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Millennials: Climate Change Is World's Biggest Problem
Far and wide, young people consider climate change to be the world's most serious issue, according to the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Shaper Survey of more than 31,000 millennials from 186 countries and territories.
Close to half (48.8 percent) of those surveyed chose "climate change/destruction of nature" as their No. 1 concern. This is the third year in a row that 18-to-35-year-olds declared the issue as their biggest global concern.
The vast majority of survey participants also agreed about what causes climate change—91 percent answered "agree" and "strongly agree" with the statement "science has proven that humans are responsible for climate change."
About 78 percent of respondents also said they are willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment.
Millennials are a major voting bloc in the U.S., accounting for 36 percent of eligible voters in the 2016 election. Population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2016 also found that millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation's largest living generation.
But on a sad but related note, the new survey found that more than half (56 percent) of millennials believe that their views are ignored before important decisions are taken in their country.
"By wide margin, millennials (who will be here for decades to come) say climate change is worst problem world faces," tweeted Bill McKibben, environmentalist and founder of 350.org, about the survey's results.
Following climate change, "Large scale conflicts" (38.9 percent) and "Inequality" (30.8 percent) was voted as the second and third most serious global issue, respectively.
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Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.
By Andrea Germanos
Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.