The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The environmental inverted pyramid in public perception

with one comment

Here’s an interesting “least, first”-related observation by Nate Silver at the excellent FiveThirtyEight.

We (Americans generally) believe the environment is in danger from global warming. But we don’t particularly believe that danger threatens us:

clipped from www.fivethirtyeight.com

The survey (.pdf), conducted by George Mason University‘s Center for Climate Change Communication, reveals that Americans are concerned about global warming in the abstract — but perhaps only in the abstract. Just 32 percent of Americans think global warming will harm them “a great deal” or a “a moderate amount” personally […]

These beliefs are not necessarily irrational. Climate change probably will have more impact on the developing world than the developed one, and it almost certainly will have more impact on our children than it does on ourselves. […]

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Without taking the time to question whether the perception of invincibility is correct, let’s observe that it raises the perennial least-first question: Will we have the courage and grace to act on behalf of others?

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  1. Even letting the debate continue, when our species may hang in the balance, says something about us. I argue that there is a certain presumptuousness surrounding our approach to how we are addressing global warming that goes well beyond simply having a short-term perspective. What if the cockroach has a more sustainable position? I recommend the following post: http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/climatic-presumption-what-is-the-forecast/

    euandus2

    November 5, 2009 at 10:32 am


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