When it comes to climate change, there are two USAs

Of all the world's industrial nations, the USA ranks lowest overall in terms of the percentage of citizens who think climate change is a serious problem.  But that simple statistic disguises a deeper reality: there actually are two Americas.

  This one looks like a Democrat...

This one looks like a Democrat...

One USA might be called the Democratic America.  Among US Democrats, 65% think climate change is a major concern.  That's on par with Spain and a higher percentage than that in Germany, Canada, and the UK.

But the other USA--the Republican America--is far different.  Among US Republicans, just 25% think climate change is a serious worry.  That's well below the figure for China and only marginally better than Egypt and Pakistan.

So, Democrats behave more like those from other industrial nations, where climate change is perceived as a serious global problem.  Republicans, however, behave more like those from developing nations, where climate change is presumably seen as a lesser concern than economic development and day-to-day survival.

Keeping this distinction is mind is fairly important.  When it comes to attitudes and action on the environment, there are really two USAs.  The country certainly deserves censure at times, but we should focus our criticisms on the recalcitrant half.