Environmental concern worldwide has continued to fall since 2009 and is now at a 20-year low, according to a multi-country poll by GlobalScan.
The finding is based on a poll of 22,812 people in 22 countries who were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone in the second half of 2012. All participants were asked to rate the seriousness of six environmental problems: air pollution, water pollution, species loss, automobile emissions, fresh water shortages and climate change.
The numbers were compared to statistics from the past, as 12 of the countries have been polled regularly since 1992. The poll found that fewer people consider these issues “very serious” than at any other time in the last 20 years. The only notable exception was with climate change—concern was lower from 1998 to 2003 than it is now. The sharpest decline in worry over issues such as water pollution and biodiversity occurred in the last two years. And although concern first dropped in developed nations, this year’s numbers show that people from developing economies are also worrying less.
Even though participants rated their level of concern lower than in previous years, the majority of those polled still considered most environmental problems to be “very serious.” Water pollution was seen as the most pressing concern.
In the company's press release, GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller explained why public concern may be declining.
“Scientists report that evidence of environmental damage is stronger than ever—but our data shows that economic crisis and a lack of political leadership mean that the public are starting to tune out. Those who care about mobilizing public opinion on the environment need to find new messages in order to reinvigorate a stalled debate.”
To read more about the poll, visit the GlobeScan website.
While no major storms are pressing the northeastern United States in the short-term, milder air will trigger spotty, light snow and freezing drizzle to start the week.
Urduja, known globally as Kai-tak, will continue to unleash life-threatening flooding rain and mudslides as it slowly crosses the Philippines into Monday.
As frigid air plunges into and builds over the central United States, a stormy pattern with snow, ice and rain may unfold from Texas to Maine for Christmas holiday travelers.
Those getting a head start on holiday travel across the Rockies and Midwest late this week may be faced with disruptive snow along the way.
While waves of arctic air will continue to pour across the Great Lakes and New England this weekend, milder air will surge farther northward early this week.
The cold reprieve unfolding across the United States will not last long with waves of chilly air set to invade many parts of the country in the days leading up to Christmas.
Winds will again kick up and become strong, raising the risk of rapidly spreading wildfires in Southern California through Sunday as firefighters continue to battle the historic Thomas Fire.
After an unseasonably quiet start to December in the northwestern United States, a significant storm will set its sights on the region spanning Tuesday to Wednesday.