Nearly 40 per cent of Americans think climate change will cause human extinction

Mr Trump is nevertheless pulling the US back from climate change commitments

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 06 July 2017 22:18 BST
A big portion of Americans are concerned about the safety of the future with climate change in the mix
A big portion of Americans are concerned about the safety of the future with climate change in the mix

For about two-fifths of the American population, climate change is likely going to kill off the entire human population.

That’s according to a new poll from Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication, which also found that a healthy majority of Americans believe people are the cause of global warm.

The study found that 39 per cent of Americans think that the chance that climate change leads to the extinction of the human race is higher than 50 percent. Most Americans, though, believe that the chances of that scenario are less than 50 percent.

The finding that 58 per cent of Americans believe climate change is human caused is the highest number the survey has seen since it started the poll in 2008. Just 30 percent of respondents indicated that they thought the changes are the result of natural fluctuations in climate and the environment.

The poll shows that a significant number of Americans take the threat of climate change seriously, even as Donald Trump looks to undercut climate and environment protections put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama.

The biggest effort in that regard came just last month when Mr Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the landmark Paris climate agreement that Mr Obama played a key role in negotiating. The President said then that the Paris accord put an undue financial burden on the American government, and that cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions would hurt American industries like coal production.

The assertion that the deal was bad for the United States is somewhat dubious. Since the agreement was not a legally binding treaty, America was under no obligation to contribute the funds that Mr Obama’s administration had promised to a climate change fund that would go toward helping developing nation’s transition away from cheap fossil fuel energy sources.

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