When the U.S. economy began to plunge in 2008, so did Americans' belief in climate change--opinion polls showed that the percentage of Americans who thought the climate was changing dropped 14 points, from 71 to 57, between 2008 and 2009.
That number has been climbing again--it reached 70 percent this past September--but the number of Americans who say they are worried about climate change is still seven points lower than it was in 2008 (63% of Americans were "very" or "somewhat" worried about climate change in 2008, compared with 58% in 2012).
It's also significantly lower than in Iran, where 80% of the population is worried about global warming, according to today's infographic.
The data here are based on a small sample size, so we can't be sure they perfectly represent Iranians' views on climate change--and I'm frankly confused about how it's possible that 80% of Iranians are worried about climate change, but only 60% believe it's happening--but it appears that Iranians' views on climate change are, for the most part, more progressive than Americans' (see the chart I tacked on at the end for a comparison between the U.S. and lots of other countries--it appears that only China and Russia are less worried about climate change than we are):
And here's the aforementioned chart, with data from a 2010 World Bank report. I'm very curious as to why Mexico is the most worried country in the world:
1. The article is based upon a small sample size so the info is rather useless. 2. I do not care what Iranians think about global warming. I doubt their 80 million people will influence global warming in a plus or minus way, anyways. 3. I do care if Iran gets an atomic bomb and will they use it.
Emily, why did you write this article?
Oh, I like the articles picture! ;)
Why is anyone surprised? Iran is ahead of the US in teaching evolution:
In fact Iran has very advanced programs in nanotech and stem cell research. Scientifically, they're the fastest growing country in the world.
Oh, and Iran has heavily invested in green power. They export wind generator turbines, and have built some of the world's largest hydroelectric dams, and have invested heavily in CNG automobiles too. They just finished a large solar power station too.
It is always amazing for me to see people that do not know what statistics is or how it works. A sample size of 1300 is a very adequate sample for extrapolating these results. Statistics is there so that we do not need to run a referendum of the whole population every time for each issue. The only thing that remains is error margin of a statistical study which usually is designed to be less than 5% and so of negligible effect when talking about numbers such as 60 or 80%. In fact the same sample sizes are used in North America and around the world for such studies.
As for why Iranians are so worried about the global warming, it is because of several factors. One, is the multiple number of droughts that have hit that country creating agricultural water crisis, forcing Iran to increasingly depend on agricultural imports. In fact an Iran that was self sufficient in food production in 1950's had become the world's largest importer of wheat in 2008. The other reason is decreased winter snow precipitation and lesser frost/shorter winters in Iran that the public might interpret related to global warming. Also not to forget that Iran itself is one of the large contributors to global warming, depending on fossil fuels for its energy with Iran being the seventh largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world. People there are aware of these facts.
And why fewer people believe in it (60%), is because of how people interpret the world around themselves. Statistically it means there are people in Iran who are worried about global warming or its effects but do not believe it is "currently" happening. Extrapolating this, might mean that a segment of Iranians think global warming is possible and a worrying issue but currently not affecting the earth (eg. note that in highly charged political atmosphere of US, this kind of belief constitutes a small and irrelevant segment of society while in Iran's case it appears to be quite large).
The only country that has used nuclear weapons against women and children is United States of America, TWICE. Also United States and its allies had given WMD's to Saddam which he used against Iranians to such a degree that today, Iran stands the largest victim of WMD in the world after Japan.
Whether you care about global warming or not, but the world does. Warmongers of course have other issues to tend to and as appears from your ignorant comment.
Leave them to their dreams. There are still people in United States that believe the world was created 4000 years ago. And they are not in the fringe of the society. No, sir. These kinds of people and the others who have other similar ideas and thoughts constitute the majority in United States.
And I am not surprised to read, that Iran's Shia mullahs have come to terms with evolution. After all they have led the country to have the world's fastest growth rate in science and technology output. Today, I was just on the SJR website looking at the data and noted that in 2011, Iran was the 17th largest science and technology producer in the world and extrapolating their growth rate for 2012, I was amazed that they should be either 14th or 15th in 2012. It means, Mullahs have been busy investing in education and research. In United States, things are fast regressing. God help us all.
One other interesting thing I just found out in this context is the fact that Iran has the world's largest fleet of CNG run vehicles (Natural gas vehicles-NGV) with the biggest growing market for them as well. Though, it appears they are switching to natural gas for economics and due to sanctions but still, they are at least doing something with regard to global warming.
Wow, fascinating SuperDD, your profile is 1:26 minutes old and hassani1387 your profile is 1 hour and 12 minutes old. It is as if you work for PoPSCi and made 2 profiles and wanted to make point for this article.
Alrighty then, lol. ;)
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Robot, what the heck does the age of my profile have anything to do with anything? Stop trying to shoot the messenger and deal with the substance of the posts. What's the matter, you upset that the Brown-skinned Iranians are not what you thought they were?
As much as I dislike SN's like hassani, I have to agree.
Hassani: Stick to reality not dreams.
A Gallup poll from earlier this year also showed that a higher percentage of Americans believe global warming is happening. That's up slightly from the last couple years, but it is still lower than it was in 2008.
Scientifically, these polls mean nothing. Taking a survey of the number of people who believe in Santa Claus doesn't tell us if he actually exists.
Anyone who's paid attention knows there has been no warming for the last 15 years, and this is troublesome for the alarmists. The latest (leaked) draft IPCC assessment AR5 shows the committee is trying to grapple with the lack of warming. It contradicts the computer model projections and affirms what more careful scientists noted all along: the measured warming (and non-warming) is within the range of natural variability. In other words, if there is a human contribution to warming, it is difficult to quantify because some of the most significant processes affecting warming are still not understood. Scientists still don't know what causes the cyclical, long-term cooling and warming that results in ice ages and the more hospitable interglacial periods like the one we're currently in. Until they do, crediting humans with "unprecedented" warming is simply speculation couched in scientific-sounding mumbo jumbo.
