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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

A new poll by BBC News 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 CO2 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 quality concerns, including 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 biofuels

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.


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Oil Tax? No thanks.
By cochy on 11/6/2007 11:10:48 AM , Rating: 2
Ya that's what we need. How will a tax lower consumption? I will still drive the same distance to work every day. My home still needs the same amount of heating during the winter. Gas is expensive as it is. Not too mention the cost of basically every all goods will go up to off set increased cost to ship them and/or make them. You want lower consumption? Develop more efficient technologies and stop making our lives more expensive.




RE: Oil Tax? No thanks.
By TomZ on 11/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: Oil Tax? No thanks.
By rdeegvainl on 11/6/2007 12:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
I see it as horrible, how will they survive the spread of zombies with such high population densities?


RE: Oil Tax? No thanks.
By Ringold on 11/6/2007 1:54:11 PM , Rating: 3
It'll lower consumption, partly in the way TomZ astutely pointed out regarding how it's worked in Europe, but also in a way less obvious (to the masses).

You're right. You still need to drive from A to B every day, and at best, may do so a little slower, may combine trips, etc. Miles must be logged however. As your fuel budget expands faster than your income, what must happen? Discretionary spending on consumer goods must be sacrificed; less eating out, fewer name brands, longer cycles between replacing old items, smaller TV's, smaller homes, etc. That slows the economy, and if the effect is large enough, could spur nasty unemployment if phased in too quickly. Either way, long term growth takes a hit.

If people looked at it that way, that they'd be throwing large portions of future potential buying power out the window, they may see it a little differently when models like the following show all will be jolly almost regardless of what we do.

http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/dice_m...

Not to mention.. government funding of renewable energy.. there is far too much profit to be made even in the short term for the government to have a legitimate role here. Venture capital is pouring in to the field. If free markets do anything well it's pick the most efficient winner, and if governments do anything well it's not picking such winners. Has America forgot the 70s? Of course, politicians can't keep their pork-laden hands off.


RE: Oil Tax? No thanks.
By Moishe on 11/6/2007 2:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
See... now you're thinking.
Cochy has to sacrifice. You've got to downsize your wants and needs in order to fit in with what someone else dictates. Sacrifice in itself is not bad... but forced sacrifice is a lot closer to slavery and oppression.

I think that forward progress would be a plan that allows people to be free to pursue their own wants and needs all while developing more efficient energy. We can have both.


RE: Oil Tax? No thanks.
By Spuke on 11/8/2007 3:59:49 PM , Rating: 2
No, you can't have both. The sheeple have been conditioned to believe that you can have only one OR the other, not both (or both not). This is what those that want to oppress would like us believe.

All I know is this, they can pry my pursuit of happiness from my cold, dead fingers.


RE: Oil Tax? No thanks.
By Hacp on 11/10/2007 12:09:46 AM , Rating: 2
When something becomes too expensive, and there is a substitute, people will choose the substitute. In this case, more public transportation, bikes, and smaller cars.


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