The climate emergency worries people more and more , who declare themselves increasingly willing to make changes to their lifestyle in order to avoid the worst: this is what emerges from an international survey conducted in February by the American Pew Research Center , the results of which were published yesterday.
The survey was conducted in 17 different industrialized countries around the world, including North America, Europe and Asia. Excluding developing economies and China. The interviewees were required to indicate, among four levels (“not at all”, “little”, “a little” and “a lot”) available, how much they recognized in the sentences of the questionnaire. The results are quite clear: the vast majority of respondents in almost all countries believe that they will be in some way personally damaged by climate change . Sweden and the Netherlands are the most skeptical, while South Korea is the most convinced. Italy is not far from Korea, with a 20% of skeptics against 11%.
By dividing the data further, it emerges that the concern is concentrated more among young people, in particular those among the 18 and 29 years. Here too, there are notable differences between one country and another – the gap, for example, is highest in Sweden and New Zealand, and almost nil in the United Kingdom. On average, however, women tend to worry more than men, and those with political leanings towards the left more than those on the right (with the United States the most polarized country). Compared to previous years, in the countries where the data were available, there is a general increase in concern.
predisposition of the majority of people to make significant changes to their lifestyle to help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other polluting gases. From this point of view it is Italy that is the most predisposed, with the 93% of consents , while the Netherlands are at the other end of the spectrum in Europe (but still in the vast majority, with the 69%). On a “worldwide” level (at least considering the markets affected by the survey), Japan proved to be the least receptive, with the 55%. It is also interesting to note that the spirit of adaptation goes hand in hand with education: those who have studied less are less inclined than others.
The survey then asked respondents which country is doing best to combat the emergency. Respondents could respond freely regardless of their nationality. In general the European Union was the most praised , while the 61% has negatively assessed the USA, and only the 18% expressed positive views towards China.
With regard to beliefs about our collective ability to solve the problem, optimism does not prevail . In general, more respondents are convinced that we will not be able to do enough to prevent climate change. There is also little conviction regarding the potential economic opportunities of combating pollution: opinions are divided practically in half between those who believe that it will bring economic growth and those who think that we will lose out. There is a minimum advantage for the optimists, but it is very small.
Finally, it should be noted that this survey has been carried out in February 284, and that it is possible that climate skepticism has further reduced in recent months , which from the point of view of extreme weather events, one of the most recognized consequences of rising global temperatures, has been very intense – think for example of the formidable Hurricane Ida, the most powerful ever recorded in the USA, or the summer full of violent storms, floods and hailstorms in Italy.