According to a recent survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, many people around the world view terror group ISIS and changes in climate as the two main threats to global security. The survey also revealed that cyber attacks and viability of the economy were also points of primary concern among the people. A third of the 38 countries in which the survey was conducted were of the idea that the influence and power of the USA, China and Russia are a major concern.
The survey of 41,953 people in 38 countries was carried from February through May. Although Pew researchers found that there was no substantial change in the perception of Global warming as a threat, they discovered that there was a growing concern about the USA and its power and influence since the election of Donald Trump as the president.The intelligence community of the USA resolved that Russia has used Cyber weaponry to tamper with the presidential elections in which President Trump was declared winner last year. This has significantly increased the number of people who view Cybercrime as a threat to their peace and security.
The majority of Americans believe that global warming is happening and that carbon emissions should be scaled back. However, fewer think that it will harm them directly. Of the people surveyed, 56 percent believed climate change is a significant threat compared to 74 percent for ISIS and 71 percent for Cyber-warfare. Among the Americans, 86 percent cited rising emissions as a dangerous threat. Countries which are highly susceptible to the effects of climate change include Sudan, Chad, low-lying island countries and other places where civil strife and poverty meet rising seas, drought, and floods.
It is not surprising therefore to have many countries in Africa putting climate change as the top concern on their list of worries. Lower levels of concern concerning climate change were found in Russia, Poland, Israel, India, Jordan, Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Turkey. The survey by Pew also offers a lot of knowledge on how people around the world view global warming. In Latin American, people are genuinely concerned about climate change.
About 74 percent of individuals surveyed in Latin American countries cited climate change on top on their list of global concerns; this is the highest figure of all the studied areas. Although Latin American countries are considered as countries with the greatest risk of climate change they are vulnerable to the results of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cited the “significant trends in precipitation and temperature” in the Latin American region.
One of the directors of the World Resources Institute, a think tank based in Washington, Paula Caballero cited the several devastating floods in Colombia as one of the reasons for the Latin American countries’ participation. Ms. Caballero who has in the past served her country as a lead United Nations negotiator on climate change said, “In Latin America, the impacts of climate change both regarding extreme events as well as the intensity and frequency of events has gained momentum.”
In Venezuela, which was the only Latin American country among those surveyed that did not name the global climate change as one of its top concerns. However, global warming came in immediately after the people’s worry about the state of the economy. In fact, the Venezuelan leaders ratified the Paris agreement amidst their country’s economic and political crisis last month. Russians, on the other hand, are least concerned about global warming ranked climate change fifth as revealed by the Pew survey, after the Islamic state, the economy, the refugee crisis and the influence of the United States.
The Pew study confirmed Russians were indifferent about climate change and the rising amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Although Russians supported the Paris agreement, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin did not condemn President Donald Trump for abandoning the agreement. On the issue of climate change, coal exporters and importers had a varied view. Indonesia, one of the top coal exporters according to the World Coal Association, considered ISIS as their greatest concern. Since the attacks in Jakarta this spring, the alert level in Indonesia has significantly increased.
The country’s military has even warned of sleeper cells present in the country. Climate change is viewed as the third greatest threat after the economy. Australia, also a big coal exporter, cited climate change as the second biggest threat after ISIS. In India, only 47 percent of people surveyed cited climate change as a top concern, they also put climate change second after ISIS. In South Korea, 79 percent of individuals are concerned about climate change.
This time around Pew did not survey in China due to Laws prohibiting foreign research organizations. However, it is worth noting that Pew had conducted a similar research back in 2015 and found out that 19 percent of the Chinese people were very concerned about climate change. In India, on the other hand, 79 percent of the people were anxious about climate change at that time.
Do you agree with the survey?
Is it too late to try saving our climate?
How should we best solve the ISIS menace?