Climate Change: How Willing Americans Are To Adjust Lifestyles
Feb 16, 2019
<h5>A new survey shows how willing U.S. residents are to make lifestyle adjustments to combat climate change.</h5>
<p>PATCH -- Two-thirds of Americans say they're reducing their energy usage by turning off lights and powering down electronic equipment at night to help combat the causes of climate change, which scientists warn is proceeding at an unprecedented rate.</p><p><br/></p> <p>An interactive map from Sandbar Solar shows widespread differences across the country in how willing people are to make changes in their lifestyles, including adjusting their energy usage, eating less meat and driving their cars less. The Santa Cruz, California-based company asked 3,500 Americans if they would be willing to make changes if it would slow, or even reverse, global climate change.</p><p><br/></p> <p>Only about a third of Americans have researched switching to an alternative energy source, but a majority are making small changes — 84 percent, for example, say they try to reduce their use of plastic in everyday life, and 65 percent said they take measures to lower their water usage, such as turning off the tap when brushing teeth. And 71 percent said they would consider driving their cars less.</p><p><br/></p><p>Tell Us: What lifestyle changes are you making or do you plan to make to fight climate change? Tell us in the comments, or talk directly to your neighbors with Patch's QuickPost feature — found on the home page, it's the green button with a pencil that's labeled "post." There's no login required, and you can use it to talk to your neighbors about this and other topics.</p><p><br/></p><p>The survey also revealed a surprising finding in a country that lays claim to inventing the hamburger: Sandbar Solar reports that 43 percent of survey respondents said they would cut down on eating meat if they thought it could stem or reverse climate change.</p><p><br/></p> <p>The survey revealed a fair amount of misunderstanding around the topic of climate change, too: 58 percent of people were unable to correctly identify the scientific community's widely assumed causes of global warming, which include the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and agricultural activities. Instead, 44 percent think the climate is warming because of cyclical weather patterns, 7 percent think the sun is getting hotter and 7 percent think the Earth is moving closer to the sun.</p><p><br/></p> <p>To find out how willing residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia are to changing their lifestyles to combat climate change, <a href="https://www.sandbarsolar.com/news/fighting-climate-change/" target=""><b><b><u>click here.</u></b></b></a></p> <h4>Climate Change Effects Already Visible</h4> <p>The last four years — 2015-2018 — have been the hottest years on record due primarily to emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, which the World Meteorological Organization said have reached record levels. Scientists are confident the increase in global temperatures will continue for decades to come, largely as a result of greenhouse gases produced by human activities.</p><p><br/></p> <p>The effects of climate change that scientists have long predicted are now occurring, including loss of sea ice, accelerated sea-level rise and longer, more intense heat waves, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. </p><p><br/></p> <p>"Taken as a whole," the IPCC wrote, "the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time."</p><p><br/></p> <p>In addition to hotter global temperatures, scientists predict a longer growing season allowing heat-trapping gas emissions to grow; more swing in precipitation patterns; more droughts and heatwaves, and stronger, more intense hurricanes. Sea levels are expected to rise by 1 to 4 feet by 2100, and in the next several decades, storm surges and high tides could combine with the sea level rise to increase coastal flooding. By mid-century, the Arctic is likely to become ice-free during summer months.</p><p><br/></p> <p>Effects will be visible throughout the United States, according to national assessment reports released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Here's what to expect across the country:</p><p><br/></p> <p><b>Northeast:</b> Heat waves, heavy downpours and sea-level rise could compromise infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and ecosystems. Many states and cities in the region are beginning to plan for climate change.</p><p><br/></p> <p><b>Northwest:</b> Changes in the timing of streamflow could reduce water supplies, and risks to infrastructure and the increase in ocean acidity will pose major threats. Wildfires, insect outbreaks and tree diseases could cause widespread tree die-off.</p><p><br/></p> <p><b>Southeast:</b> Rising sea levels pose widespread and continuing threats to the region's economy and environment, and extreme heat will affect health, energy and agriculture more. Water will also become more scarce, which will have negative economic and environmental effects.</p><p><br/></p> <p><b>Midwest:</b> Extreme heat, heavy downpours and flooding will more often affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, and air and water quality. A range of risks to the Great Lakes will be exacerbated.</p><p><br/></p> <p><b>Southwest:</b> Increased heat, drought and insect outbreaks, all linked to climate change, have increased wildfires. Additional concerns include declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, heat-related health problems, and flooding and erosion.</p><p><br/></p><h5>Thank you to our friends at <i>PATCH</i><i> </i>for providing the original articles below</h5>
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