The latest poll conducted by the Washington Post and Stanford University about the environmantal issue has many interesting findings http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/documents/global-warming-poll-2.pdf
1.60% of the participants say weather patterns around the world have been more unstable in the past three years than previously, a perception that’s changed little since 2006. Nearly as many also say average temperatures were higher during the past three years than before that.
2.55 percent say a “great deal” or “good amount” can be done to reduce future global warming however atthe same time, 60 percent of those polled say it will be extremely or very difficult for people to stop it.
3.More than 70 percent Americans oppose policies that would rely on tax increases on electricity or gas to change individual behavior, while 66 percent favor tax breaks to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
4.People don’t see a lot of downside for taking action to stop global warming as only 12 percent say that the things people would do to help stop it would make their own lives worse.
Similarly in another study, conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication , 75% of Americans supported the need of regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant to cause green house effect. More than 60 % of them also expected the US to cut its CO2 emissions by 90 % (by the year 2050) and supported protecting the environment even at the cost of reduced economic growth.
It is a known fact the USA is the largest consumer of the resources of the World and having largest national economy. It has also a class and society which is highly sensitive and aware regarding the ongoing environmental problems.In such a state of affairs this should have been an added advantage for the socities in developed countries including USA to take certain concrete steps at individual level as a remedy to this problem? But in reality this is not the case.So what are those factors which pull them back from being an active citizen to take the individual step towards this problem ?Is this the fear of little compromise with their highly luxurious life style and heavy consumption or in other words the fear of losing so called happiness or comforts from materialistic world due to more access to resources ?
Its yet to elucidate as to why the people become a moot spectator and avid comenetator towards these alarming environmental problems ?
Back home in India we too are occupied with multiplicity of issues and problems.
There is a distinct classs of have nots (underpriviledged in the sense of access to resources) for whom the prime matter is to make both ends meet and their efforts and actions for their livelihood affect the natural resources badly besides making them unsustainable.Any intervention in this direction is possible only by providing alternatives to them.Though in many of the instances it has been proved that the communities who are dependent on the natural resources have devised and preserved their own ways and means to utilize these resoutrces on sustained basis. Its only the web of ever increasing demands of populations that has affected the whole dynamics of balance between man and nature.
Then there comes the middle class with little or more access to resources but that too is engaged in dilemma of changing survival strategies and same time busy with improving the happiness levels albeit at the cost of money. Since they also have also equal right to develop and flourish it may not be wise to expect a change from this quarter .
Finally we have the elite or rich among poors, the class which is shining with the improved GDP and adding to its numbers every year in the form of millionairess and billioneres. This class has both the capacities and abilities ( awakened mass) to contribute towards the environmental problems like our American brothers but the biggest question is again when and how?
So what should we expect from ourselves ?
At least a small action to start with as each conservative or recycling action we take, we reduce the impact of Man's negative action on the environment .As Gandhiji's said " "Be the change you wish to see in the world." instead of waiting for the Government or Organistaions to act?