Neilsey Survey: Those Most Vulnerable to Natural Diasters Fear Global Warming Most

As a journalist and writer-type, I think it is my job to present current issues as cleanly and fairly as possible, and not to concern myself with the "correct" way to "frame" issues.

Others see framing as a science, and argue that with proper framing, the public will waken to the issue at hand–global warming–and act on the facts.

In the above-linked post, Matt Nisbet argues that presenting global warming as a modern-day Pandora’s box will not move public opinion, partly because it leads to charges of alarmism, and besides, it’s not effective as working with evangelicals on outreach. Or as an ad campaign speaking of our responsibility to future generations.

Well, I’m no ad man. But as my editor at Grist, David Roberts, points out, any suggestion of the disastrous consequences of global warming leads criticism form some quarters. So why worry?

And a recent survey of 25,000 Internet users around the world by AC Neilsen finds that those in nations most likely to be hit by natural disasters were the most concerned about global warming.

The survey said that people living in regions vulnerable to natural disasters seemed most concerned — ranging from Latin Americans worried by damage to coffee or banana crops to people in the Czech Republic whose country was hit by 2002 floods.

In Latin America, 96 percent of respondents said they had heard of global warming and 75 percent rated it "very serious."

This tells me that warning of natural disasters may in fact resonate with the public.

If not now, soon. I think Tom Toles agrees…


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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