Growing Public Apathy on Climate Change Topic Worries Scientists

Ukomba

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Nimcha said:
gigastar said:
MCerberus said:
gigastar said:
Im of the opinion that we need a mass extinction event anyway.
Well then you'll be happy to know we're living one.
I meant that humans needed a mass extinction event.
To what end? And why?

People are saying the oddest things in this thread.
This pretty much explains it, and some people's fascination with global warming.

 

kasperbbs

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It's not that i completely don't care, but i really can't do a thing about it so i simply ignore it. I ride a bike to work so consider this my contribution for the cause.
 
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Of course I'm bored of it. I've heard the message, what else is left to say? Everything that can be said on the subject has been and everyone who has ears or eyes has heard or read about it by now. What else can be said that I haven't already heard? What could possibly make me change voluntarily any more than I already have? I never cared that much to start with, mostly because I'm not really part of the problem.

Unless it's a problem that can be solved inside 6 months by my doing something tangible today, right now, there's nothing more to be said on climate change. Unless they've got a solution, it's all been discussed to death already. I'm not entirely convinced by it anyway and unless there's some giant new revelation, why does it still need discussing?
 

Genocidicles

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I think the problem is that everyone in the western world could diligently recycle, drive hybrid cars and power their countries with renewable energies, but at the end of the day it makes no difference when developing countries like China don't give a shit and carry on polluting.

At this point I believe the only solution is something drastic like mirrors in space or seeding the ocean with iron.
 

hermes

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Because it takes a lot of effort to change the situation, and it would require a lot of people getting up of their asses and working for a common cause. People don't like to face hardship if it means fixing something that is not his problem, right now, and were the improvements will be as slow affecting as the destructive effects. Besides, if this generation can be labeled with something, it would be apathy...

Climate change is real, but its not immediate, it won't happen from one day to the next, and by the time the evidence is so obvious its standing on your face, it will be too late to change it.

When was the last time a nation like USA got all their effort into a global enemy? World War 2? And that was after the enemy sunk a lot of their ships. Before that most people were "That Hitler sounds like a odd chap. Let me know if it ever gets to be MY problem..."
 

Kerethos

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I don't own a car
I take my bicycle or walk where I need to go 98% of the time (otherwise I take the train, carpool or take a bus for longer journeys when it's an option)
I get all my electricity from renewable sources (wind and water)
I use low energy bulbs in everything, and always turn off the lights and such when I leave the room
I don't keep the heat on during the year (I only really need extra heat if I've opened a window during winter, Swedish insulation ftw!)
I sort my trash and recycle

I mean other than buying only organic food, which costs more and spoils faster than I can eat it - meaning I end up throwing half of it away - there's little else I can do. I even vote in favor of parties taking actions towards reduced reliance on CO2 emitting sources and a move towards a green economy. As, in the long run, the CO2-based economy will stagnate and die.

I also hate the heat with a fever (pun intended), and would love to see the planet cool down. I mean it's just May and it's fucking 32.9 Celsius outside in the sun. That's 91.22 Fahrenheit, for those using that confusing system. My tender white flesh can't handle that shit, nor do I want it to.

And damn it I don't want to have to move to the north of Greenland or the northern national border (of Sweden) just to find a comfortable climate. And I'm sick of sitting on ice packs, with water soaked hair and a fan blowing cool air at me while I game during the summer.

Have I mentioned how much I hate the heat? Because I do! Hate it, that is. :(

But nothing in this makes me feel the need to search for more information about climate change. I've kinda noticed the heat increase and lack proper winters, like the ones I grew up with, by now...
 

Callate

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Denialism and fatalism, I suspect.

I've been slowly replacing all the light bulbs in my home with LEDs, and my family owns a Prius that we use for most of our longer drives. But despite my disapproval, mile-long coal trains still rumble through my city on a regular basis.

I vote for people who claim they care about these issues. I can eat less meat. Other than that, I don't feel like there's a heckuva lot I can do. China is the world's biggest polluter right now, according to what I've read; I suppose I can buy fewer imports, but an enormous amount of our consumer goods come from China, and even if I do, I'm unlikely to convince my family to do so, let alone enough of anyone else to make more than a drop in the bucket.

