Events such as Superstorm Sandy and recurrent weather extremes are persuading more Americans to accept evidence of climate change, according to an Atlanta-based speaker for the nonprofit Climate Reality Project.
“When you talk about the deniers, it’s more of a U.S. problem now,” said Sam Collier, a volunteer for the global group.
“Other nations seem more ready to embrace the idea.”
Collier, a volunteer speaker for the organization founded and led by former Vice President Al Gore, was in Augusta this week to speak to the local Sierra Club and other organizations.
In past decades, the concept of global warming was characterized through predictions, he said, and now there are actual events.
“We used to talk about weather systems, ice caps and long-term things,” he said. “Now we are seeing the first phenomena: rainstorms that are bigger and more frequent, and heavier snowfalls, too. I call it ‘global weirding.’ ”
As more extreme events occur, more people will realize the urgency in bringing change, especially by reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency, he said.
“I think perception of the problem is changing pretty fast,” he said. “Never before, even in geologic time, have we gotten so good at getting carbon that’s under the ground out into the atmosphere.”