Hispanic-Americans Lead Climate Concern, but Pew Poll Suggests New Outreach Potential

A new Pew Research poll examines popular concern over climate change around the globe. Forty-two percent of Americans polled agree that climate change is a grave concern, with a much higher number of Hispanic-Americans expressing concern (61%). Yale Climate Connection attributes this phenomenon to many Hispanic-Americans having industry jobs reliant on a healthy climate, in turn, giving them an experience not shared by many other Americans. Our own Rev. Gabriel Salguero may attest to the role experience plays, grounding much of his call to act on climate change in his enduring Hurricane Sandy while living in New York. But, Salguero understands that experience will not solely drive people to climate change, rather it is the guidance of those in leadership positions. Which is why he has combined his ministry and social action, declaring the two to be inextricably linked. Salguero recognizes that his Biblical concern for creation is firmly grounded in his concern for people, a value based on his hopes, rather than his fears.

Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat

By Jill Carle | Pew Research Center

In advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December, many publics around the world name global climate change as a top threat, according to a new Pew Research Center survey measuring perceptions of international challenges. This is particularly true in Latin America and Africa, where majorities in most countries say they are very concerned about this issue. But as the Islamic militant group ISIS maintains its hold in Iraq and Syria and intensifies its grisly public executions, Europeans and Middle Easterners most frequently cite ISIS as their main concern among international issues.

Global economic instability also figures prominently as the top concern in a number of countries, and it is the second biggest concern in half of the countries surveyed. In contrast, concerns about Iran’s nuclear program as well as cyberattacks on governments, banks or corporations are limited to a few nations. Israelis and Americans are among the most concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, while South Koreans and Americans have the greatest concern about cyberattacks relative to other publics. And apprehension about tensions between Russia and its neighbors, or territorial disputes between China and surrounding countries, largely remain regional concerns.

These are among the findings of a new Pew Research Center survey, conducted in 40 countries among 45,435 respondents from March 25 to May 27, 2015. The report focuses on those who say they are “very concerned” about each issue.

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