New Poll Says ISIS and Climate Change Seen as World’s Greatest Threats

United States sees cyberattacks as bigger threat than global warming.

August 2, 2017 12:35 pm

In most countries, climate change and the Islamic State are the most-feared security threats, says a new Pew Research Center report, except in the United States, where cyberattacks are seen as a bigger threat than global warming.

Thirteen countries believe climate change is the greatest threat to national security while 17 countries consider ISIS as the more immediate problem, reports The New York Times.

Seventy-four percent of people surveyed in seven South American and Latin American countries cite climate change as their top concern, which is the highest of any region surveyed. Meanwhile, Russians are among the least concerned about global warming, ranking it fifth among its global concerns, below ISIS, the economy, the refugee crisis and the influence of the U.S.

Smoke billows from stacks as a Chinese woman wears as mask while walking in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant in Shanxi, China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Because of the gaping partisan divide in the United States, climate change was pushed down to the third-most severe perceived threat, after ISIS and cyberwarfare. Only 56 percent of Americans think global warming is the most serious threat, compared to 71 percent for cyberwarfare and 74 percent for attacks by ISIS.

Eighty-six percent of left-leaning Americans see rising emissions as a dangerous threat, compared to only 31 percent of right-leaning Americans.

It was determined that Russia used cyberweapons to interfere with the United States presidential election last year, which could account for the heightened sense of threat. Plus, the Trump administration frequently downplays the dangers of climate change and withdrew the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. Nearly 200 nations are part of the accord.

The survey included 41,953 people in 38 countries.

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