Perhaps, most alarming only about one in eight Americans understand that almost all climate scientists (more than 90%) have concluded human-caused global warming is happening.
If that survey is correct then experts are having limited impact, and, or, peer reviewed robust information is not flowing down to the average American.
This lack of information or even disinformation (which seems to have plagued brexit) is a feature of today’s media that worries me.
The entrenched nature of people’s views also concerns me as it suggests to me there is a diminished ability to compromise and forge agreements from different viewpoints.
`'Public misunderstanding of the scientific consensus – which has been found in each of the Yale surveys since 2008 – has significant consequences. Other research has identified public understanding of the scientific consensus as an important “gateway belief” that influences other important beliefs (i.e., global warming is happening, human caused, a serious problem, and solvable) and support for action.
Updated in 2019: see here “… About seven in ten Americans (69%) think global warming is happening. Only about one in six Americans (16%) think global warming is not happening. Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it isn’t by more than a 4 to 1 ratio.
• Many Americans are certain that global warming is happening; 46% are “extremely” or “very” sure it is happening. By contrast, far fewer (8%) are “extremely” or “very sure” global warming is not happening.
• A majority of Americans (55%) understand that global warming is mostly human-caused. By contrast, only about one in three (32%) think it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment.
• More than half of Americans (53%) understand that most scientists think global warming is happening. However, only about one in six (17%) understand how strong the level of consensus among scientists is (i.e., that more than 90% of climate scientists think human-caused global warming is happening).
• About six in ten Americans (62%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. More than one in ﬁve (23%) are “very worried” about it….”
For more information, see: van der Linden, S. L., Leiserowitz, A. A., Feinberg, G. D., & Maibach, E. W. (2015). The scientific consensus on climate change as a gateway belief: Experimental evidence. PLoS ONE, 10(2). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118489
If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try: Ursula K Le Guin on literature as an operating manual for life; Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; or JK Rowling on the benefits of failure. Or Charlie Munger on always inverting.
Cross fertilise. Read about the autistic mind here. On investing try a thought on stock valuations. Or Ray Dalio on populism and risk.