Predicting the Future: Environmental Apocalypse by 2050?

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Can you predict which group of Americans is most worried about an environmental Apocalypse?
Pssst! There’s a big hint in the photo above!

All this week, we’ve reported some startling news: If Americans’ predictions about the future come true, we may have to reset our assumptions about “Apocalypse 2012“—to 2050. Many Americans foresee the Second Coming of Christ by 2050, along with a new world war.

Today, please tell us what you think about the danger of an environmental calamity.

What did the April poll by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine turn up? When it coms to environmental concerns, the assumptions all depend on which group you ask. Who is most pessimistic? The young! Of course, pollsters couldn’t ask children, but collectively our young adults, ages 18 to 29, are most worried. Three of four in that youthful group say the world’s oceans will be less healthy than today, and that the earth will get warmer. The April poll was taken before the extent of the BP oil disaster was known, so I’m sure the young are even more pessimistic now.

Does political affiliation make a difference? Yes! Republicans are more much optimistic about the long-term health of the environment than Democrats are. Only 37% of Republicans say the U.S. will face water shortages, compared with 56% of Democrats. Only 48% Republicans say the earth will get warmer, compared with 83% of Democrats. Compared with eleven years ago, Republicans today are even cooler about the prospect of global warming. In a May 1999 survey, 68% of Republicans predicted that the world will get warmer—so we’ve seen a drop of 20 percentage points in just over a decade. Similarly, a 2009 Pew Center poll reports a decline in the number of Republicans who believe there is solid evidence that the earth’s temperatures are rising.

What are your predictions about global warming in the next 40 years?
Do you side with the Republicans or the Democrats?
Will temperatures rise? Stay the same? Or fall?
As we end this week, add your thoughts about what the next 40 years will bring!

Please add a “Comment” below before you go.

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