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How to move the public on climate action?

Many Americans believe climate change is an impending environmental threat that faces us in the next millennium, however, although global warming is considered the biggest threat, most people are not committed to making the choices and lifestyle changes that are required. 

While, global temperatures are rising, weather conditions change across the world, the Arctic ice cap is melting, scientists and environmentalists are presenting urgent warnings about climate change, politicians, business leaders and financial ventures incentivize, stimulate and invest in new Green technologies - people acknowledge the threat, but are still not taking personal actions to reduce the problem.

Today, a number of scientists acknowledge that some climate change may not be reversible.

Is it doom and gloom with the greenhouse effect? Can global warming be stopped?

Most scientists and environmental experts agree that greenhouse warming is the most difficult problem to curb. In the next 20-30 years greenhouse warming may cause enough changes that, even if everyone stopped burning fossil fuels (which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere), some processes would have been set in motion that would continue anyhow. Although the current human CO2 injection into the atmosphere is not the main contributor to global warming, every step we take to reduce the greenhouse effect will help.

There are several theories regarding why the public has been so slow to react: Although most agree that global warming is one of the greatest threats facing the planet today, it might not feel as an immediate danger. Another issue is the inability to see how an individual decision will solve a problem created by billions of people, industries, and governments. Humans cannot ‘experience’ carbon dioxide: we cannot see it, smell or taste it, and it presents gradual, incremental effects.

An overload of bleak reports in the media, coupled with the realization that climate models were miscalculated, along with vague information, seem to contribute to inactivity, as it’s confusing for people to decide if it’s even worth their time to worry about global warming. Also, people tend to base many decisions on the immediate cost, where some of the necessary personal steps require sacrifices.

Changing public behavior is a complicated, long and gradual process.More changes will come when people are given specific and practical information about what they can do to help fix the problem.

Source: Doug Struck's report at