First Annual World Environment Poll Review

Global Market Insite Inc. (GMI), in a project initiated by Jon Dee of Planet Ark, conducted an internet-based survey on the attitude of people towards global warming. The 2007 World Environment Review polled 14,000 consumers in 14 countries around the world about their attitudes towards climate change. The results show that Indian care most about the environment with 53% of the 1,001 Indian indicating they are “Very Concerned” about climate change. Contrast this with Norway where 20% indicate they are “Very Concerned” about climate change with 59% choosing “Fairly Concerned”. You can get detailed results here.

These results make Neha laugh. It makes me shake my head in disgust. The truth is that these numbers presented as results from the poll are meaningless and have next to no value. This is statistics gone awry… again. I had earlier (in my other blog) written on how statistics is being used to defent any given view-point. Well, here’s another facet of it.

Norwegians, from my personal experience, care a lot about the environment. I must admit that quite a few of them have their facts all mixed up because of some pretty ordinary reporting in the newspapers. But the climate debate is alive and kicking here with atleast 2 (to the more common 4) pages devoted to covering this issue in most papers. The Norwegian results thus look OK to me with nearly 79% being concerned – a Norwegian would mostly never describe himself/herself as being “Very Concerned” about anything but lack of snow prior to their Påske skiferie (Easter Ski Vacation).

The questions also did not make much sense – particularly in the Norwegian case. One of the points were – “Noway is too reliant on foreign oil” with replies being 9% – “Strongly Agree”, 25% – “Agree”. Now, Norway is the third largest exporter of oil (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). Tell me once more why they would be too reliant on foreign oil????

It is half baked efforts such as these that cast environmentalists in bad light.

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2 Comments

Filed under Global Warming, India, Norway, Statistics

2 responses to “First Annual World Environment Poll Review

  1. I’ve also marked my comment’s on Neha’s blog. India is beginning to take solid steps towards promoting a “clean energy initiative” as documented by the Kyoto protocol. Participation in the private sector is high in this initiative, and I’m proud to be a part of that.

  2. Rahul Anantharaman

    Manu, my post was not meant to deride any efforts by the Indian government or Indians in particular. India is certainly taking steps, but to imply that Indians are the most concerned about the environment would be pushing it.

    Best of luck with your efforts.

    Rahul

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