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What will make Americans care about climate change?




Members of Greenpeace make a performance using a giant inflatable life ring, in a beach of Cancun Mexico, on December 10, 2010 during the COP16 United Nations Climate Change conference.
Members of Greenpeace make a performance using a giant inflatable life ring, in a beach of Cancun Mexico, on December 10, 2010 during the COP16 United Nations Climate Change conference.
RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

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Climate change is a very real threat, according to scores of scientific reports and studies. Newer literature on climate change uses increasingly intense tactics to draw attention to the imminent threat of global warming.

A new report out from the American Association for the Advancement of Science breaks down the threat into easy-to-digest facts about the risks of climate change. It’s short and to the point but Americans still aren’t paying attention.

A new study from Gallup shows that even though two-thirds of Americans acknowledge that global warming is happening, only 36 percent think it will pose a “serious threat to their way of life.” A 51 percent majority of people don’t worry about climate change, and 42 percent say the media exaggerates the seriousness of global warming.

Today, the government launched a new site dedicated to climate change data, but even with a steady flood of information, is there an effective way to capture American attention on this issue? What’s the best way to present and disseminate resources and facts about global warming? How do we wrestle with the practical application (i.e. economic impact) of climate-change policies?

Guests: 

Bjorn Lomborg, (Ph.D. in Political Science), adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center (a think tank that specializes in development spending); Lomborg was named on Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers

John Abraham, Professor of Thermal Sciences at the University of St Thomas, St Paul Minnesota