back to article World+Dog don't care about climate change, never have done

Seventeen years of continuous surveys covering countries around the world show that people not only do not care about climate change today - understandably prioritising economic misery - they also did not care about climate change even back when times were good. The new information comes in a study released by the National …

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Re: That's USA, right?@Mad Mike

@Dr Dan Holdsworth

Spot on the money. What we do is irrelevant unless it's part of a bigger whole throughout the world. There is no concensus anywhere for that to occur and now we're looking at bankrupting ourselves and making us the poor man of the world in pursuit of doing 'our bit' even if nobody else will. Now, I'm all for trying to do something about things, but it has to be part of a whole and sensible. Putting ourselves back in the stone age to do it, is not really viable.

When people really start realising how much this environmental stuff is costing them, it'll have two impacts. Firstly, there will be major voting changes according to who offers an alternative. Look at your energy bills now and see how much is down to environmental levy etc. Energy bills don't really need to be rising much now. It's primarily down to issues not around the cost of the materials themselves. Secondly, action on doing something about the environment will be set back decades. Because people will have felt they've been lied to and taken advantage of, they'll be even less responsive to environmental changes in the future.

So, all in all, this is if anything, putting the environmental agenda back, not forwards.

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Re: That's USA, right?

"The reason governmenst want to tax stuff is so they can use the money for their pet programmes, so having the biofuel tax-free would be a subsidy for biofuel, ie would need to be government policy to not tax biofuel... or to gradually increase tax on it as yields (and price) fall, to keep some sort of parity with petrol.

It certainly beats spending that money on subsidising wind farms"

Absolutely. The problem is, the amount of money raised through taxation on fuel is so high that any substantial move away from it would cause enourmous ripples throughout the rest of the taxation system. You're not talking about raising a few hundred million here. We're talking tens of billions. You've got to raise it from somewhere. How do you do that without loosing huge numbers of votes?

I do agree about wind farms mind. Total waste of subsidy. Mind you, solar PV is not much better.

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Re: That's USA, right?

@Ogi

"Well, you can use any biomatter. Quite why would anyone grow food and burn it makes no sense to me. More likely to make use of non-edible leftovers, weeds, refuse, etc... that is not needed for feeding."

I agree. But, the quantity we need far exceeds this level. There would undoubtedly have to be a level of crops used. We can cut it down, but it'll still be there. Also, if we're talking about fuel for cars, that pretty much is totally crops. Borneo is loosing large amounts of forest at the moment and it's mostly down to planting crops for bio diesel.

"We don't have a problem feeding people, we generate more food that the entire human population needs. It is more about distributing the food, and the difference in production per sq/m in Europe and say, Africa."

True to a point, but this will only remain viable if we control the population and that looks a distant dream at the moment. There's also a huge difference between what people 'need' and what they 'want'. Moving to need rather than want would reduce the developed worlds food requirements dramatically.

"Oh, and the food prices have little to do with food supply, more to do with speculators hoarding food on the commodity markets to make a fast buck."

That's pretty much true for any commodity these days.

"Some of the research in biofuel now is in using algae, rather than plant matter."

Are people considering what the impact would be of covering large areas of water with algae? That in its own right, could alter the climate!! Reflectiveness of the surface, gasses produced by the algae etc.etc.

"Also, the UK government has removed fuel duty for the first 2500 litres of biofuel you produce yourself for personal consumption, so unless you need more than 200 litres of fuel a month, you could in theory do this and get very cheap fuel (assuming they have not changed anything)."

Political skyboating. Trying to make themselves look good. They would never want this to actually occur for two reasons. Firstly, fall in fuel duty revenues. Secondly, it's actually quite a dangerous process and having every tom, dick and harry doing it in their garage would be very dangerous.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's USA, right? potential environmental ..

I bet the hydraulic fluid contamination in the groundwater wasn't though.

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Anonymous Coward

who is this 'dog' you keep mentioning?

