EUGENE, OR—Outlining what a shift in public consciousness regarding global ecocatastrophe might require, a study published by researchers at the University of Oregon Monday found the average American must have their life destroyed by a natural disaster every six minutes in order to finally fear climate change. “According to our data, American citizens must lose their home to a flash flood, almost immediately watch a tornado ravage their hometown, and then succumb to heatstroke in 110 degree temperatures before recognizing climate change as a viable threat,” said head researcher and professor Vanessa Verrier, citing the tendency of U.S. citizens to forget about global warming roughly 10 minutes after their homes were devastated by wildfires. “Roughly seven minutes following a climate disaster, ambivalence sets in and Americans forget why these natural disasters have increased so dramatically in recent years. The good news, however, is that in the five minutes directly after losing a loved one in a hurricane, participants were much more likely to consider reducing their carbon footprint by taking public transit rather than driving.” The report estimated that the nation would have to suffer 34,000 consecutive natural disasters this month in order to garner significant support for climate change legislation.
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