If you were asked to list the types of fatigue you are familiar with what would your answer be? Would it be physical and emotional fatigue? Or maybe the highly publicized donor and voter fatigue? Well make room for a new type fatigue that is about to become all the rage, The Green Fatigue.
According to recent studies, completed by GlobScan, the world has cooled down on global warming (see what I did there?). Worldwide concerns about climate change have dropped dramatically since 2009, marking the setting in of the Green Fatigue. From the 22,812 people surveyed from 22 different countries, fewer people consider things such as pollution, species loss and water shortage to be very serious. Environmental concerns among citizens around the world have been falling and have now reached a twenty year low. Along with the drop in concern, environmental reporting has taken a hit and has been declining in recent years. With climate change being ranked as the lowest concern, worries may have gone away but the problem has not.
Bad news for all of us on earth:
Evidence of environmental change is stronger now than ever. A few days after the GlobScan results became public; another press release emerged and caught my attention. Last year, the world became the hottest it has been since the end of the ice age, 11,300 years ago. Findings from the study, which was supported by the National Science Foundation, stated that the world’s temperature is still rising and will continue to reach a record high. The study highlighted that the most rapid change has occurred in the past century.
The emergence of evidence showing that
earth scored the hottest temperature since the ice age puts to rest scepticism that global temperatures are no higher than they were in previous centuries, long before the increase in industrial emissions of carbon dioxide. Another recent press release, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, noted the second biggest leap in carbon emissions since 1959 (the year record keeping began). The study states that the amount of heat trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere jumped “Dramatically” in 2012.
So why is the Green Fatigue setting in when climate change and global warming are at their worst?
Through some research the most obvious answer that came about is the timing of the Green Fatigue and the economic crisis. With concern about the environment declining in 2009, shortly after the recession hit, people began worrying more about the present economic situation and neglected future environmental issues. The drop in concern also coincides with the timing of the unsuccessful UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, which took place in December 2009. The conference created an air of confusion, disagreement as politicians failed to reach a deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The survey conducted by GlobScan also comes into question since it only surveyed 22 countries around the world. By examining the list of countries you will notice that only a few environmentally friendly countries such as Germany and France made an appearance. While the list was dominated by some notorious environment bad boys such as China, U.S.A, India and good old Canada, which could have created unbalanced research results.
Share your thoughts! Is Green Fatigue here to stay? What factors do you think are contributing to it? Will environmental concern regain momentum in the future?