A global poll of more than 6.5million people has placed climate change at the very bottom of a long list of priorities, with the finding being consistent across both genders, almost all age ranges, all education levels and in most regions of the world. (h/t Watts Up With That). Conversely, every single demographic placed “a good education” at the top.
The poll is being conducted by the United Nations as part of a program to find out what people across the world want to see action on. Participants are offered a choice of sixteen policy issues, which also include “a good education”, “Political freedoms”, “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans”, and “Equality between men and women”.
6,654,216 people have taken part in the My World survey so far (launched last March, it is remaining open until next year). Across almost every demographic, “Action taken on climate change” was rated 16 / 16.
The only exceptions are amongst those aged 46 and above, who placed “Phone and internet access” at the bottom of their lists of priorities, and those living within more affluent regions of the world. Across the whole of Africa and Asia climate change rated last, but Europe, Oceania and the Americas promoted the issue to around half way up the table.
In the US it ranked 10th, whilst in the UK it was placed 9th. Both countries put “a good education” in the top spot. Votes can be submitted online, via mobile phone, or in some countries via offline ballots. Researchers are also heading to places where internet access is not available to survey populations in person.
At the time the project was launched, Claire Melamed, Head of Growth at the Poverty and Inequality Programme at the Overseas Development Institute said “We are collecting an incredibly rich source of information about what people want. We’re able to look at what men want, what women want, what people of different ages want, how the choices people are making vary in all kinds of different ways. We can look at particularly what some of the poorest people think and compare that with richer people in their own countries.”
Willis Eschenbach, commenting on the Watts Up With That blog said “People are not as stupid as their leaders think. Folks know what’s important and what’s trivial in their lives, and trying to control the climate is definitely in the latter group.”