Who’s Afraid of Climate Change?

What do you fear People move into action because of their fears. Sometimes our fears lurk on the edge of our consciousness and then events bring them into sharp focus. Dying oceans, polluted lakes and streams, unsafe drinking water in major cities, catastrophic hurricanes, severe droughts and wildfires, and an increase in the severity of weather events have brought environmental problems to the things Americans fear.

Chapman University’s 2017 Annual American Fear Survey provides an in-depth examination of the fears of average Americans. The survey analyzed 80 fears and ranked them according to the survey responses. Chapman’s chart lists America’s top 10 fears for 2017. For the first time, not one, but four of the top 10 fears are related to environmental degradation. Pollution of natural waters, unsafe drinking water, global warming and air pollution are now among the 10 worst fears of Americans.

It is not only natural disasters that occurred in 2017, but also political events. Americans had considered that the Environmental Protection Agency would protect our natural waters from pollution. However, Scott Pruitt, the current director of the Environmental Protection Agency, decided not to enforce major pollution laws and fired the entire EPA Scientific Advisory Board. No advice, no research, no hassle. People are beginning to realize that what you don’t know can hurt you.

The publicity surrounding the failure of the Flint Michigan state and local government to protect city residents from lead poisoning, and the subsequent discovery of lead and other toxins in our city’s water supplies, has caused people to fear that your water is not safe to drink. . Almost everyone lives downstream from someone, and the pollutants that make their way into our water supplies surely will.

Many Americans perceived the results of climate change remotely and in the future. Attribution of worsening disasters to climate change and the US withdrawal from the Pirates Climate Deal have highlighted carbon emissions and air pollution. Images of severe smog in China and data from American Heart and American Lung Associations on the number of deaths caused by air pollution and particulate matter are making people increasingly fearful for their health.

Action and participation are the antidote to what fear, a feeling of helplessness, can create. Our fears should create the will for political action on climate change and pollution. Even with the failure of our government and the EPA to protect the environment, we can still do so using market forces. The best plan is the carbon rate and dividend system proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby. The CCL’s legislative proposal would establish an initial carbon fee of $ 15 per tonne of CO2 at the source and increase it by $ 10 each year until CO2 emissions are reduced to 10% of 1990 levels in the United States. . Carbon fees are not a tax as they would be 100% reimbursed to American households. It would give every American citizen an interest in conserving energy and reducing their use of carbon fuels, which would reduce pollution and improve the economy. Exercise power in your citizens and insist that your Representative support action on climate change.

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