Not Colin from Dunny-on-the-wold is it?

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Re: who is this 'dog' you keep mentioning?

I assume it was my dog, she really doesn't care about much...except food, and people wearing hats (not sure how the agw stuff affects the hat quirk, but neither of us care).

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Pint

I am happy to say I am one of the people who do care about climate change.

I will be very concerned about on my flight later today

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Anonymous Coward

I know how you feel. I am very much looking forward to my flight to a warmer climate next week, even if it's only termporary.

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Er?

Immigration and the environment did not make the top of the list in any country over the 17-year period;

Okay neither made the top but I dare say the former does seem to exercise a lot of people.

Why lump two concerns together which seem to have very little connection/correlation.

Also 60 years ago nobody was concerned about the effects of smoking, (no one really knew the dangers) does this mean it should still be ignored?

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Re: Er?

Why should people be concerned if they don't know of the danger. 60 years ago, smoking wasn't seen as a health hazard and the research indicating it was either wasn't available or was highly contained. So, people who smoked 60 years ago could be forgiven for arguing they didn't know. Those smoking today absolutely do know and still choose to. That's their choice I would say, but don't expect me to pay for it.

Mind you, it's probably fair to say that putting anything into your body that isn't normally there, is probably not really a good idea. Same goes for drugs (both legal and prescription), alcohol etc.etc.

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Re: Er?

Like your description of evidence about smoking being "highly contained"

More accurate might be that a famous statistician being paid by the tobacco industry and saying actually "lung cancer caused smoking" not the other way round.

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Facepalm

Re: Er?

Well, yes, of course "it's the economy, stupid" - people are mostly concerned about that because that's what has an immediate impact in their lives. Climate change* is decades-long. Humans are incredibly short-termist. What IS worrying is that although people's major concern is the economy, it keeps getting more and more screwed up. If people on these forums get worked up about climate models, bog knows what they would say about economic ones.

*Incidentally, the survey mentioned 'environment' not 'climate change', which is a subset of environmental concerns. There's many things in the environment to worry about that have nothing at all to do with climate change.

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Re: Er?

"Mind you, it's probably fair to say that putting anything into your body that isn't normally there, is probably not really a good idea. Same goes for drugs (both legal and prescription), alcohol etc.etc." .......and food?

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Re: Er?

"and food?"

Isn't food something that's normally in your body? Food is made up of the same compounds etc. as found throughout your body. The exact physical look may change, but the compounds are generally the same (assuming no drugs from the animal etc.).

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Anonymous Coward

Well reported.....

Another Lewis article....

HEADLINE: NO ONE CARES ABOUT CLIMATE:

read article (and I quote)

"the economy ranked as the highest concern, while concern for the environment ranked sixth. "

So being 6th ranked means no one cares does it?

Oddly how high ranking was good sanitation in the USA or a reliable mobile phone signal? But when it all goes horribly wrong, where then? it's easy to take for granted things that work, it when they go tits up everyone notices.

Classic example, in the last survery of the UK, how many people said that processed meat qualty was there No1 concern? Now go out there and ask that now.

Lewis, we know you have an agenda, but please read your own articles and understand them before ramming bullshit headlines down our throats.

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Re: Well reported.....

I think the point here is not that nobody is concerned about the environment, but that people are more concerned about the economy than the environment. As these are often on the opposite sides of a coin, that means we need to look at things more from an economic point of view than an environmental. Don't forget, nobody has yet shown what impact we're having on the environment (there are a lot of theories, but we keep getting opposing real world data which shows they aren't terribly correct at the moment), but we do know what impact we're having on the economy and peoples standard of living etc.

So, people are living for today rather than a 100 or 200 years hence. Unfortunately, that's the way it's always been and the way it will always be. Human beings are by nature, very selfish.

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Re: Well reported.....

And of course the purpose of government is to take care of all the things no one cares about, to prevent it all going tits up. This is why you're forced to pay tax, rather than, say, just paying what you feel like towards things you care about today/this week/this month.

