Americans Believe Population Growth Threatens Climate, Poll Reveals

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Countries by Population

A new poll, commissioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and conducted by Public Policy Polling, reveals what Americans believe about population growth. Mainly that the growing human population is driving many species towards extinction and worsening climate change. The 657 respondents also reveal that they believe that population is an important environmental issue.

The specific findings, according to The Huffington Post, of the poll are:

  • 64 percent said that, with the human population expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, wildlife will be adversely affected.
  • 61 percent said they are already concerned about the rate that wildlife are disappearing.
  • 60 percent said they “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that human population growth is driving animal species to extinction.
  • 60 percent said our society has a “moral responsibility” to address wildlife extinctions in the face of a growing population.
  • 59 percent said they “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that addressing the effects of human population growth is “an important environmental issue.”
  • 57 percent believe human population growth is “significantly impacting the disappearance of wildlife.”
  • 57 percent said they “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that population growth is making climate change worse.
  • 54 percent said stabilizing population growth will help protect the environment.

While scientists have been saying that population growth is responsible for many environmental issues today, it is never discussed as a major cause of environmental problems. In fact, this poll is very telling when you consider that it means that the general American public identify population as one of the factors behind environmental problems.

The Huffington Post also shares:

The Center for Biological Diversity launched its human population campaign in 2009 to highlight the connection between the world’s rapidly growing population and the effect it has on endangered species, wildlife habitat, the climate and overall environmental health. As part of the campaign, the Center has given away nearly 500,000 Endangered Species Condoms intended as a way to get people talking about this critical issue.

The Center advocates for a number of ways to address population, including universal access and adequate funding for family planning services, empowerment of women, sustainable development, a reduction in the consumption of natural resources and personal decisions that lessen the impacts on wildlife and the environment.

If we’re going to address some of the biggest environmental problems we face, population has to be part of the conversation. This poll is evidence that Americans are ready to start talking about population and dealing with impacts.

For a while now, polls showed that most Americans didn’t believe in climate change. But all that seems to have changed as recent polls reveal that Americans believe in it. Most recently, we shared the new study from Duke University, which revealed that the number of Americans who believe in climate change is on a rise and so is the support for new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

More specifically, the survey revealed that 50 percent of Americans ”are convinced the climate is changing” and another 34 percent believe it “is probably changing.” The findings of this study are significant, since the researchers claim that this is the highest quantitative findings of belief in climate change since 2007. Just last year a Gallup poll, released in March 2012, revealed that 30 percent of Americans worried about global warming “a great deal” and another 25 percent worried about it a “fair amount.”

What’s more, the Duke study found that 54 percent of Americans felt that climate change was caused by man-made causes and 64 percent felt that new regulations need to be implemented to control the greenhouse gas emissions. that said, when it came to taxes on carbon emissions, a mere 29 percent vocalized support.

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Susmita is a freelance writer and editor in the Greater New York City area with her own blog on natural beauty (Cherry Stained Lips). In her spare time, Susmita enjoys cooking, traveling, dappling in photography, art history and interior design, and moonlighting as a therapist for her loved ones.