Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pew Project reports on who likes the U.S. and who worries about global warming

A report by the Pew Global Attitudes Project says that the U.S. is continuing to lose friends throughout the world. It attributes a lot of the problem to the Iraq War, which is damaging the U.S. image in Europe and Asia as well as in predominantly Muslim countries.

In most cases, opinions about the U.S. have declined sharply since 2000 – a period that roughly coincides with the Bush administration. The only two countries that express a higher opinion of the U.S. in 2006 than they did in 2000 are Russia by a small amount and Nigeria by a significant one. Given that my personal opinion about both those countries – or at least their governments – has declined substantially in the last six years, I'm not overwhelmed by their endorsement.

The Pew Project also reports that the people of the two nations who produce the greatest amount of greenhouse gases – that would be the United States and China – are the least concerned about global warming. Among those who are aware of the problem, only 19 percent of U.S. residents and 20 percent of the Chinese worry about it a great deal. And 47 percent of Americans worry about it very little, if at all.

I'm part of the 19 percent, but it appears that most of the people who have the clout to do something about global warming – U.S. government and corporate leaders – fall in the "What? Me worry?" group.

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