Public Attitudes Toward Environmental Concerns


environmental concerns

Environmental concerns are all detrimental effects of man’s activity on the biological environment. Environmental remediation is a process of cleaning up the environmental harm caused by man’s unhelpful activity, on the person, institutional or governmental sectors, for the good of both people and the environment. The process helps in protecting the environment from further deterioration. Environmental issues range from air pollution to water pollution.

One Of The Most Widespread Environmental Concerns

A close up of a person

Air pollution is regarded as one of the most widespread environmental concerns faced by humanity today. Air pollution results in the release of greater amounts of harmful substances into the atmosphere. Air pollution also has the potential to cause acute diseases like asthma. Emissions from vehicles are major contributors to air pollution.

On the other hand, adverse attitudes toward environmental concerns and cleanliness have been traced to a variety of factors. These factors include economic hardships, lack of education and awareness about the importance of environmental issues and attitudes toward change. It is also found that people have become more environmentally conscious and critical towards their personal, family and social responsibilities. This has led to increased interest in and support for environmental programs. A variety of organizations have sprouted to support environmental causes and endeavors.

Contribute To Unfavorable Environmental Concern And Attitudes

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Studies have revealed two important factors that contribute to unfavorable environmental concern and attitudes. These include the extent of involvement in environmental issues and general environmental attitudes. As such, these two factors play a crucial role in determining the level of damage to the planet.

In order to study the relationship between these two factors, a number of scales were developed. Some of these scales measured overall environmental attitudes toward the environment and the behavior of individuals toward it. Other scales measured general environmental attitudes toward particular environmental concerns. Still other scales evaluated environmental actions and lifestyles and the effectiveness of these measures in reducing the level of environmental concern. These last four scales evaluated the effectiveness of different types of environmental policies and institutions such as parks, conservation, anti-smoking and energy consumption.

Environmental Attitude Scales Was Composed Of A Questionnaire

The first set of environmental attitude scales was composed of a questionnaire that consisted of a set of questions regarding environmental policy and concerns. The questions posed were: “ecological policies should be based on scientific principles,” “a balanced environmental budget should be in place,” “the government should actively monitor and control pollution,” “the use of pesticides should be limited,” “the use of water should be regulated,” and “my own actions should reduce the impact on the earth’s environment.” A separate table presented data on the proportion of these respondents who agreed on all of the statements. A higher proportion of people agreed on at least some of the statements. An examination of the data from these questionnaires indicates that people tend to perceive high levels of risk when dealing with environmental policies.

The second set of environmental attitude scales was qualitative; it consisted of two questionnaires that asked about people’s environmental beliefs and behavior. These questions were: “I believe that human beings have a basic responsibility for our environment” and “I have a lot of respect for nature.” A higher proportion of people agreed on both statements. The third set of scales measured the levels of people’s environmental attitudes using a Likert scale. This Likert scale can be used to measure levels of environmental agreement among large groups of individuals.

Conclusion

The results showed that people’s ecological beliefs and behavior are strongly related to their level of political support and to the extent that they are economically well off. However, the relationship between these dimensions of public support and willingness to act on their environmental beliefs and behavior was not significant. There was only a moderate relationship between the dimensions of environmental attitudes and policy willingness. The study is suggestive of the importance of public policies and attitudes in environmental protection but it does not provide evidence concerning the strength of these dimensions in explaining the link between environmental policy willingness and the level of government action to protect the environment.

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