Green Sacrifice: Poll Shows Most Would Change Lifestyle to Help Environment
November 6, 2007 10:02 AM
A new survey shows that the majority of people are willing to do their part to help the environment, even if it isn't easy
provides perhaps the most comprehensive to date look at the current level of public awareness of environmental issues and public initiative to make sacrifices in hopes of fixing them.
The large study surveyed 22,000 people in 21 countries, including many in the two largest CO
polluters, the U.S. and China. Four out of five people stated they would probably be ready to make lifestyle changes to reduce emissions.
Taxes were a bit stickier issue. Taxes on oil and coal enjoyed a smaller base of support, but still represented the majority opinion, with 50% for them and 44% opposed. Many of the opposed stated that they would change their opinion to support if it could be guaranteed that the funds would be diverted to finance alternative energy or alternative energy research.
The total figures were that 83% of people either were ready or were probably ready to make sacrifices in their daily lives to help the environment.
People in the U.S. and Europe agreed that fuel prices would have to rise in order to get people to lower their consumption, as they are stuck in their ways.
Italy and Russia did not agree, as these countries are already experiencing dramatically fossil fuel costs.
South Korea, India, and Nigeria also showed smaller margins of support for higher energy costs, though the majority of responders still felt that higher costs would be needed to lower consumption.
Interestingly the Chinese were the most willing to support taxes on polluting fossil fuels. A whopping 85% of Chinese surveyed supported taxes on fossil fuels to reduce reliance on them.
While experiencing many recent
tainted cancer drugs
, China has been rapidly becoming a world leader in many technology sectors. The results of this survey demonstrate that despite past problems the Chinese people have a strong desire for their country to develop into an environmental leader.
In total 22,182 people were interviewed in the following countries:
UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt,France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, thePhilippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.
Interviews occurred either face to face or via telephone between May 29 and July 26, 2007.
Increased public awareness can be attributed to a broad array of sources. One is the mass media -- news channels have been increasing their environmental issue coverage. Another source of awareness is simple observation. People see pictures of rainforests stripped bare and it becomes blatantly obvious the need to protect our planet. The U.N. also can take some credit for its constant climate research, as well as research into other environmental topics, such as deforestation and
A little credit even can go to
recent Nobel Peace Prize Winner
, Al Gore, whose movie "An Inconvenient Truth" brought an increased public interest in environmental issues.
Regardlessly of who convinced these people that helping the environment was a good idea, that is the conclusion they have come to. It appears that the majority of people finally are ready and eager for environmental change -- politicians listen up, these are thoughts of your constituents.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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