Politicians claim enormous mandates to fundamentally transform society in the pursuit of green politics, but research indicates that support from the public tends to be more conceptual, and excitement dwindles if policies involve radically changing the way we live.
According to research, there is a significant gap between being willing to go back to what could be considered conventional ways of life if it helps the environment — eating only in-season vegetables and fruits, forsaking’ single use’ plastics, and so on — and extreme civilizational change, such as refraining from having children and giving up meat as a food item.
A poll of 9,000 citizens in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark commissioned by The Guardian indicates that people want to be doing more to live in a sustainable environment, but they reject the hardline stances taken by green extremists.
In general, distant, low-impact programs such as more tree planting or government giveaways that would plainly enhance people’s lives, such as home insulation subsidies, gain virtually unanimous approval. Meanwhile, harsh measures such as car prohibitions and new or increased taxes are extremely unpopular. Europeans appear to be eager to abandon plastic and even favor a government ban on overuse of plastic packaging.
According to the research, 56% of people in the UK would be happy to never purchase another single-use plastic product again, and 75% would support a ban.
Interestingly, according to the statistics published by the newspaper, Germany, which is currently governed by a coalition government that provides the Green Party significant influence and has already implemented drastic policy changes to alter the country, is the least supportive of environmental measures. With a few exceptions, the UK is among those most supportive.
However, polling plainly demonstrates that the public is not happy with certain initiatives that green extremists assert are required to change the weather. Those who agreed with the assertion “Have fewer kids than you would normally like” were the most consistently unfavorable subgroup, with support firmly clustered around 10%. Cutting off meat and dairy entirely was only somewhat more popular, with approval in European nations in the tens and teens of percent.
Even though it was a little less controversial, reducing rather than eliminating meat consumption was nonetheless unpopular. The left-wing Guardian lauded 28 percent of Germans who said they supported the concept of restricting dairy and meat products to a maximum of two or three meals per week as “fairly solid support,” displaying optimism bordering on separation from reality. Surprisingly, over a quarter of Britons questioned said they would favor the government legally imposing meat consumption limits.