Terrorism versus climate change

For some reason Fox has tweeted this dated survey on what the US public sees as priorities.

They have highlighted:

  • Terrorism 76%
  • Climate Change 38%

I presume they are trying to make some sort of a point.

These priorities may or may not have changed much since January, but I think it is likely that the results would be similar. However it is a bit of a pointless comparison.

There are frequent reports of terrorism and threats of terrorism, whether it be in the US or abroad. In the past couple of weeks there has been news of a possible terrorist attack in the Philippines, terrorist bombs in Afghanistan (two incidents), the Manchester concert attack and on Friday the evacuation down of a rock concert in Nürburg, Germany due to a terror alert.

While apparently not terrorism there was a disturbing incident on a flight out of Melbourne recently too.

These incidents only directly affect a very small minority of people but we can all relate to them and be worried about them.

We are reminded of terrorism often in news (and in social media), and also every time we travel when we have to queue to go through security checks.

Terrorism is real, it is often immediate and easily identifiable and attributable. And it is always negative, terrible, horrific. It can seem incomprehensible that anyone would deliberately murder innocent people.

Climate change is far more vague and usually distant, especially time-wise.

It is real, and it’s obvious that we humans effect our environment adversely in some ways.

But we are all very familiar with weather changes, they are one of the most talked about and normal occurrences on earth.

It is impossible to know whether individual adverse weather events are partially related to human affected climate change or not – and because of this it is very easy to dismiss any connection.

Changing weather patterns can be as easily positive and beneficial as they can be negative and destructive. I don’t mind less frosts in Dunedin’s winters. The kids don’t mind a reasonable snow fall a bit more often – like once or twice a year rather than once or twice every two or three years.

We are all responsible for climate change, albeit in minute ways as individuals.

Climate change doesn’t have someone to easily blame. We don’t like to blame ourselves.

If ISIS or the Taliban or extremist Muslims or whoever the bogeyman of the time is could be blamed it would be different.

With climate change it is very easy to say yeah, nah, not by problem, nothing we can do about it, sometime in the future, maybe, why care about it?

We get far more concerned about a (relatively) few humans being killed by a bomb than a species becoming extinct. Bombings have been happening for quite a long time in history but extinctions have been happening for a lot longer, and we can’t blame ourselves for the demise of the dinosaurs.

However here is a very real possibility that in time far more people in the world will be adversely affected, possibly badly effected or killed, due to climate change.

Climate change has the potential to cause far more problems to the world and the people of the world than terrorism. Unless a terrorist manages to use a nuclear weapon.

But it’s much easier to fear the bomb, and just endure the weather bombs as same old.


  1. David

     /  June 4, 2017

    Or it could be that most people are aware the climate changes and it has done since the dawn of time, most agree humans are having an impact but the warmist lose support when they react like they did this week with ludicrous claims.
    The US carbon footprint is now where it was in 1992 thanks to technological advances and the free market embracing consumers demand that companies look after the environment, stupid conferences with non binding agreements are not the way to go, think global act local is the better way.
    If Paris was such a brilliant thing and without it catastophe will happen how come Obama never put it to the Senate and passed not one single law to implement the commitments he made.

    • Gezza

       /  June 4, 2017

      Well, it seems from this, & a few other google results I haven’t read, that Obama did pass regulations, & implement policies by Executive Order. Trump’s undoing them.

      I’m not a scientist. The scientific arguments for & against AGW-CC, data analysis comparisons, particularly when they get into the normalization of readings in the different data-sets over time, & stats arguments, soon get beyond me David. I can only do my best to follow the summaries of the latest debates.

      What I’m hearing though is that there was probably no need for the US to pull out of Paris, whatever the truth of the debate. They may even ultimately end up largely back where they started when they enact their new protocols.

      • Yes, what any country does under the Paris Accord is voluntary, so Trump’s withdrawal is largely symbolic to keep an election promise – but it is also a signal that Trump is again prepared to snub international agreements and cooperation.

        • Gezza

           /  June 4, 2017

          Yeah, I know. Trumpy’s their properly elected President & I’m sick of the petty shit-fights from the Dems. He should be allowed to have his administration get on & develop & implement sensible, understandable, policies & be judged on them in due course. But this one I think is largely grandstanding for the base & the constant Amerika Uber Alles gets a bit irritating.

        • David

           /  June 4, 2017

          “also a signal that Trump is again prepared to snub international agreements and cooperation.”

          Obama was quite happy to sign the thing without any vote from either of the houses, what legitimacy has the signature of one man in the first place?

          • Gezza

             /  June 4, 2017

            We should be finding that out soonish from the US Supreme Court I hope.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 4, 2017

          What cooperation? That other countries are prepared to take the US’s money?