Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A VOX poll shows that Americans are more afraid of clowns than climate change.
Americans are more afraid of clowns than climate change, terrorism, and … death
The poll, conducted October 15 to 17, comes amid the great clown scare of 2016: Since August, more than 100 “suspicious” clown sightings have been reported across the US, from Seattle to Bangor, Maine.
We get it: Clowns are creepy. Especially when lingering in empty parking lots at 3:30 in the morning, holding black balloons. But are they scarier than real threats, like climate change, economic hardship, or the death of loved ones?
According to Americans, yes. Yes, they are.
We compared the results of our poll with a poll recently conducted by Chapman University, which asked 1,511 Americans to identify their greatest fears from a list of topics. Clowns outranked every single fear, save for “government corruption.” (Note that the Chapman poll only included “very afraid” and “afraid” as voting options, while our poll had “very afraid,” “somewhat afraid,” and “a little afraid.”).
Given climate advocates regularly assure us that anthropogenic climate change is the terrifying basis of all other fears, there is only one conclusion we can draw – politicians will need to dress up as clowns to scare us when they deliver climate messages: