Recent polls have shown that the number of US citizens who believe in climate change is rising (see here, here, and here). These numbers have been hailed as positive—even as “a new era of public concern about climate change”—and they are positive, as far as such things go (with US Americans ranking 3rd in the world for climate change denial). They reflect media coverage of extreme climate events all over the world and the well-publicized predictions of respected organizations that are projecting disaster within thirty, twelve, or even five years. However, it’s also true that these percentages go up and down over time and that once current storylines run their course—and summer is over in the northern hemisphere—the rise in numbers will prove to be soft.
But “soft” is also how we could describe belief in climate change in the US in general. Regardless of claims made to pollsters, virtually all of us—both socially (which is increasingly online) and to ourselves (more importantly)—are actually climate change deniers when the rubber hits the road.
An apt expression, we might say, since we all need to stop driving.
That wasn’t intentional, but yes, let’s start there.