Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on November 13, 2007
BBC News reported earlier this week that people around the world would make sacrifices if they thought it would help the environment despite resistance to change from politicians and government bureaucracies. In a poll conducted by Globescan, over 22,000 people across the world were asked several questions ranging from support for higher energy taxes to making personal sacrifices.
1. There is strong support for higher energy taxes if these taxes go towards development of cleaner new technologies.
2. Responses in both China and the U.S. (the two most polluting countries) overwhelmingly support cleaner, greener policies.
3. A majority of those polled feel that energy prices on the worst polluting energies (coal and oil) will need to rise significantly before these sources will fall from favor by both individuals and industry.
4. An overwhelming majority worldwide report that lifestyle changes are necessary to reduce the amount of climate-changing gases.
It’s time for a change… According to Doug Miller, president of Globescan, “The principal message for political leaders is that they are leaving a significant amount on the table by not asking their citizens to play more of a role [in combating climate change].” So, why aren’t politicians paying more attention – especially in the US where people are constantly polled and where politicians often respond quickly to polling information?One reason may be that increasing taxes has become a political “third rail” in late-20th /early-21st Century, and so has regulation; we are still dealing with the mess caused by 1990’s de-regulation of utilities in US. Another is that stricter environmental policies is bad for business (remember Bush’s reaction to Kyoto?).
Most important, however, the poll shows that people recognize the consequences of their actions at the individual level. So why wait for the politicians? If the people lead, the leaders will follow.
Click here to get the full results from the poll.