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Poll: Most Americans Believe in Human-Made Climate Change, But a Shocking Number Still Don't
First the good news. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll out Thursday found that 57 percent of U.S. adults think climate change is caused by "human activity" or "mostly human activity"—a stance held by 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists. That's up from the 47 percent in 2012.
The bad news? That implies 43 percent of U.S. adults still have doubts about the global phenomenon, similar to President Donald Trump.
The survey of 4,660 American adults was conducted shortly after the U.S. government released a damning climate report last month warning that human-caused global warming could have dire consequences for American lives and livelihoods.
"Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities," the report compiled by 300 top scientists and 13 federal agencies begins. "The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future—but the severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur."
The reason the climate has changed so rapidly in the past half century is due to increases in heat-trapping greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, also comes after a year of record-breaking and climate-fueled wildfires, hurricanes, floods and toxic algal blooms that devastated many parts of the country.
But according to the poll results, only 35 percent of U.S. adults view climate change as an "imminent" threat driven mainly by human activity (up slightly from 32 percent in 2017 and 24 percent in 2015).
Scientists have determined that 2018 is "almost guaranteed" to be the fourth warmest year in the record. The only years hotter? 2016, 2015, 2017, respectively. Meanwhile, 2018 greenhouse gas emissions are on pace to hit a "record high" and 2019 could be another unusually hot year due to a possible El Niño.
El Niños, which have a major effect on global weather patterns, including spikes in temperatures, are not caused by climate change. However, researchers have previously suggested that we could experience extreme El Niños more frequently as our planet continues to warm.
Interestingly, the new poll found that the majority of Americans—69 percent—want the U.S. government to work with other countries to combat global warming. That number included 64 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats.
The poll comes as representatives from around the world meet at the COP24 talks in Katowice, Poland to hammer out a rulebook to implement the 2015 Paris agreement of limiting global temperature increase.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that the climate summit, now in its last days, is "our last best chance to stop runaway climate change."
Failure to reach an agreement, he added, "would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal."
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Wolves and Jaguars Are Already Threatened by Border Razor Wire As Trump Vetoes Bid to Block Emergency Wall Funding
President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning Congress' vote to block his national emergency declaration to fund a border wall that environmental advocates say would put 93 endangered species at risk. However, the president's decision came the same day as an in-depth report from UPI revealing how razor wire placed at the border in the last four months already threatens wildlife.
Yet another whale has died after ingesting plastic bags. A young male Cuvier's beaked whale was found washed up in Mabini, Compostela Valley in the Philippines Friday, CNN reported. When scientists from the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao investigated the dead whale, they found it had died of "dehydration and starvation" after swallowing plastic bags―40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) worth of them!
By Joe Sandler Clarke
"Don't expect us to continue buying European products," Malaysia's former plantations minister Mah Siew Keong told reporters in January last year. His comments came just after he had accused the EU of "practising a form of crop apartheid."
A few months later Luhut Pandjaitan, an Indonesian government minister close to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, warned his country would retaliate if it was "cornered" by the EU.
By Luis Torres
For some people who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump's attempt to declare a national emergency and extend the border wall is worse than a wasteful, unconstitutional stunt. It's an attack on their way of life that threatens to desecrate their loved ones' graves.
At least 150 people have died in a cyclone that devastated parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the weekend, The Associated Press reported Sunday. Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people since it hit Mozambique's port city of Beira late Thursday, then traveled west to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Hundreds are still missing and tens of thousands are without access to roads or telephones.
"I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives," Mozambique's Environment Minister Celso Correia said, as AFP reported.