Pew survey: China’s climate concern plummets

PewsurveyThere’s a new Pew survey of opinion on climate change in different countries. There are quite a lot of interesting findings there. What struck me was a very sharp drop in the number of people who believe that “global climate change is a very serious problem” in China, from 41% in 2010 to just 18% in 2015. Concern  has also dropped in Russia, Korea and Japan, but risen modestly in the US and France.

They find climate concern to be highest in Latin America and Africa. They also look at the left-right divide on climate, which is very strong in the US, but less strong in the UK.

Support for renewable energy was found to be high in Brazil but low in South Africa and Russia.

I’ve just looked at how the Guardian reports it, and I’m surprised to see their headline is almost the same as mine!


  1. Fascinating. I don’t know what to make of the fact that Palestinians are almost twice as likely as Israelis to be concerned about climate change, or the fact that the countries the most concerned are Brazil and Burkina Faso and the least China and Poland. In general the high emitters are the least concerned.

    It’s clearly not the case that the Chinese and the Poles have decided to burn lots of coal because they’re not concerned, so the causality must go in the other direction; burning coal makes you less concerned, while erecting wind turbines makes you worried. The implication is that if we ever build enough wind turbines to meet our targets, we’ll all be nervous wrecks.


  2. The UN survey linked by Catweazle above is even more fascinating than the Pew survey. It’s an on-line self-completion survey, with all the doubts that entails, but it has a sample size of eight million. And it shows, as clearly as any survey can, that concern about climate change is the last thing that the world’s population is worried about by a long way.
    There’s enough material in these two surveys to keep the world’s sociologists in PhD subjects for years. That won’t happen of course, because it would be absolutely impossible for a sociology student to risk his future by pointing up the utter irrelevance of the global warming movement to the world’s population – at least in the west. Maybe in Nigeria or China, but not in any social science department in what we think of as the developed world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps it’s also worth recalling that even the two years’ worth of data-gathering by the UN (which had consistently placed “Action taken on climate change” at the very bottom of the heap) was – in effect – dumped by the UN in June of this year.

    Notwithstanding the promises and somewhat less than well-advertised hype when the data.myworld2015 survey was launched, it seems that – as I had noted approx. six weeks ago – the powers that be weren’t entirely thrilled by the results they were getting.

    So, miracle of miracles, on June 6, 2015 some arm, elbow, hand finger or other of the UN conducted a one day “survey” – subsequently touted as the “largest ever public consultation on climate change and energy”.

    Only via UN math could the voices of 10,000 – all heard on one day via “97 debates [in] 76 countries” – supersede those of 8 million plus gathered over approximately two years.

    Amazing, eh?!


  4. Thanks for the link Hilary. It’s true that the survey of eight million is hardly a random sample. 1.5 million of them come from Nigeria, most of them apparently via one government organisation, Millenium Development Goals, whose website can be seen at
    They’re about “ensuring environmental sustainability” to be sure, but they’re also interested in eradicating poverty, empowering women, and providing universal education. Guess what people voted for.
    If the UN is embarrassed by the fact that climate was at the bottom of the list, that suggests that they’d prefer something else to be there. Health care? Infant mortality? Political Freedom? I think we should be told.


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