I’m not sure if this can be partially attributed to the teen vampire craze, but recent polls show More Americans believe in guardian angels than humans’ role in global warming.
A Pew poll released late last month found that just 36 percent of Americans believe humans are responsible for accelerating global climate change, which scientists say mushroomed after the industrial revolution due to humans’ dependence on carbon-based fuels.
Carbon dioxide, which is produced by the combustion of oil, coal and other fuels, was ruled a “dangerous” threat to public health by the Environmental Protection Agency Monday. It increases the propensity of the earth’s atmosphere to retain heat.
But a near-consensus from scientists doesn’t have Americans convinced. The Pew poll found that while 57 percent believe that the earth’s climate is changing, just 36 percent believe that humans are responsible. 77 percent believed that global warming existed in Pew’s poll conducted in 2007.
The 36 percent who believe in human-caused climate change is fewer than the number of Americans who apparently believe they’re protected by guardian angels, some 55 percent, according to a poll published in 2008.
Half of all Americans believe they are protected by guardian angels, one-fifth say they’ve heard God speak to them, one-quarter say they have witnessed miraculous healings, 16 percent say they’ve received one and 8 percent say they pray in tongues, according to a survey” conducted by Baylor University published in September of 2008.
The Baylor survey was conducted in 2007 by telephone calls to 1,648 adults, who were asked more than 300 questions about their spiritual beliefs.
That’s not all. A blog at the website of Foreign Policy notes that more Americans believe in UFOs and ghosts than do anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming.
34 percent of Americans said they believed in UFOs and ghosts in a Halloween 2007 survey conducted by Ipsos for the Associated Press.
Just 39 percent of Americans said in a February poll that they believe in evolution.
All the high-school educated conservative pundits and some GOP politicians have been quick to pounce on the recent e-mails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The critics point to e-mails using shady-sounding mathematical-lingo like “trick” as evidence that climate change is a “hoax.” However, despite the Mainstream Media’s quick leap to manufacture partisan controversy out of this issue, it’s still hard to find actual scientists who believe this “controversy” means anything.
The international scientific community reached a consensus on global warming long before Al Gore made the issue a partisan lightning rod in America.
A quick point: Knowledge of political science does not make you a Scientist. Ask my college roommate, Dr. Dan. While he spent 4 years hunkered down, studying bacteria, genetic code, and other boring shit, I was completing my analysis of Indonesia’s political transition in-between bong rips. I don’t know the scientific method, but have a lot of deference and respect for people who practice it properly.
One more point: Despite their official sounding acronyms, Energy-industry funded organizations like the NIPPC (Exxon) should not be considered legitimate scientific sources. They are lobbying firms similar to ones Big Tobacco funded for decades.
So what’s up with America? Why are we so quick to disregard science? Is it because some of “these people” are nerds with dandruff and limited social skills? Is it because it’s a lot harder to disprove faith than to disprove faulty science? Is it because certain people are so unwilling to sacrifice even the smallest piece of their lifestyle that they maintain a perpetual state of denial?
Someone please explain the pathology of someone (sober) who can dismiss global warming and evolution, while believing unequivocally in angels and other supernatural shit. It can’t just be the home-schooled.
As for global warming, I will freely admit questions remain. While some try to make it a black+white argument, determining planet-wide trends is complicated. Furthermore, the scientists who took the shortcuts alluded to in these e-mails should be ashamed and possibly suspended from their Robotics Design Club. But to use these e-mails as proof of some “hoax” is intellectually dishonest. Dismissing the near-consensus of the scientific community, while believing some invisible spirit told you to supersize your Extra Value Meal (“Thanks angel! I should order more fries!”) boggles my mind.
But to close on the global warming issue, I’ll cede to the free-market champions at The Economist:
This newspaper believes that global warming is a serious threat, and that the world needs to take steps to try to avert it. That is the job of the politicians. But we do not believe that climate change is a certainty. There are no certainties in science. Prevailing theories must be constantly tested against evidence, and refined, and more evidence collected, and the theories tested again. That is the job of the scientists. When they stop questioning orthodoxy, mankind will have given up the search for truth.
And as the majority of Americans give up the search for truth, they’ll have a lot of time to seek out visions of Elvis or the Virgin Mary in water stains under their boilers.