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PaulS's picture

Transition on Climate Change and Energy survey

Charmian has alerted Cornwall Transition groups to a public opinion survey, which I found quite illuminating.

The survey is entitled British Attitudes to the Environment, Climate Change and Future Energy Choices, Summer 2010
Assuming that Cornish opinions are not too far removed from this UK wide survey, it does point to the main concerns of the population and should be of some help to Transition groups in Cornwall and elsewhere.


The main points arising from the survey are that
a) the Environment is rated of low importance (5%)
b) the Economy is by far the most important issue (65%)
and has become so since the financial crisis of 2008

However some 3 out of 4 believe that climate change is a reality and almost as many are concerned about it.
Over 60% believe that national or international bodies should be addressing this issue, not just individuals and companies, although most people feel a sense of personal responsibility.

Many claim to have taken practical steps (84% recycling, 61% energy efficiency, 32% decrease use of car)

On energy issues:
over 80% are concerned that we are becoming too dependent on energy from other countries and 78% believe that fossil fuels may be running out!

Both Solar and Wind energy receive over 80% support, biomass just over 50% (lack of understanding of what biomass energy actually is? - such as wood!)
and over 70% support building of new wind farms fairly near (5 miles) and over 50% in their own locality.


Overall, renewable energy projects are popular, even in people's own back yards.

Whilst the most pressing issue emerges as the Economy, most people do not yet connect the poor state of the world economy with the energy crisis as manifested in 2008 and which is continuing to exert downward pressure on economic performance. Associating these two concepts as a cause and effect would enable the Transition Movement to draw on peoples perception that
a) we are becoming too dependant on foreign sources of energy and
b) that this will keep slowing the Economy down unless we do something about it.

The solution we can point to is a major expansion of all sorts of renewable energy, which Cornwall has in abundance, to both secure Cornwall's future in an energy poor world and to increase its prospects by exporting this valuable resource.

Similar argument can be made about food supplies.

This type of approach would I believe extend Transition's appeal from mainly environmentalist sentiments into the highly motivating economic sphere and thus encompass many more people in Cornwall to our cause and lead to much greater influence and action in the future.

Do leave a comment fo or against.