We may improve our battery technology, and our use of solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and tidal power enough to make a difference in the long term; then again, it may already be too late. And again, a lot of the pollution comes from countries like China whose economies are still expanding and whose use of coal and petroleum is expanding in kind.

I'd love to leave a functional world to my daughter, but short of letting the air out of the tires of every Hummer I see, I really don't feel like there's a huge amount I can do that will make a difference. So I guess I'm interested, but I'm falling under the "fatalism" part of that first line.
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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erbkaiser said:
They keep predicting DOOM DOOM DOOM, but nothing is happening. The first warnings said the sea level would have risen by 1 meter by now, obviously nothing has happened.

People are starting to ignore the bullshit.
Perhaps, but I would still remain somewhat careful of what we do. I would say having these warnings be untrue is better than all of humanity forgoing any attempts to self regulate environmental impacts and causing what we fear

Public apathy has increased but that doesn't mean we are out of possible danger
 

Tono Makt

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No surprise. The science is settled on whether climate change is happening, but the science is not able to accurately point to specific examples of climate change having an adverse effect that can specifically be attributed to anthropomorphic climate change. Without concrete examples it can be hard to understand how much of an issue it is.

And some of the predictions that are made - even the bet case scenarios - don't seem to be accurate. At one point it was expected that hurricanes would increase in frequency and intensity as ocean temperatures rose, and yet we haven't seen that on the sort of scale that would definitively prove anything. Sea level is rising, but not fast enough to be evidence. Glacial retreat has become contentious as some glaciers are found to be advancing due to climate change.

Add all that in with a media who is looking to sell itself for ad revenue by grabbing at the most quote worthy and outrageous claims from both sides to a world economy that is utterly dependent on the products of fossil fuels (take out all forms of fossil fuels from our economy and we're back in the 18th century at best) which is increasingly under attack for causing climate change (and so the leaders of that economy, from their perspective, are simply defending themselves from attack) and you get a muddled mess of apathy as people simply don't know what to believe.

As for worrying scientists, they should be worried. And they should be doing all they can to get the information out there by bypassing the corporate media, partnering with artistic people who can present the information in informative and entertaining ways. Dozens of things like SciShow and DNews, for instance (two Youtube channels that deal with scientific information in entertaining and somewhat educational manners). Something to combat the idea of presenting both sides as valid, something that says "Here are the facts. Here is the research. Don't take our word for it alone - learn enough of the science to understand what is going on, then decide for yourself."
 

Redd the Sock

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I think a large part of it has to be in that the debate on climate change has been going on so long and it's so focused on trying to convince people it's happening, not in improving ways to reduce environmental impact that don't feel like we need to deprive ourselves, spend a fortune, or lose whole job sectors. I mean, it's hard not to lose faith when the conversation always seems to be about how if we can convince the republicans then everything we want for solutions will start happening, rather that think forward somewhat and realize that, yes, any state economically based in oil or coal is probably not going to just give all that up, and some ideas about where to go from there need to be provided.

I'm no denier, but I look at how things have gone and think that tactics need to change because some people will never be convinced by science, but could be lured with the better and more economical option.
 

Suhi89

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Lightknight said:
Suhi89 said:
Lightknight said:
Do you think caring and interest are the same thing? I mean, I care about the issue but I'm not particularly interested in it. I haven't really heard anything new in years besides the whole changing it from global warming to climate change.
This is such a pernicious myth and I don't know why. It's so easy to prove wrong. It has always been climate change and it has always been global warming. I'm 24 and so the IPCC (thats the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been around my whole life. There was a paper in 1956 by Gilbert Plass called the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change. This isn't hard to get right

Also, people are still commonly using the term Global Warming to this day. See this [a href="http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-global-warming.htm"] website [/a] for more on what the distinction actually is.
The media and published paperwork all pushed the global warming bit. It isn't a myth, it was absolutely at the fore-front of the debate. They have since leveled out and brought climate change to the forefront.

Do you honestly disagree with that? As far as I can tell, the only reason to object to such a statement is for people somehow pointing to that to discredit climate change in general, which also doesn't follow because it not only being global warming doesn't mean other things don't also exist.

