Thanks to the feed that I get from Grist, I became aware of a new and very disconcerting poll from the Pew Research Center that says "Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming".
There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.Johnathan Hiskies at Grist does a good job of putting the poll in context. I want, instead to comment about what we should be doing, because it appears that what we have been doing in the past has not been working.
For example, Saturday, Oct. 24 is the International Climate Day of Action as called for by 350.org. It is, however, not even newsworthy that there will be over 4000 actions in 170 countries. As far as main stream media is concerned, this is just another in a long series of non-events and I am not sure that mass protest is going to change anyone's minds. While these actions may involve 100,000 people, Rush Limbaugh is reaching 15 million and telling the N.Y. Times writer, Andrew Revkin, to go kill himself if he thinks that population contributes to climate. Of course, it is not the population but the energy that they consume. In this manner, Limbaugh has managed to characterize all of us as eco-zealots, or even eco-commies, plotting to lead us into a new police state controlled economy.
It does little good to sit around and read each other's blogs and columns because it is the same people talking to each other. We have to reach out to everyone else. Knock on your neighbor's doors. Send letters to the editor. Take over the next planning commission meeting in your community and demand that all new buildings be LEEDS certified… Univ. of the Pacific just did that for the campus.
Did you know that 40% of US energy use can be attributed to building operations, residential plus commercial? Architects and contractors would deliver what we need if we demanded it. Planning commissions should require that all new construction and major renovation have no more than 50% of the energy use of similar building in the same locale. That is what Architecture 2030 has been telling us for years and we are still not paying attention.
I have to deliver a column tomorrow for the Tuesday paper in my home town. What are you going to do to change someone's mind?