Dear America, Smarten up!

by JGordon on Oct. 18th, 2010

This is us
This is usCourtesy jadensmommy
Seriously, America, you really don't know much about how climate works. Like, most of us get an F when it comes to climate. Check it out: 52 Percent of Americans Flunk Climate 101. And here's a .pdf of the quiz. Test yourself, and tell us in the comments how you did!

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

This is a must-read article, especially for environmental educators and communicators. (It only looks long and intimidating… there are a lot of graphics!)

It’s a bummer, but according to this report there is some serious lack of knowledge on three very important ideas at the heart of climate change:

1) People don't understand that weather happens every day and climate is the trend of weather of many years (weather is short term variance, climate is long term pattern).
2) People don't understand the mathematical properties of "average."
3) People don't understand that beef consumption is a major cause of climate change.

On the bright side, 72% of Americans view science museums (like the Science Museum of Minnesota!) as trusted sources of climate change information, compared to 64% trust in university professors (like University of Minnesota professors!), and 58% of trust in environmental organizations (like the Institute on the Environment!).

Furthermore, the internet was the #1 single source (61%) Americans would go for more info on climate change. (Good news for the Buzz! And the IonE's Dialogue Earth program.)

posted on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:20pm
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

Here are some neat links to explore the difference between weather and climate:

Environmental Protection Agency


The National Center for Atmospheric Research

posted on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:02pm
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

There is a LOT of information online about how beef consumption threatens our planet. Here's only a few sources for more info:

Science American article

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article

Ecological Economics article

Global Issues

posted on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

`I agree with you!

posted on Tue, 12/28/2010 - 3:39pm
MicroScribe's picture

Did I miss it? The pdf seems to be the report, including the test's answer key (don't look!)...but not the actual test?? I'd like to try the test!

posted on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:20pm
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

The PEW Center did a similar poll worth checking out.

posted on Wed, 11/10/2010 - 12:45pm
rationalist's picture
rationalist says:

I feel sorry for those who don't know enough about the debate to understand the reality of global warming.

On the other hand, I have nothing but contempt for the demagogues who live to make money off telling the uneducated right-wing libertarians what they want to hear.

Every credible scientist believes the climate consensus. Anyone who doesn't can usually be traced to ExxonMobil, BP, etc.

(Exceptions: Svensmark, Friis-Christiansenn, Christy, Spencer, Shavivv)

This is quite a telling article. I recommend it highly.

posted on Sun, 12/26/2010 - 9:13pm

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