…When I see a headline like this: “Americans Are Outliers in Views on Climate Change.”
The article comes from the New York Times. Here’s the chart that makes the reporter’s point:
On the one hand, this chart may represent Americans’ famed frankness relative to the rest of the world. After all, national populations that purportedly care much more about the supposed threat of catastrophic climate change, like Germany and Japan, are turning to “dirty” coal in increasing volumes as they turn away from nuclear power. When it comes to choosing between carbon intensive electricity and no electricity at all, the Germans and Japanese are going with reliable power, global warming be damned.
On the other hand, perhaps the chart is evidence that the U.S.A. really is a City Upon a Hill. In a world rife with clear and present dangers to the immediate welfare of living human beings, among which climate change (“a rich man’s issue“) is decidedly not included, God bless Americans for keeping their priorities in perspective. For my view on the matter, see this interview with SNL.