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Extreme weather wakes US up to climate change

June 29, 2007
US public opinion is rapidly waking up to the threat posed by global warming, despite the best efforts of the Bush Administration and much of industry to deny the problem.
There has been a double-digit increase in the proportion of Americans who say environmental problems are a major global threat - from 23 per cent to 37 per cent, according to a comprehensive survey published this week by the Pew Centre in Washington.
The environment is increasingly in the news in the US, thanks to violent and unusual weather patterns - mainly floods and severe drought - combined with the rising cost of petrol. The past few days have seen dramatic rainfall across the southern states. More than a foot of rain fell across central Texas and Oklahoma yesterday, with more storms predicted.
Hardly a day passes without a report being issued pointing to new environmental threats.

The Pew survey bears out the fact that concern about the environment is still sharply lower in the US than in any other advanced industrial country, with the exception of the UK. In every other Western European country large majorities view global warming as a serious problem, ranging from 57 per cent in Italy to 70 per cent in Spain.
The survey of some 10,000 people worldwide by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that public opinion in Great Britain mirrors the US view. In the UK, less than half (45 per cent) say it is very serious while another 37 per cent rate it as a somewhat serious concern.
The survey found that the Chinese are far more likely than Americans to cite environmental problems as a major global danger (70 per cent against 37 per cent).
Worldwide, most people in the surveyed countries agree that the environment is in trouble and most blame the US and, to a much more limited degree, China. Read Full Article
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