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Re: Well reported.....

Re economy and environment being "opposite sides of a coin", the biggest push to combat climate change may yet come from that backbone of capitalist money-making, the insurance industry. These are people who REALLY look at facts and will not fudge their science because their bottom line depends on it. When giant re-insurers liek Munich Re start looking at their massive payouts for severe weather events and connect that to climate change (which is starting to happen), then finally the economic costs of climate change will start being factored into teh economy through increased insurance premiums.

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Re: Well reported.....

I have often thought along these lines, that the actuary types will do a better job of analysing the effects on the environments, simply because they have no agenda other than keeping the insurance company profitable.

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I didn't realise that was how it worked......

I didn't realise people were only allowed to be concerned about a single issue. I credited some of them with the ability to be concerned about several issues, of which the environment may be one, but not always the most important one to them.

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FAIL

Flawed study

It appears they asked the question, "which of these eight issues are you most concerned about?", as if people are only capable of caring about one of them, and assumed they don't give a damn about the other seven. A properly done study would have allowed people to indicate how concerned they are (from 'not at all' to 'extremely') about each of those issues.

Also, "seventeen years of continuous surveys" is flat-out wrong. According to the linked report, the survey was conducted exactly three times, in 1993, 2000, and 2010.

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Re: Flawed study

If the economy is ranked No.1 and the environment No.6 then, given a conflict, most of the population would prioritise economy over environment.

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Linux

World+Dog

Don't understand where K9s fit into this story????

As far as I know they have never expressed any thoughts on the issue of climate change!

;))))

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"decades of climate alarmism have had basically no effect on people's attitude around the world"

If only politicians felt the same way. Sadly, they have spotted a gravy train and jumped aboard, forgetting to check how we (in the UK) can keep the lights on when major power stations are about to be decommissioned.

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NORCs

Fnarr.

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Happy

Not Surprising Really the Law of Offsets applies

Given that the for most people the question is; will I have a job and/or an income tomorrow - both rely on the economy. So clearly if they are asked about various life factors they will rank those that directly affect them most highly as being top of their agenda.

Given that the politicians want to use the environment as an excuse to raise taxes, it is not an easy sell.

Many green lobby/environmentalists, etc. keep saying that we have to live like people in some long forgotten past to save the environment, but most 'main stream' people will rank survival, i.e. the economy above many, if not most environmental issues. Comfort considerations will also drive the 'green agenda' further down the list since the green agenda appears to most to suggest we all live in unheated homes and walk everywhere either through direct force or via excessive costs.

The comments about smoking are so irrelevant to be at best laughable and to show only a lack of grasp of the context. Relatively few would have been economically affected in any negative way by stopping smoking and, given employment statistics at the time, most would have easily found another job, e.g growing food for the starving.

Now the situation is radically different, loose your job and standard of living because something might happen at some point somewhere distant is not an easy sell. Even more difficult iwhen there are vast unknowns.

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Anonymous Coward

62%

of the nations listed are in Europe (exc Russia) - if the same questions had been asked in more of the developing world I'm guessing seal level rise etc would have figured more highly.

As it stands there is nothing even remotely surprising in those numbers though the author as ever seems determined to cling to his libertarian climate change denial agenda not withstanding the fact this report sited adds no grist to his mill

Luckily Rik's recent articles are balancing out the Reg's piss-poor coverage of this subject. When it comes to climate science the Reg is about as reliable a news source as the Daily Mail, which is quite a condemnation.

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Re: 62%

Would the developing world rate it higher.......doubt it.

Unless the people questioned live on an island about to go underwater, they would simply move a bit inland. People in the developing world are far more pragmatic and far more concerned about tomorrow. So, asked whether they wish to stop burning coal to produce electricity (thereby enabling them to earn a living) and stop the sea level rising, they'd almost certainly elect to keep burning the coal, keep employed and simply move inland a bit.

Issues of immediate concern are of far more importance than some way off, maybe never issue.

