As scientists become convinced that we are living in a new geological epoch, defined by humankind’s impact on the planet – the Anthropocene – it seems that the public are heeding messages around climate change. There is always a gulf between what people say motivates or worries them and what actually drives their behaviour. But, this year, saw the highest spontaneous concern about climate change that Ipsos MORI has measured in 29 years. Polling we conducted to coincide with Earth Day in March showed 37pc of global citizens put climate change as one of the top environmental issues, narrowly ahead of air pollution (35pc) and dealing with rubbish and waste (34pc). Other issues, whether deforestation, depletion of natural resources and the overpackaging of consumer goods, were further behind. Yet it is important to remain grounded. For now, at least, the environment remains a “second order” concern. The large majority of citizens consider employment, healthcare or crime to be bigger worries than dealing with climate change. In Britain, we have Brexit to preoccupy us too – while the proportion worried about the environment has recently hit a new high of 20pc, more than three times as many people say the same about Britain’s exit from the EU. Despite the warm words, people are not especially likely to alter their behaviour with just 9pc of consumers feeling it is their responsibility to take the lead in tackling climate change.
Telegraph 2nd July 2019 read more »