Obama Tackles Climate Change amid American Skepticism

Washington, DC [CapitalWirePR] June 25, 2013 – President Obama will make a major address on climate change and the serious challenge it presents this Tuesday at 1:15pm EST at Georgetown University. His speech can be seen live at whitehouse.gov/live.

In preparatory remarks, President Obama said “I’ll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go – a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it.

This is a serious challenge – but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths.

We’ll need scientists to design new fuels, and farmers to grow them.

We’ll need engineers to devise new sources of energy, and businesses to make and sell them.

We’ll need workers to build the foundation for a clean energy economy.

And we’ll need all of us, as citizens, to do our part to preserve God’s creation for future generations – our forests and waterways, our croplands and snowcapped peaks.

There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.”

President Obama will be making his case to many Americans not yet willing to acknowledge unprecedented weather changes with drought and heat waves affecting ever larger segments of this country and the world.

According to new polling from the Pew Research Center, Americans are among the least concerned of any major country about climate change.  “Publics around the world are concerned about the effect of global climate change and international financial instability, with majorities in many of the nations surveyed saying these are major threats to their countries, according to a 39-country survey by the Pew Research Center.

Americans are less concerned about global climate change. Four-in-ten say this poses a major threat to their nation, making Americans among the least concerned about this issue of the 39 publics surveyed, along with people in China, Czech Republic, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan. Concern about global climate change is particularly prevalent in Latin America, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Asian/Pacific region, but majorities in Lebanon, Tunisia and Canada also say climate change is a major threat to their countries.

At least half in all of the European Union nations surveyed, as well as in most Middle Eastern and African countries, consider international financial instability a major threat. This is especially the case in southern Europe: 95% in Greece, 75% in Italy and 70% in Spain express concern about financial instability.

Islamic extremism is also a serious concern, with majorities in the U.S., as well as in many European and African countries, considering it a major threat. In Europe, concern about Islamic extremism is particularly common in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Britain. Among the African publics surveyed, those in Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya are more likely to say Islamic extremism poses a major threat to their countries. In the Middle East, majorities in Lebanon, Tunisia and Israel also express concern about Islamic extremist groups.

Americans and Europeans also express concern about Iran’s nuclear program. While fewer in most Middle Eastern countries surveyed share this concern, 85% of Israelis and 51% of Lebanese see Iran’s nuclear program as a major threat. North Korea’s nuclear program is also a serious concern for Americans; 59% say it poses a major threat to the U.S. Only in South Korea, Japan, Italy and the Philippines is there more concern about this.

For the most part, there is little concern about U.S. or Chinese power and influence among the publics surveyed. Only in the Palestinian territories, South Korea and Pakistan do majorities say U.S. power and influence poses a major threat to their countries; in South Korea and Japan, clear majorities say the same about China’s influence and power, as do 52% of Italians. More than four-in-ten Americans say China’s power and influence is a major threat to the U.S. In China, 39% see U.S. power and influence as a major threat.

These are among the findings of a survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. This survey is for immediate release and available at http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/24/climate-change-and-financial-instability-seen-as-top-global-threats/.”

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of data and analysis. It does not take advocacy positions. Its Global Attitudes Project conducts public opinion surveys around the world on a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day.


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