For the Coursera (MOOC) Class – ‘Turn Down the Heat, Why a 4oC Warmer World Must be Avoided‘ by the World Bank, I conducted a small survey to gauge perceptions and attitudes (UK May 2015).
Most of the participants live in Scotland, UK and are a mix of rural and urban dwellers.
I was primarily interested in:
- Personal Carbon Footprints
- Family and Community Awareness
- Future Trends and Behaviour
- Plans of Action
I calculated each respondent’s carbon footprint from the lifestyle and consumption survey data.
- The results in the graph show that the highest carbon footprint was just over 14 tonnes of CO2 per year, and the lowest just under 5 tonnes.
- The group average was 9 tonnes of CO2 annually per person, which is lower than the Industrial Nations average (11 tonnes) and the UK average (9.8 tonnes).
- However, the group were above the World average (4 tonnes) and the United Nations target of 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions per person.
- Most are aware of Global Warming and report that coverage by UK news media indicate some of the threats. With more choosing the ‘agree’ option, there may be some dissatisfaction on how well the issue is reported.
- There is broad acceptance that anthropogenic Climate Change is real.
- Government policy as it affects basic commodity prices seems less well observed. The neutral responses may indicate a perception that Governments are not taking a strong enough lead in combating Climate Change.
- There is broad agreement that renewable energy projects and other progressive initiatives are on the increase.
- Adverse conditions due to Global Warming and Climate Change are seen as imminent.
- At a national and international level, it is agreed that adaptations to our way of life as the climate changes will demand an increased share of public finances.
- There is almost universal agreement that more should be done to mitigate CO2 emissions now in order that we limit environmental damage for future generations.
- Where changes in behaviour are easier to accommodate, in food and energy consumption, most have done so to reduce CO2 emissions.
- Transportation is a more difficult element of lifestyle to change given the reliance on petroleum vehicles and air travel.
- All respondents place some weight on environmental policy when choosing their political representatives.
- Most are aware of other people’s altered behaviour recently linked with environmental concerns.
- Most people seem engaged with the Global Warming problem, and see the need to take action now.
- While most propose individual action to tackle CO2 emissions, some feel that broad international agreement by Governments is necessary.