That the term everyone ran with as the story exploded was Global Warming is fact. The claim that that somehow negates any new information or focus since then is the only thing that would be pernicious. A rose by any other name, if you will.

Just because we've been aware of climate change doesn't somehow negate that the word being used the most was global warming. Or, do you actually think I was saying that climate change as a term didn't exist until recently? That'd be hilarious.
I'm just saying that it's a common myth that people say "The scientists used to call it Global Warming but now there has been no warming they've changed and are calling it climate change" (hence the need for SkepticalScience to debunk the myth). Scientists are still calling it Global Warming because the earth is, in fact, measurably warming. They're also still calling it Climate Change. Climate change is less descriptive anyway, as it could mean anything. As we're told regularly, the climate has always changed.

In terms of media, I can't say I've noticed if they've changed from GW to CC. Media outlets still seem to use both. It's likely that you and I consume different media anyway so what may be true of Amercian media (assuming you're American apologies if wrong) and British media will use different language.
 

Silvanus

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A not-insignificant number of media sources enjoy spreading misinformation about climate change, in part because it strikes a chord with readers and watchers who don't understand the issue, and in part because that narrative favours the political groups the media sources support. That has a big part in it; people absorb what they read repetitively, and lying newspapers have a wider net than scientists.

Scientists need a better outlet than the ones they have.

The fact that more people disbelieve in climate change than disbelieve in the moon landing is stunning, to me, because the former being a hoax would require a far grander conspiracy. The largest conspiracy the world has ever known, spanning every country and reputable scientific institution in existence.
 

hermes

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Genocidicles said:
I think the problem is that everyone in the western world could diligently recycle, drive hybrid cars and power their countries with renewable energies, but at the end of the day it makes no difference when developing countries like China don't give a shit and carry on polluting.
I think you should know that USA is still the biggest consumer of oil as a fuel... by large (like 2 times more than China, and more than the entire EU), while the percentage of energy from renewable sources in USA is the lowest of all the western countries.

Some things to consider the next time you want to wave the "its the fault of all those developing countries", because our answer to it tends to be "you keep throwing more trash in our backyard than any of us, and now you want us to stop and clean up?"
 

Ukomba

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hermes200 said:
Genocidicles said:
I think the problem is that everyone in the western world could diligently recycle, drive hybrid cars and power their countries with renewable energies, but at the end of the day it makes no difference when developing countries like China don't give a shit and carry on polluting.
I think you should know that USA is still the biggest consumer of oil as a fuel... by large (like 2 times more than China, and more than the entire EU), while the percentage of energy from renewable sources in USA is the lowest of all the western countries.

Some things to consider the next time you want to wave the "its the fault of all those developing countries", because our answer to it tends to be "you keep throwing more trash in our backyard than any of us, and now you want us to stop and clean up?"
Except the epa does list america below china when counting CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion and Industrial Processes.

In fact our output in 2012 was about half that of china. On top of that when it comes to per capita out put, we're less than Australia.
 

Azahul

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Ukomba said:
Except the epa does list america below china when counting CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion and Industrial Processes.

In fact our output in 2012 was about half that of china. On top of that when it comes to per capita out put, we're less than Australia.
Urgh. Don't remind me about the Australian one. We tried to institute a price on Carbon, and one of the right's big arguments against it was "Why should we start doing things about Climate Change when no one else in the world is?"

Because, naturally, we're already doing less than the world. And now our new PM has systematically scrapped every scientific body we had working on the problem.

Ah well. Apologies from Australia on that. You're going to have to put up with us getting worse while the country is run by climate skeptics.
 

MrHide-Patten

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Strazdas said:
MrHide-Patten said:
If being green we're more economically viable in my area I'd do it only if it lowered my bills. I turn stuff off when I'm not using it not to save the planet, I'm doing it more me so I can eat next month, dang it. They should lead the shit with that.
which is exactly why we have a problem. this kind of thinking leads to using enviromentaly worse methods. No, if you cared about earth you would be saying you are willing to pay more for green energy. but all you do now is care about yourself, planet be damned.
I'll give ya that, living in a cardboard box would certainly lower my carbon footprint. As a wise man once (kinda) said, the planet will be fine, it'll still be here in a few million years, we'll (the human race) will be fucked, and some species that has survived the climate buggering will inherit the earth. Not really like climate change will matter once Yellow Stone goes all Permian on our asses.
 

