As I was reflecting on the trip, I realized that last week I probably admired some beauty on the New England coastline that will soon disappear. That's right, Global Warming: It's real and if we don't do something about it, oceans will rise and we will lose a lot of our coastal areas. If you think I am crazy and you don't believe that global warming is caused by human activity, you are not alone. According to the chart above from a study by the Pew Research Center, only 49% of the public thinks that the earth is getting warmer because of human activity. However, an overwhelming majority of scientists--84%--agree that the earth is getting warmer because of human activity.
It is amazing to me how many people still don't believe that humans are a major cause of climate change. The scary part about this ignorance is that people who don't believe that their actions are negatively impacting the whole earth, don't try to change their actions.
Today's New York Times reported that Europe's ban on incandescent bulbs is starting now, which is a great step forward toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions. After the supply of the old bulbs runs out on the shelves, everyone in Europe will have to buy new energy efficient compact flourescent light bulbs (CFL's). Sadly, people have been stockpiling the old bulbs so they don't have to switch. And here in the US, people aren't nearly as willing to make changes to save energy as most Europeans.
The moral of the story: We need to help people believe the scientific fact that global warming is happening and it is caused partly by human activity. If people don't accept this then they will never make the necessary changes to cut global greenhouse gas emissions...and the coast I stood on this last week will be covered with water.