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Swedes' environmental interest plummets: report

Published: 26 Jun 2011 10:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Jun 2011 10:10 GMT+02:00

Public interest in climate issues has dropped to its lowest point in five years, according to the upcoming annual SOM report from the University of Gothenburg.

Only 14 percent of Swedes currently consider the environment to be among our most important problems, reports daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

This is the lowest figure since 2006, and far behind the record-high figures of the late eighties, when Swedes' environmental involvement truly boomed.

Green Party leader Gustav Fridolin believes the responsibility for this diminished interest lies with politicians who fail to prioritize the issue.

"We don't make sure to build new train tracks, which makes it look as though the climate issue wasn't so important," he told TV channel TV4.

Swedes' environmental interest was relatively low from 1996 and ten years onwards, according to the SOM institute's investigation.

In 2006, however, several events led to climate issues making a comeback, and interest in them rose once more.

US politician slash environmentalist Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" was released, the Stern report was published, and the media began to report more heavily about the climate threat.

During the following years, one in five Swedes considered climate and environmental issues to be among the most important societal problems.

This trend has now been broken, and last year this number had decreased heavily, from 21 to 14 percent.

"There is a connection between the media's reporting and the interest among the general public," said Björn Rönnerstrand, PhD student in political scientist, and one of the authors behind the SOM report, to Svenska Dagbladet.

"And during 2010 the reporting has gone down to a more everyday level."

Even during the past couple of years, Swedes' eco-interest was far from the levels of the late eighties, when environmental interest was at its highest.

In the record year 1988, as many as 62 percent listed environmental issues among the most important problems.

The University of Gothenburg's SOM report will be published on Tuesday.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:51 June 26, 2011 by calebian22
Well sloppy scientific methodology can be blamed for this. When the science is tainted, why would it be believed? Believing in something that is not supported by fact is faith, not science.
11:49 June 26, 2011 by Roy E
Such are the consequences of lying and fear mongering.

A lot of people stood to make a lot of money trading carbon credits. A lot of unethical scientists were drooling over grant money and drunk on their new found celebrity status in fashionable circles. A lot of elitist control freaks saw the means by which they could control behavior and dictate how people should live their lives. They all saw their ticket to easy street.

Fortunately, they got busted and exposed. Truth won out in the end.
12:12 June 26, 2011 by krattan
I don't know without reading the report, but it seems pretty obvious that the economical turmoil these last years has had a greater impact on peoples minds. The environment has had to take the back seat.
13:10 June 26, 2011 by jamesblish
Yes, yes what a huge surprise that a couple people would find their way in here and spew their hatred about the "climate conspiracy" etc. Whether people consider this important or not doesn't really matter though, issues are important or unimportant regardless of what people think. People don't know sh*t.
14:01 June 26, 2011 by calebian22
James,

Thanks for showing the irrationality of a true believer. Science is based on fact. Until, this is the case with global warming, climate change, global climate disruption, whatever the buzz word is nowadays, why would anyone "believe" in man's influence on a changing planet? Telling someone it is true, because it just is so, sounds idiotic.
16:20 June 26, 2011 by cogito
Calebian22,

Try not to introduce logic and evidence-based reasoning here.

True believers are impervious.
18:03 June 26, 2011 by eppie
You see that media attention is so important.

The scientific basis behind the enhanced greenhouse effect is much stronger than it was 15 years ago and even stronger than it was 1 year ago.

But as krattan points out correctly, there are other things more important at the moment (at least that is what many people think).

Financial crises affect us directly and so it is no surprise people are worried about that more now.

How true it climate change is, the influence can not be seen from today to tomorrow.

@calebian

If you don't have the scientific background, please don't try to discuss climate theory.
19:29 June 26, 2011 by Larry Thrash
The merger of the scientific community with the political community has corrupted science. It's all about the money. Politicians bribe scientists with grant money to say that man is causing climate change so they can take more power and money from the people. People aren't buying what the hoaxers are selling anymore.
22:52 June 26, 2011 by calebian22
Eppie,

You don't need to have a scientific background to understand sloppy experimental methodology. As you can see from my posts, that was all that I referred too.
03:37 June 27, 2011 by kaeru
Look at the price of oil today, its above the levels when comparing to the crash in the 1970's and the crash in 2009. Lets not even speak about gold.

No my friends, environment will be the last thing on peoples mind when the next crash happens. And its coming soon, you can believe that.
09:56 June 27, 2011 by eppie
@calebian

But it makes your posts useless. Noone would believe you know anything about the quality of experimental methods.

And this is directly the whole issue. Everybody thinks he has to have an opinion on climate change. Especially after the political right has turned climate into a political thing. And left is bad; climate is a left issue; so climate researchers lie.

Nowadays with internet everybody can voice his opinion and spread rumours and because most of the people reading also don't have the correct background, experience or intellect to understand the real issue people start agreeing.

People believ what they want to believe....and because they think that if the climate change is real, fuel gets more expensive......so lets just all scream that climate change is fake and researchers are liars. The fact that they have never set foot in a university is simply forgotten
11:41 June 28, 2011 by cogito
"If you don't have the scientific background, please don't try to discuss climate theory" (Eppie #7)

Only True Believers in Apocalypse Soon are permitted to speak?

More blind faith is required to believe in anthropogenic global warming than for most religions.

btw: Green god Al Gore got a D-minus (failure grade) in natural sciences at university.
23:54 June 28, 2011 by patto007
Thank goodness, The Swedes are finally coming to their senses.
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