DerangedHobo

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If I remember correctly there is still a large percentage of people that don't even believe in climate change in the first place, not to mention the fact that every body (myself included)seems to be more concerned with x, y or z cookie cutter reality show than the fact that they're knee deep in shit and problems.

Or people do get riled up and they go straight to twitter so they can tweet about how outraged they are that people are outraged at something.

Nimcha said:
gigastar said:
MCerberus said:
gigastar said:
Im of the opinion that we need a mass extinction event anyway.
Well then you'll be happy to know we're living one.
I meant that humans needed a mass extinction event.
To what end? And why?

People are saying the oddest things in this thread.
I'd say "hitting the reset" button would be good, let the next generation of poor (possibly sentient) bastards roll the dice like we did. Worked with the dinosaurs, maybe the next species at the top of the food chain will do it better than we did.
 

sXeth

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The other possibility is that people are well aware of climate change and just aren't flailing madly at Google to know what it is too. You also have potentially more educated searches like 'ice cap melting', 'poalr vortex', etc. Just cause they aren't popping in 'global warming' and 'climate change' into web searches doesn't mean they aren't looking at dozens of more specific things.

Another note is that websearches also aren't the only way to get information. With the rise up of social networking (also since 2007 or so), people are also able to follow information through those.
 

Strazdas

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Genocidicles said:
I think the problem is that everyone in the western world could diligently recycle, drive hybrid cars and power their countries with renewable energies, but at the end of the day it makes no difference when developing countries like China don't give a shit and carry on polluting.

At this point I believe the only solution is something drastic like mirrors in space or seeding the ocean with iron.
Which is why we need enviromental policies enforcable worldwide, with military if necessary and we need to do away with "one nation can say fuck you and ignore the rest of the word".

Oh and seeding the oceans with iron is the kind of "Short term gain long term loss" solution that i dont want to see happen.

Kerethos said:
I don't own a car
I take my bicycle or walk where I need to go 98% of the time (otherwise I take the train, carpool or take a bus for longer journeys when it's an option)
I wish i could do that. I used to walk everywhere back when i lived in a smaller town. now it would take 2 hours+ just to walk to work at fast pace so i end up using trolleys (a bus that runs on electricity, they are so cramped full that its really efficient electricity use there).

We also share equal passion in hating heat, i dont use no fans though.

MrHide-Patten said:
I'll give ya that, living in a cardboard box would certainly lower my carbon footprint. As a wise man once (kinda) said, the planet will be fine, it'll still be here in a few million years, we'll (the human race) will be fucked, and some species that has survived the climate buggering will inherit the earth. Not really like climate change will matter once Yellow Stone goes all Permian on our asses.
Planet will be fine. humans on the other hand - not. And if your going to use yellowstone i can use Betelgeuse [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1349383/Betelgeuse-second-sun-Earth-supernova-turns-night-day.html] to excuse anything i want to do. because as you may know it we end up on supernova axis path the earth is as good as dead, and this time it actually includes the planet itself. thing is, we can die from supernova before i finish typing this sentence, or in billion years, and since its rays travel at the speed of light - we will never see it coming.
thats a poor excuse to give up living though.
 

Cid Silverwing

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Roxor said:
I think the reason for the decline in interest is that everyone thinks the problem is too big for individuals to tackle and that the governments are too corrupt to do anything substantial (whether that's true in their country or not), so they're just resigning themselves to the fact that they'll just have to put up with crappy weather and poor quality food for the rest of their days.

It wouldn't surprise me if interest returns following a purge of corrupt politicians and the implementation of a way to keep them out of government.
Extremely this. It also helps that said governments aren't just too corrupt to do anything about it, they're the ones doing it in the first place and so REFUSE to do anything about it, all in the name of cold hard cash.