Innumerable scientists have tried to convince us that climate change is real and human actions are to blame. In the U.S., no matter how many different ways experts explain it to us, many people remain unconvinced. Even those who are, often make no discernible effort to contribute to a solution.
Working against climate change education is the fact that it's strongest support is science and science doesn't deal in absolutes. While denialists can say that global warming is obviously untrue because they found a snowball outside, people on the other side of the argument have to explain that it's not so simple. Climate change doesn't mean the temperatures rise neatly each year and it has very different consequences in different parts of the world.
Add to the theoretical nature of science the fact that many high-powered people want to encourage Americans' inclination toward unconscious consumption, and you can get some small idea of just how seriously the odds are stacked against climate scientists and their allies.
Take California for example: the state is reportedly in the worst drought it has seen in 1,200 years, according to a study of tree rings. In 2015, San Francisco did not get a single drop in the month of January for the first time in 165 years. Yet, if you sit down at a restaurant in the Golden State they will probably give you water (and endless refills of it) without asking. People still use hoses to wash down their sidewalks and car. Lawns all over the state are still a hearty green. Even in a state known for eco-friendly living, the realities of climate change appear far from hitting home - and it looks like the very drought we need to address may be the only thing that can take them there.
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Read more on Climate Change:
NASA: Global Climate Change
United Nations Environment Program