People won’t change lifestyle for planet: straw poll

From Reuters

People want to save the planet but are unwilling to make radical lifestyle changes like giving up air travel or red meat to reduce the effects of climate change, a straw poll by Reuters showed.

As leaders gear up for another round of climate change talks later this month in New York, motivating people to change their lifestyles will be crucial in ensuring cuts in planet-warming greenhouse gases, experts say.

Over 40 percent of Britain’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change, come from the energy we use at home and in traveling.

A straw poll of 15 British men and 15 British women between the ages of 25-75 in central London, showed all were willing to make small changes for the environment, such as recycling, but few would commit to more fundamental changes to behavior… Changing small habits like leaving appliances on standby are relatively easy, but more radical changes face resistance.

“We know from plenty of evidence in social, personality, and clinical psychology that people generally do not like to change their identities – they prefer stability,” Tim Kasser, psychology professor at Knox College in Illinois, told Reuters.