Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How Do We Convince the Public Global Warming is an Immediate Threat?

(Special Report) – Here in the U.S., we often take it for granted how cheap our gas is. Sure, the average price is around $3.04, which is much higher than what most folks are used to. But we really don’t realize how lucky we are; Europe and Asia have it off much worse.

For example:
• Turkey: $10.03 per gallon
• Norway: $9.6 per gallon
• United Kingdom: $7.72 per gallon
• Germany: $7.63 per gallon
• Italy: $7.30 per gallon
• Switzerland: $6.24 per gallon

The list goes on. The U.S. meanwhile, as mentioned, gets gas for around $3.04 a gallon. In China it’s twice as cheap: $1.51 (source).

There’s a pattern of sorts here: where the gas prices are higher, more is being done to combat global warming; where the gas prices are lower, little is being done to fight global warming.

And it makes sense too; it’s basic economics.

I even have a fancy name for this affect: the ‘Simmons effect’. As gas prices go up, environmentalism goes up. As gas prices goes down, environmental activism goes down.

What does this mean? Well, high gas prices are good for environmentalists. But more importantly, we as environmentalists need to recognize that until the public sees global warming and the energy crisis as an immediate problem, they will never put pressure on their governments to solve these problems.

So, the real question becomes this: how do we convince the public global warming and the energy crisis is an immediate threat?

Education, my friends. Education.