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Devil

Re: Proof that capitalism has to be abandoned for the sake of the world.

Well the board of my two-berth submarine company is ambivalent about the situation.

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Meh

Re: Proof that capitalism has to be abandoned for the sake of the world.

Please enlighten us with your equitable, practical, and effective alternative.

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Headmaster

Re: Proof that capitalism has to be abandoned for the sake of the world.

less ≠ fewer

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Proof that capitalism has to be abandoned for the sake of the world.

What's the point of having a successful economy if you can't sabotage it by taxing anything producing energy efficiently into oblivion?

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Coat

Nah

Can't say I give a sweet fa about the economy either if need be I can rough it on the Queen's swans and homebrew cider. If only they had a free-to-air auction chanel where each day we the public could select one politician at 9am and the method of his torture and death to be broadcast live from 10am to 10pm then I'd be as happy as a pig in sheeet.

Trouble is the gene pool is so weak new ones would be born faster than they'd be convinced politicking was wrong by my humane methods so as an alternative I suggest we all go bag one for the bonfire this year.

Mines the one with the attache cape with the hemp noose.

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Anonymous Coward

So they do care, then?

Since Climate Change is, at the end of the day, an economic problem it seems that people do care a lot. That they don't understand the link is a different issue so we have a situation where people care but don't actually realize it. Which isn't that unusual with scientific issues.

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Re: So they do care, then?

Well quite.

The article also seems to be saying that public opinion should be the only driver of how & what governments legislate about.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not about alarmism

But if we fail to live in harmony with Gaia, we will eventually fail to live at all.

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Re: It's not about alarmism

""But if we fail to live in harmony with Gaia, we will eventually fail to live at all."

I just threw up in my mouth a little"

Ah, but homo sapiens will always die out. It's just a question of whether this occurs through the demise of homonids in general, or simply that species. That is afterall, the mechanism by which homo sapiens came about in the first place. It's called evolution.

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Anonymous Coward

That's OK

Just keep sh*tting on your own doorstep.

You will have bigger problems than throwing up a little, my friend.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's OK

I am amazed to see all these downvotes, can el Reg commentards really all be so ignorant to react in such a negative fashion to the idea of being considerate towards nature?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not about alarmism

Gaia takes it up the ass. Oh, you mean the goddess?

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Re: It's not about alarmism

Posted Wednesday 27th February 2013 11:36 GMT Anonymous Coward

"The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened;" - James Lovelock proposer of the Gaia Hypothesis

A proper scientist. He proposed a hypothesis which was not born out by the facts so he looked for another one.

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Re: It's not about alarmism

Where the fuck else would you vomit?

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Alert

I haven't read the report, I must admit,

but from the article "The economy ranked highest in concern in 15 countries..." which suggests to me that it discusses the average main fear of each country's population. It seems to draw from this that all other matters are disregarded. I doubt the full report is this simplified, but it does lead to recall the saying about lies, damn lies and the other things.

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Unhappy

People are very stupid

...film at 11.

Seriously -- come the collapse of civilisation, there's going to be a fantastic once-in-a-species-lifetime chance to squeeze the human population through a nice tight bottleneck, with knuckle-dragging halfwits (that's 85% of the population, at least) being -- oh dear, how sad, so sorry -- stuck on the wrong side of the alive/dead boundary. Or the right side, if you prefer to look at it that way.

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Re: People are very stupid

@Tom Paine: unfortunately, come the collapse of civilisation, there's a pretty good chance that the knuckle-dragging halfwits will be beating clever-but-puny el-Reg commentards to a pulp with their baseball bats to take over any available resources.

Being clever isn't, in and of itself, a survival strategy

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Re: People are very stupid

It is if you've hidden all the baseball bats

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Joke

Re: People are very stupid

"It is if you've hidden all the baseball bats"

Works only if you hide everything but items made from lightweight foam and have cut the "halfwits" arms and legs off!!

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