Flooded Cars 01Enlarge Photo
It remains entirely unclear if the world as a whole will be able to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide fast enough to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees C over the next few decades.
That's the level at which scientists say the most dire effects of climate change may be lessened or averted.
Recent news has been both positive and negative.
The cost of renewable energy at scale has fallen consistently in recent years and will continue to do so. That's good.
Global carbon emissions, however, after staying essentially flat for three years, rose in 2017, according to calculations from climate scientists. That's bad.
Every country in the world save one has signed the 2016 Paris Climate Treaty pledging to reduce carbon emissions. That's good.
On efforts to address climate-change impacts, are you?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) January 3, 2018
The one country that has said it will rescind its signature is the U.S., whose current administration not only denies accepted climate science but has actively worked to prop up declining fossil fuels like coal. That's bad.
With these conflicting news items in mind, we were curious to see how our Twitter followers felt on the issue of climate change.
The poll that just closed asked, in essence, how optimistic participants were about efforts to address climate change.
We offered four possible answers, ranging from "confident we can do it" to "hopeless."
Most respondents, perhaps predictably, fell somewhere in the middle.
More than four out of 10 participants in the poll chose modulated optimism: The most popular response was "not sure but hopeful."
Global carbon dioxide emissions, 1850-2030 [CO2 Information Analysis Center, World Energy Outlook]Enlarge Photo
Next most popular, at 26 percent, was moderate pessimism in the form of the choice, "skeptical we can cope."
The extremes garnered fewer votes on both ends of the optimism/pessimism scale.
A full 15 percent of poll participants said they were "confident we can do it," which is to say, successfully address the worst effects of climate change.
But the confident optimists were slightly outweighed by the confirmed pessimists: 18 percent said they felt collective human efforts to address the effects of climate change would be "hopeless."
As always, please note that our Twitter polls are far from scientifically valid, due to small sample size and self-selection by those who choose to participate.
Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation. We also ask that political discussions be restricted to the topic of the article they follow. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our comments on topic, civil, respectful, family-friendly, and fact-based.