Only about 5 percent of people belonging to Generation X are concerned about climate change while 66 percent aren't sure if global warming is happening and another 10 percent believe that climate change isn't happening, according to a new "Generation X" report.
According to researchers most people in the present generation either don't know are just not concerned about climate change.
"Most Generation Xers are surprisingly disengaged, dismissive or doubtful about whether global climate change is happening and they don't spend much time worrying about it," said Dr. Jon D. Miller, from the Institute of Social Research at the University of Michigan, author of "The Generation X Report."
The study includes responses of 4,000 people born in America between the years 1961 and 1981.
Researchers say that there is a lack of scientific education on climate change and that people are spending more time in knowing about future job trends than in knowing what type of environment they'll be passing to their children.
The amount of interest in knowing about global warming is steadily decreasing, the researchers say. The current economic crisis or other issues like terrorism could be a reason for the declining interest in knowing about the climate.
"We found a small but statistically significant decline between 2009 and 2011 in the level of attention and concern Generation X adults expressed about climate change. In 2009, about 22 percent said they followed the issue of climate change very or moderately closely. In 2011, only 16 percent said they did so," Miller said.
Researchers say that the decreasing interest and concern is probably because the issue of climate change itself has been neglected in the society. As long as people keep discussing an issue it stay on peoples' mind or else it just fades away.
"…Few issues engage a solid majority of adults in our busy and pluralistic society, but the climate issue appears to attract fewer committed activists—on either side—than I would have expected," Miller said.
Young adults who score 90 or above on a 100-point Index of Civic Scientific Literacy were more likely to be concerned about climate change, researchers say. However, as people become more literate, they become dismissive about climate change.
Liberal Democrats were more likely to be alarmed about climate change compared to conservative Republicans, 50 percent compared to 0 percent. People almost always tend to agree with whatever their particular political party is telling them about an issue.
"There are clearly overlapping levels of concern among partisans of both political parties. But for some individuals, partisan loyalties may be helpful in making sense of an otherwise complicated issue," Miller said.
Some aspects of the study were surprising, researchers say. They found that people who didn't have children were more likely to be worried about climate change than people who had children studying in school.
"…Generation X adults without minor children were slightly more alarmed about climate change than were parents. The difference is small, but it is in the opposite direction than we expected," Miller said.
The most common sources of information about climate change were friends, family and co-workers.
"Climate change is an extremely complex issue, and many Generation X adults do not see it as an immediate problem that they need to address," Miller said.
"The results of this report suggest that better educated young adults are more likely to recognize the importance of the problem, but that there is a broad awareness of the issue even though many adults prefer to focus on more immediate issues—jobs and schools for their children—than the needs of the next generation. These results will not give great comfort to either those deeply concerned about climate issues or those who are dismissive of the issue," Miller said.