American belief in climate change is probably stronger than the media recognizes. Polls consistently reveal that a majority of Americans recognize that global warming is occurring -- despite being poorly worded and potentially skewing findings as a result. Americans also recognize the link between climate change and extreme weather, Yale research reveals.
Just take a look at the chart above.
The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication explains the findings:
In the United States, Americans have endured a record-setting series of extreme weather events in 2011, including the Mississippi floods, record high summer temperatures, and severe drought in Texas and Oklahoma. In a November 2011 national survey, we found that a majority of Americans believe global warming made the following events worse.Good news, certainly. Americans are putting it together -- after being bludgeoned over the head with a year filled with extreme weather events, they can intuit that the times they are a-changing. Climatically. Global climate change is continuing unmitigated, and as a result, we're seeing nastier droughts, wetter storm seasons, and hotter summers.
Perhaps the findings of surveys like this will inspire our largely boneheaded mainstream science media to start drawing more corollaries between climate projections and Texas droughts and so forth.
The next step is getting those folks who are now making this link to start supporting policies like carbon pricing; that's another battle altogether.