Why should we care about climate change?


We might know more about the environment and climate change than ever before, but a new report says that there has been a decline in British public support in tackling climate change. So why should we care about the planet? Charlotte Reid has the answers.

A new report into British social attitudes by NatCen Social Research shows that there has been a decline in public support for tackling climate change.

Some of the results show that only 43% of the population consider climate change to be dangerous for the environment.

Worryingly, 37% of people think that many claims about environmental threats are exaggerated. This figure was only 24% in 2000. Whereas the proportion of people who think that it is a definite truth that fossil fuels contribute to climate change has dropped from 35% to 20%.

Some environmentally friendly behaviour has become commonplace, with 86% saying they made an effort to recycle. Back in November, we reported on English councils announcing a rise in the amount being recycled.

But other types of environmentally friendly behaviour are less practised, as 39% reduce energy use in the home and 19% use the car less.

The report provides a number of reasons why there has been such a dramatic drop in public support, including the economy and scepticism that followed ‘climategate’ in 2009.

The report also points to an increase in environmental ‘fatigue’ which says that even though there is more evidence on what causes climate change, it is beginning to feel less personal.

However, Blue & Green Tomorrow disagrees with that, as the effects of climate change is already being felt by developing countries. They face starvation unless something is done and global warming could become so severe that it could make some places virtually impossible to live in.

But here in the UK, we will also start to feel the effects. Currently action is taking place to prevent droughts next summer. The Met Office released research saying that if nothing is done to reduce carbon emissions then there will be a global change in rainfall patterns, more pressure will be felt on crop production and an increase in flood risks will be felt in the UK.

Global leaders have not sent the best impression about tackling climate change as it seems unlikely that they will come to an agreement on extending the Kyoto Protocol after climate change talks in South Africa. However, most countries are still doing their bit towards cutting emissions and fighting climate change.

But this isn’t enough. The world needs more ethical, environmental and entrepreneurial leaders and as we face the impact of irreversible climate change, we all need to be doing something to keep the planet blue and green.

If you want to make a change and realise how personal the fight against climate change is then speak to your financial adviser, let us find one for you through our online form, or switch to renewable energy. As part of your planning for Christmas, why not read how you can have an ethical and environmentally friendly festive period, and we recommend using the Ethical Superstore to do your ethical shopping.