According to a new survey, fighting global warming is considered as a moral issue by the majority of Americans and they believe that it is an obligation for the world leaders as well. In February the Reuters/IPSOS poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted to measure how the climate change debate is affected by moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis. The warning of the pope included the moral consequences of failing to act on increasing global temperatures in recent months.
It has been estimated that the rising temperatures would disproportionately affect the lives of the poorest people of the world. The results show that ethics based appeal could be effective in shifting the debate over climate change in the United States, where high tensions can be witnessed over solutions to the issue. 66 percent of respondents opine that world leaders have a moral obligation to reduce CO2 emissions. However, 72 percent of respondents believe that they are “personally morally obligated” to act in favor of the reduction of emissions.
Eric Sapp, executive director of the American Values Network, a grassroots organization that mobilizes faith-based communities on politics and policy issues commented “When climate change is viewed through a moral lens it has broader appeal.” Sapp added “The climate debate can be very intellectual at times, all about economic systems and science we don’t understand. This makes it about us, our neighbors and about doing the right thing.”
Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelic Environmental Network, an evangelical organization that advocates for action on climate change mentioned “The moral imperative is the way to reach out to conservatives.” He added “Talking in terms of values is the only way forward if we are to bring our fellow Republicans along.” Some Republican politicians are trying to distance the party from those who do not support the efforts for reducing greenhouse gases and are doubtful about the science which explains human-caused climate change.