My two pennies, from all I have learned of documentaries, media alike and science, yes the sun with it's cycles causes global warming. Second, since the industrial revolution humans on Earth have amplified this process into an unstoppable avenue as our human population over runs the Earth with 7 Billion. And with our continue population growth, we humans will force the Earth to reach a tipping point in global warming one day, that suddenly our world population will come to a climax, then after a year or so of suffering our population my drop worldwide to .01%.
Mine is my opinion and I did not create multiple fake logins on PoPSCi to suddenly strengthen my point.
It is just an opinion, like so many others.
Take care. ;)
I find it as interesting that data like this can even be gotten from Iran as much as that they care about global warming. It's just too bad that Iranians have the kind of government that they do. As for people people creating accounts to dispute what robot says. It's easy to understand that. Robot is PopSci's unofficial critic. And, nowadays even critics have critics.
Why is anyone surprised? This are the same Iranians who toke to their roof tops thinking American companies where going to broadcast their brands on the moon.
sorry hassani1387/superDD Iran is not as advance in reality as it is in your dreams , the U.S doesn't let them steal our technology.
And as for nukes i hope they do get it , it'll be their doom.
ALSO ANYONE ELSE THINK THIS ARE POST JUST TO GET PEOPLE ARGUING IN THE COMMENTS.
What the article shows to me, is that more Iranians are more gullible than Americans. Look at the graph : you have Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, Vietnam with higher ratings than the US. You pick the dunce nations and compare them to the US. What makes you think a subsistence peasant in Vietnam, a camel driver in Egypt, a goat herder in Senegal or a drug smuggler in Mexico is better informed than a US citizen who is showered with media and opinion 24/7 ?? I have spent time in several of the countries I mentioned and you find highly intelligent and literate people everywhere, but the vast majority, and that are the people that are represented in opinion polls, is, by western standards, just plain dumb.
As for hassani and super dd ( does the dd stand for double dumb ? ) You live in cloud cuckoo land. Iran, until the 1980ties the pride of the middle east, has become an international pariah. Interesting that they should be the nation with the biggest fleet of CNG vehicles. But you do know that this is because they are too incompetent to run their refineries effectively to satisfy their own market.
SuperDD, stating "the majority of Americans believe the world was created 4400 years ago" stems from the same brand of ignorance that permits Westerners to assume the 'majority' of Arabs are terrorists. Indeed, those who believe in literal interpretations of the Christian bible on such issues are most certainly in the minority, albeit a vocal minority. The person screaming loudest in the room usually only does so because few people in the room would listen to his nonsense otherwise. In any case, your basing very hard words on the foregone conclusion that global warming is going to be an epic, apocalyptic disaster. Global warming as a meteorological trend is quite obvious; the extent to which global warming will effect weather patterns is less clear. In fact, the question itself is really more subjective than you seem to suggest. Hurricanes in New York City, for example, might seem 'very serious' to unaccustomed New Yorkers, but 'not too serious' to Floridians who have lived through hundreds of such storms.
As far as WMDs go, the first country to develop nuclear weapons in WWII was almost certainly going to use them. For awhile, the odds were that Germany would be the first to develop and use nuclear weapons. You have the luxury of decades of comparative peacetime to weigh a decision made quickly, in great chaos, and without precedent. Furthermore, America has since developed a very apologetic stance towards those events; the Japanese people understand that the memory sickens us, too, and regardless of wartime strategy, wish that harm to their citizens could be undone. With regards to Iraq, they are a nation of grown men. If I hand you a gun and you shoot your neighbor, which of us should go to jail?
But really, I didn't come here to argue about tangential issues, and I suspect/hope you didn't either. There are ignorant individuals around the world, and there are intelligent, well informed people all around the world. In either case, no one knows for sure what global warming will bring, and cautious preparation and educated optimism seem like the wisest course of action for all scenarios.
@Robot Respectfully, I have to tell you that you are mistaken, Iran current 74 million population could in fact have an adverse effect on global warming, being an Iranian myself I am more knowledgeable on this matter, it might be interesting for you to know that Iran's consumption of Natural Gas surpasses that of China with more than 138 billion cubic meter per year(3rd on the list after Russia), Iran is currently 13th major consumer of Oil and is expected to become an importer within next five years, majorly due to economic sanctions and lack of investments in oil and gas sectors.
Most vehicles in Iran are outdated, in-efficient and not so eco-friendly, in fact local manufacturers refused to install catalyzer on cars just until recently.
I could refer you to http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/ira.html for more information of CO2 emissions from Iran.
But all in all, I would appreciate it if you don't politicize everything, you don't have to be fearful of the fact that Iranians are generally more progressive than many Americans. Don't worry though, we still love you! :)
SuperDD said: "It is always amazing for me to see people that do not know what statistics is or how it works. A sample size of 1300 is a very adequate sample for extrapolating these results. Statistics is there so that we do not need to run a referendum of the whole population every time for each issue. The only thing that remains is error margin of a statistical study which usually is designed to be less than 5% and so of negligible effect when talking about numbers such as 60 or 80%. In fact the same sample sizes are used in North America and around the world for such studies."
Thanks for pointing this out. I was trying to be generous with the sample size so as to avoid any comments being made about it being technically insufficient. Depending of course on the survey length and geographic parameters of the audience, it is quite common for a sample size of 300 to 500 to be considered statistically significant, although 750-1,000 is preferable in order to hit that special 5% +/- margin of error mark.