People in the United States either don't have a clue, are unconvinced or have little to no interest in climate change issues as suggested by Google search queries, news website polls, studies and as reflected by the search and poll results during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP21. It's not a hasty generalization because these are actual results collected from actual the search queries and poll answers.
The lack of knowledge on the subject matter is alarming considering all nations are experiencing the effects of climate change. In fact, world leaders have come together to sign an agreement to take the necessary steps to keep the rise in the Earth's temperature from reaching and exceeding 2 degrees Celsius.
So what are the embarrassing results that prove not only the U.S. populace, but everyone in the world should be more concerned about this worldwide phenomenon?
Google Search Results
A quick sweep of Google Trends shows that the following questions are the top search queries during the COP21 conference.
1. What is climate change?
2. Is climate change real?
3. What causes climate change?
4. What is global warming?
5. Why is climate change important?
These are basic questions that have been discussed time and again and, if anyone is interested, the top searches on climate change related queries are coming from Vermont, Maine, Alaska, Washington D.C. and Montana.
News Websites Poll Results
The 2015 poll results on climate change experienced a drop when compared to 2014's results. The ABC News and Washington Post poll conducted by the Langer Research Associates showed that only two out of three Americans consider climate change as a serious issue.
When asked whether climate change is a serious problem, 69 percent of respondents believed in 2014, but the 2015 results showed only 63 percent think the same way in 2015. Another alarming result showed that only 47 percent of responders think that the government should be doing more to combat climate change. There is a bright side to the result, however, because Americans may believe that the Obama Administration has been acting on the issue more.
The role of corporate money
Do big corporations have anything to do with the lessening of interest of average Americans on climate change issues? A study says that, yes, big companies do have some sort of influence.
"The contrarian efforts have been so effective for the fact that they have made it difficult for ordinary Americans to even know who to trust," Yale University sociologist Justin Farrell said. Farrell is also the author of the study connecting corporate money to the rise of conflicting views on climate change.
Farrel studied transcripts, papers and articles with regard to contrarian views in the past 20 years and found that corporate-funded organizations have the tendency to produce and repeat the same contrarian views to deliberately confuse consumers.
However, we can't place all the blame on corporations, even if some clearly aim to cloud judgment for its own end. As consumers and humans experiencing extreme climate conditions in the present time, we should be able to judge for ourselves if we are being deluded or not.