A polluted air/warming world connection? On this the jury is still out, apparently

There appears to be growing belief, at least among Americans, climate disruption is real. And of Americans who believe, a majority, it seems, feel such is caused by human activity.

In “Global Warming Poll: Climate Change A ‘Serious Problem’ To 68% Of Americans,” Huffington Post correspondent Alana Horowitz writes, “Of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed, 68 percent said they thought climate change is a somewhat serious or very serious problem, while 30 percent of respondents said it was not a serious problem.

“The poll marks a huge shift for Americans. In 2009, a Rasmussen poll showed that only 46 percent of Americans thought climate change was a serious issue. In 2010, Gallup reported that 48 percent of Americans thought that the seriousness of global warming was exaggerated.”

383px-Apollo_13_liftoff-KSC-70PC-160HR[1]It’s pretty much an even-Steven split between the numbers who say global warming is attributed to human activity and those who feel Earth is warming as a result of “planetary trends,” 41 percent for the former versus 38 percent for the latter, according to Rasmussen survey data, Horowitz reported.

So, a question I have is: if there is growing belief that climate change is somewhat serious, serious or very serious in the eyes of an American majority, if this is true, then alone, is this enough to prompt Americans to make corresponding lifestyle or behavioral changes so as to try to lower individual carbon footprints?

I’m reminded of a scene in the Apollo 13 movie when upon the space capsule’s ‘sling-shotting’ back to Earth from the moon, the carbon dioxide level inside the capsule was rising and wise heads at Earth-based Mission Control had to figure out a way to remedy the problem on the fly. It was definitely a race against time to come up with the means to bring cabin CO2 back to a safe level so as to no longer be a danger to the lives of the three affected astronauts.

Keep in mind that ‘ground control’ had come to the rescue and, when all was said and done, a successful solution was found.

What’s different here is the three Apollo 13 astronauts were caught up in a life-or-death struggle and this is in fact where the popular “Failure is not an option” tagline in the movie was introduced.

So, how serious a threat is climate disruption, anyway? Or, is it a threat at all? If it is, and deemed either very serious or even serious, isn’t this precedent-setting enough in terms of our trying to get a handle on carbon dioxide releases, the substance many are blaming for fueling climate disruption?

If, on the other hand, climate disruption is a result of “planetary trends,” this would be a matter for Mother Nature to resolve.

Either way, for me personally, I don’t know what harm there is in initiating a full-scale air-pollution-cleanup assault. By doing such, there would be everything to be gained and nothing to be lost, save for deleterious air pollution. I believe it’s high time to nip air pollution in the bud.

And tell me, who wouldn’t be able to live with that? It’s a win-win proposition if ever there was one.

Image above: NASA’s Apollo Thirteen lunar mission liftoffNASA

– Alan Kandel