Earlier in this century, almost 80 per cent of Americans accepted that the Earth was warming and almost half believed we were causing it. Then skepticism increased and those believing in warming fell to 57 per cent and those believing we were causing it fell to a third. This increasing rejection of an inconvenient truth was no doubt aided by the massive disinformation campaign waged by vested interests and their political servants. But now there is some good news.
According to a Pew survey, over the last few years recognition of reality is returning. Two-thirds of Americans now agree there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature is increasing and 42 per cent say this is caused mostly by human activity.
Global warming is a vastly greater threat to Americans' security than their favourite fear, terrorism. Deniers have done grave mischief by undermining the science of climate change in order to sow confusion and doubt. Major figures in government and industry, men who are expected to show leadership, have acted with particular irresponsibility, one might even say, given the gravity of the threat, wickedness, in support of their own greed or political advantage or simple ignorance.
Perhaps the truth is now beginning to have its day. Americans still have a very long way to go before they come to terms with
science which overwhelmingly declares that we, Homo sapiens, are
causing global warming, but at least the trend is now in the right
direction. A shred of hope remains.