climate change itself may be contributing to terrorism.


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