While our current special issue explores the topic of climate change and the dangers it could possibly pose, it is important, as it would be for any controversial topic, to examine both sides of the issue.
Listed below are some of the few reasons that average Americans may not feel that climate change is that big of a deal.
One of the first things that hurts the climate change movement is what can be called the ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect. Leaders in the climate change movement such as Al Gore and recently Alexandra Ocasio Cortez have a long history of making bolding statements about climate repercussions, and many have been false.
As compiled by Fox News, here are a few of the more notable examples of those bold predictions for 2020 falling flat. In 1990, the Washington Post warned that “Carbon dioxide is the gas most responsible for predictions that Earth will warm on average by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2020.” The paper added that “The United States, because it occupies a large continent in higher latitudes, could warm by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit.” However, now in 2020, the both the Earth and the United States have only warmed roughly one degree according to NASA.
Additionally, in 2003, Christian Lambrechts, an officer at the U.N. Environment Program, told CNN that in “2020, there will be no glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” and glaciologist Lonnie Thompson told the Associated press the same in 2001. Again, their ‘doomsday’ prediction was wrong. Others talked about drying oil reserves and millions of climates deaths, but again they were all wrong. What this does is discredit the climate activists if they do actually make correct predictions.
Something else hurting the climate movement is the messengers for the cause, many who take a ‘do as I say, not as I do” mentality. Notable climate activists who could fit in this category include people like Leonardo DiCaprio and Prince Harry, who admonish people for various climate offenses and then utilize unsustainable practices like using private planes.
Also hurting the message is that the loudest climate activists are disproportionately young, and uncomfortable as is may be for some, average Americans trying to provide for themselves and their families aren’t going to be as worried about what teenagers are telling them that they’re doing wrong.
The biggest and most important reason average Americans may be not worried about climate change is that they are more focused on making a living to provide for themselves and their families.
Right now, some members of the United State Congress are pushing for a set of policies referred to as the Green New Deal. Based on a study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the GND would mean a cost of $70,000 for the average household in the first year of its implementation. After five year that number would reach a whopping $250,000. Additionally, it was calculated by the Heritage Foundation that just a portion of the emissions reductions goals in the deal would be a $15,000,000,000,000 ($15 Trillion) reduction in gross domestic product in this country.