On Saturday 14 July 2019 during the Coventry Fargo Positive Images Festival, a survey was conducted by members of CovCAN encompassing the opinions of 16 members of the general public regarding their opinions with regards to climate change, why it would (if it did) concern them, and ways in which they were (or were not) attempting to reduce their environmental footprints. Here is a summary of the results.
15 of the 16 participants strongly agreed that our climate was changing. As well as climate change in the UK, discussions included impacts on alpine regions and snowfall patterns in Northern Europe as well as desertification in sub Saharan Africa and rainfall patterns/tropical storms in coastal areas.
14 of the 16 participants said that they were worried by climate change. However, the two people who said that they were not worried had nevertheless implemented methods of reducing their environmental footprints (not driving, recycling, reusing) and still wanted to improve the sustainability of their lifestyles.
Everyone who took part in our survey agreed that climate change would impact future generations, especially when considering air and water pollution as well as increased heavy rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere and droughts in the Southern Hemisphere.
15 of the 16 participants agreed that human activity was a cause of rapid climate change, and the person who admitted to being unsure still agreed that it was at least a significant contributory factor if not a leading cause.
All of the participants agreed that the actions of individuals could help to reduce climate change. The most important being their means of travel.
In answer to the question of who is mainly responsible for taking action to alleviate climate change, the most popular choices were:
- Individuals – viewed as highly responsible in their support for corporate and governmental choices
- Local Government
- Central Government
- Other Countries – considered least responsible in taking action to stop climate change as developing countries were considered to more effectively mitigate against climate change.
All participants could give examples of how they have already taken action to reduce their carbon emissions.Examples they gave included avoiding carrier bags, taking reusable bags when shopping, reducing or quitting car use, not using hairdryers, reducing paper use, flying less, watching water usage, recycling, unplugging electrical appliances at night, reducing meat and dairy consumption.
All participants said they would personally like to do more to reduce climate change. Some wanted to purchase electric/hybrid cars and use less plastic.
Almost all participants were interested in ways to make their lifestyles more sustainable, and were happy to take a sheet of 20 suggestions for how they could do this.