Politicians claim powerful mandates to fundamentally remake society in pursuance of green politics, but research suggests public support is more conceptual and enthusiasm ebbs away if policies mean fundamentally changing the way we live.
There is a major gulf between a willingness to return to what might be considered traditional living if it benefits the environment — only eating in-season fruit and vegetables, giving up ‘single use’ plastics and the like — and drastic civilisational change like not having children and giving up eating meat, research finds. Commissioned by The Guardian, a poll of 9,000 residents in European nations the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Denmark finds people want to do more to live in a good environment, but overwhelmingly reject extremist positions adopted by green zealots. Broadly speaking, distant, low-impact initiatives like increased tree planting, or government handouts that would obviously improve people’s lives like subsidies to insulate homes enjoy nearly universal support. Meanwhile, punitive measures like car bans and new or higher taxes are very unpopular. Europeans also seem pretty willing to give up plastic, and even support a government crackdown on excessive plastic packaging. UK Women Promote ‘BirthStrike’ Baby Ban to Prevent ‘Eco-Armageddon’ https://t.co/CqTQeOPMoM — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 7, 2019 According to the report, 56 per cent of people in the UK would be content to never buy a single-use plastic item again and 75 per cent said they would support a ban. Curiously, according to the data released by the newspaper Germany — which is presently ruled by a coalition government which gives a great deal of power to the Green Party who have already made radical policy moves to change the country — comes out as the least supportive of environmental measures. With some exceptions, the United Kingdom is among the most supportive. The polling clearly shows certain areas, however, where the public are not at all happy with some plans which green extremists claim are necessary to change the weather.
The most consistently negative grouping is those who agreed with the statement “Have fewer children than you would otherwise like”, with support tightly grouped around ten per cent. Only fractionally more popular was cutting out meat and dairy altogether, with support in European nations in the tens and teens of per cent. Reducing, rather than totally excluding meat eating was still unpopular even if it was slightly less so. Exhibiting optimism bordering on detachment from reality, the left-wing Guardian hailed 28 per cent of Germans saying they liked the idea of limiting meat and dairy to two or three meals a week as “fairly solid support”. Incredibly, almost a quarter of Britons polled said they would support the remarkably draconian measure of the government legally enforcing limits on meat eating. It is propaganda not global warming that will hurt the human race: Fear of Climate Change Leading Some to Not Have Childrenhttps://t.co/QbyVXCunUy@BreitbartNews @ClimateDepot @HeartlandInst #climate — Penny Starr (@PennyStarrDC) November 19, 2021 Giving up internal-combustion-engine cars and more taxes on transport were also very unpopular. Taking more journeys by public transport was more of a mixed bag, with views appearing to conform more with how popular taking transit is in a country already.
The United Kingdom has one of the lowest levels of public ridership in Europe, for instance, and was also among the most opposed to a car ban.
The findings of the poll, that in general people are concerned about what they’ve heard about climate change but don’t think fundamentally changing human civilisation to the extent of even voluntarily giving up having children should not come as too much of a surprise, and the findings echo previous research. A poll of 2009 found “People want to save the planet but are unwilling to make radical lifestyle changes like giving up air travel or red meat”. Another Guardian climate poll of 2021 saw the paper remark: “[Europeans are] alarmed by the climate crisis, but most believe they are already doing more to preserve the planet than anyone else, including their government, and few are willing to make significant lifestyle changes”. This is particularly apposite given the colossal drive for coal in some parts of the world more than cancelling out the savings made in Western nations, often at great costs to themselves. China has approved over 20 gigawatts worth of new coal-burning power plants in just the first three months of 2023 alone, double the rate of the previous year. Poll: Britons Won’t Surrender Meat and Driving to Stop ‘Climate Change’ https://t.co/hautHygrRP — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 3, 2019.
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