Many people care already. This is why we are finally starting to see some action on the carbon regulation front; at least bills are being talked about. However, you are right that many people are apathetic about it. I think part of the problem is that environmental problems, especially global warming, are an abstract concept to people. Many don’t understand it very well. I think what it would take is for something to hit really close to home. Much more extreme weather like hurricanes and typhoons, for example, in addition to record-breaking temperatures. When people’s lives are personally affected by something, they start to care deeply about it. This is why you see so many people who have family that were struck with a certain disease dedicate their lives to educating people about the disease and treating people with it.
One of the best ways for any issue to garner attention is with shock value. One of the best resources I have found which definitely adds emotional value to the global warming fight is this gallery: http://www.treehugger.com/galleries/2009/03/7-terrifying-global-warming-pictures.php. The pictures here are realistic, scary, and show how our actions have damaged our environment. With photos like this available, it is easier to get people to relate and understand environmental issues. More importantly, putting it in photos shows proof. This gallery is one of ten entitled “Treehugger’s Most Powerful-and Potentially Depressing- Slideshows” (http://www.treehugger.com/galleries/2009/10/ten-of-treehuggers-most-powerful-and-most-depressing-slideshows.php?page=1)
To be honest a lot of people are already very concerned for the environment–the problem is that very few of these people are in positions of authority within government, especially in the United States. With issues like the economy and healthcare at the forefront of the America psyche, environmental issues get pushed aside. That said, advocacy groups such as Greenpeace have played a huge role in getting the word out.
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