Millions of people across Britain think their behaviour does not contribute to climate change and find it too much effort to make green changes to their lifestyle, a government survey suggests. About a quarter of people polled agreed with statements such as: “It takes too much effort to do things that are environmentally friendly” and “I don’t believe my behaviour and everyday lifestyle contribute to climate change”. About half the people disagreed with the statements. There were some signs that the environmental message is getting through. Over half those polled said they never leave the television on standby overnight or their mobile phone chargers plugged in, and that they always switched off lights when they left the room. But a fifth keep their televisions on standby, and a similar proportion leave the tap running when they brush their teeth. The results of the survey of public attitudes and behaviour were released yesterday by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. About 3,600 people were asked about issues such as transport, waste recycling and buying habits. It follows five similar surveys over the past 20 years, the last in 2001. Of the issues people think the government should address, the environment was the fourth most commonly mentioned, behind crime, health and education. But fewer people placed the environment as a priority, down to 19% from 25% in 2001. Crime came top as an issue, mentioned by 49%, up from 30% in 2001. Some 18% of people cited immigration, the first time it has featured significantly. When asked about their attitude towards the environment, 67% strongly agreed or tended to agree that “humans are capable of finding ways to overcome the world’s environmental problems”. But only 19% thought that “scientists will find a solution to global warming without people having to make big changes to their lifestyles”. A similar proportion, 17%, said that “climate change is beyond control – it’s too late to do anything about it”. On behaviour, 71% said they were recycling more. More than half said they were wasting less food and cutting down on gas and electricity use in the home. Almost three-quarters used low-energy light bulbs, up from 31% in 2001. While 29% of people said they were already making an effort to use their cars and fly less, up to a third said they “don’t really want to” make such changes. Over half said they would like to reduce their car use but found there were no practical alternatives.
People are a fickle bunch arent they. I’m betting that people use energy saving light bulbs mostly to cut down on their energy bills. The environmental effect is just a nice after taste. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people think about the environment more these days. But even with all the publicity things are moving too slowly, at least I think so. The way things are going or sound like going I would say that in 20 – 50 years with out a major shake up, the world will be beyond the tipping point and the major effects that global warming models predict will be well underway and we won’t be able to do a thing about it.
That’s a good idea for a blog post actually, one on what is happening now with the effects of global warming and the possible future. Look out for it.