Green Lobby Loses The Public: People No Longer Bothered About Green Fear-Merchants
- Fewer people regard environmental problems as ‘very serious’
- Global warming the second least worrying, survey shows
- Survey questioned more than 22,000 people in 22 countries
Concerns about the environment have reached a two-decade low since the start of the financial crisis, a global survey has revealed.
Fewer people now consider pollution, species loss and fresh water shortages to be ‘very serious’ problems than at any time since tracking began 20 years ago.
Fears over global warming are far lower than they were between 20003 and 2008, with less than one person in two regarding it as ‘very serious’.
Concern about air and water pollution, as well as biodiversity, is significantly below where it was even in the Nineties, found the poll of more than 22,000 people in 22 countries.
Many of the sharpest falls have taken place in the past two years, as increased fears of economic meltdown pushed worries of man-made environmental catastrophe from the public consciousness.
Climate concern dropped first in industrialised countries, but this year’s figures show that concern has now fallen in major developing economies such as Brazil and China as well.
The findings are drawn from the GlobeScan Radar annual tracking poll. A total of 22,812 people in 22 countries were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone during the second half of 2012.
Twelve of these countries have been regularly polled on environmental issues since 1992.
Not bothered: The chart shows findings across the 12 countries for which data is available since 1992. 6,774 citizens across these countries were interviewed on these questiona between July and September 2012
David Nussbaum, head of environmental pressure group WWF UK, told The Independent that political leadership was required to maintain the fight against climate change amid a backlash against costly green energy solutions.
‘There are longer-term concerns that may not seem imminent that are extremely serious.
‘A skilled political leader has got to grapple with how you act and respond to the immediate pressure people feel while helping [to take] account of the wider concerns and interests.’
The perceived seriousness of climate change has fallen particularly sharply since the unsuccessful UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, GlobeScan found.