question pits the environment against economic growth as an eitheror dilemma

Question pits the environment against economic growth

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question pits the environment against economic growth as an either/or dilemma. Rarely do surveys allow respondents to choose an alternative answer, that environ- mental protection can generate economic growth and create jobs (for example, in new energy system development, tourism, and manufacturing). Attitudes toward Environmental Policies In 1995, a large majority (62 percent) worldwide said they “would agree to an increase in taxes if the extra money were used to prevent environmental damage,” while 33 percent said they would oppose them. 26 In 2000, there was widespread global support for stronger environmen- tal protection laws and regulations, with 69 percent saying that, at the time of the survey, their national laws and regula- tions did not go at all far enough. 27 The 1992 Health of the Planet survey found that a very large majority (78 percent) favored the idea of their own national government “contributing money to an international agency to work on solving global environmental problems.” Attitudes toward international agreements in this survey, however, were less favorable. In 1992, 47 percent worldwide agreed that “our nation’s environmental problems can be solved without any international agree- ments,” with respondents from low-income countries more likely to strongly agree (23 percent) than individuals from middle- income (17 percent) or high-income (12 percent) countries. 28 In 2001, however, 79 percent of respondents from the G8 coun- tries said that international negotiations and progress on climate change was either “not good enough” (39 percent) or “not acceptable” (40 percent) and needed faster action. Surprisingly, this latter 40 percent supported giving the United Nations “the power to impose legally-binding actions on national governments to protect the Earth’s climate.” 29 Environmental Behavior Material consumption is one of the pri- mary means by which environmental val- ues and attitudes get translated into behav- ior. (For attitudes toward consumption per se, see the section on affluence, poverty, and consumerism below.) In 2002, Environics International (Globe- Scan) found that 36 percent of respondents Children play in a polluted creek near Calcutta, India. Global public opinion holds that environmental problems such as water pollution are very serious problems—but such attitudes have not always translated into action. © QILAI SHEN—PANOS
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NOVEMBER 2005 ENVIRONMENT 27 Figure 2. Human-nature relationship Japan Sweden Puerto Rico South Korea Chile Canada Serbia Spain Argentina Peru United States Macedonia Mexico Bangladesh Bosnia-Herzegovina Montenegro India Uganda Moldova Albania Zimbabwe South Africa China Jordan Tanzania Vietnam Philippines 0 25 50 75 100 Percent of respondents NOTE: The question asked, “Which statement comes closest to your own views: human beings should master nature or humans should coexist with nature?” SOURCE: A. Leiserowitz, 2005. Data from World Values Survey, The 1999–2002 Values Surveys Integrated Data File 1.0,
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