Thursday, July 03, 2008


Ray of Light on Global Warming Opinion- Or Is It?

I was dismayed a week or so back to see an Ipsos Mori poll which showed the majority of British people did not think global warming was the result of human activity. Like so many liberals I constantly find it hard to believe others do not see the world as I do but a recent poll suggests a more hopeful diagnosis: 52% favour the government tackling environmenatal problems while 44% thought the priority should be economic problems. This suggests the message that global warming is the most acute problem facing the world has finally penetrated and that more selfish concerns have been seen to be secondary.

Well, it would be nice to conclude that but other parts of the poll suggest opinion is confused and contradictory. While 65% support the introduction of green taxes but only 30% think they should be introduced now, irrespective of the economy. This suggests many people are paying lip service to such necessary measures but withdrawing support when it seems they might actually be implemented. Similarily, 19% say they would buy and 'environmentally expensive alternative' but 58% say they would go for a 'cheaper alternative'.

So we are not that far from being back to the gloomy position from which we started. Maybe the message about global warming has reached the mainstream but there is no evidence yet to suggest that the full implications of what is needed to counter cardon emissions has either been understood by most people or accepted.

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