Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Is “Global Warming” – a global trend? Part 2. multi nation surveys

July 13th, 2007 by


I have received a lot of interesting reactions to my earlier post concerning global warming trend. People are really concerned over this matter.
I wish to present clear evidence to the fact that global warming is a global trend, though different countries are dealing with it very differently.
The 2007 Annual World Environment Review (initiated by Jon Dee) was conducted in May 2007 using GMI’s online data collection platform and global consumer panels. A 200-1,000 representative sample was collected in each of 14 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA.
I thoroughly read each one of the surveys results. Though, not all countries were presented with the same questions as to their daily habits (concerning the global warming future outcomes). I did find that among all countries, the people of China, Australia and the UK are adopting the most remarkable change in their life. Not only that the people of these countries are highly concerned with the global warming outcomes, and demand from their governments to take responsibility, they have taken action themselves. In fact, many of them report they have:

  • Installed some energy-saving light globes (79% of Australians, 80% of the UK).
  • Switched off the lights when leaving the room. (92% of Chinese, 93% of Australian, 89% of the UK).
  • Switched off electrical appliances at the plug when they were not in use (77% of the Chinese, 66% of Australian, 71% of the UK).
  • Switched off electrical appliances at the plug when going to bed (74% of the Chinese, 48% of Australian, 62% of the UK)..
  • Reduced energy use by washing clothes in cold water (67% of the Chinese, 80% of Australian, 17% of the UK).
  • Reduced energy use by installing water-saving showerheads (49% of Chinese, 57% of Australian, 51% of the UK).
  • Installed insulation of some kind (49% of Chinese, 47% of Australian, 51% of the UK).
  • Turned down the thermostat (67% of Chinese, 38% of Australian, 68% of UK).
  • Hung clothes outside on the line instead of using the clothes dryer (86% of Chinese, 85% of Australian, 75% of UK).
  • Taken public transport in the past two weeks (75% of Chinese, 34% of Australian, 44% of UK).
  •  In the past week, they have not bought fresh produce because it had come
     from an international source and had likely been transported hundreds or thousands of miles (41% of Chinese, 32% of Australian, 17% of UK) .

Though, some portion of social desirability bias may exist in this kind of surveys, it seems that people do adjust to a new routine. Would other countries follow this trend? Well, it does depend on the media, on governments, and on each one of us willing to contribute efforts to our one common public good.

(you can find here all data results per all 14 countries, thanks Erik for the link)

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6 Responses

  1. Tarun K Juyal Says:

    I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

  2. Cindy Carter Says:

    I enjoyed your posting, and found the stats interesting and informative.

    As an American living in China since 1996, however, I strongly disagree with the assessment that Chinese people are changing their behavior in response to environmental concerns. If anything, the new affluence has made people more likely to increase consumption of scarce resources.

    The habits mentioned in the survey (switching off the lights when leaving a room, using cold water for washing, hanging up laundry to dry, etc.) have much more to do with economic necessity and the realities of Chinese housing than any newfound environmental consciousness. Rising utility costs, increasing privatization and the spread of prepaid utility card systems (at least in urban areas) have made people more aware of how much water and electricity they actually consume. While utility sticker shock and burden shifting (from the state-owned “work unit” to the individual) may have inspired some conservation, I suspect this is being offset by other trends (larger houses, more and better appliances and increased consumer spending in general).

    And although Chinese per capita consumption of water and electricity remains low by international standards, this is
    partly due to the state of Chinese housing. Central heating is non-existent, so there are no thermostats to adjust. Washing machines are tiny and generally lack hot-water hookups, so most everyone washes clothes in cold water. Since there are no clothes dryers, hanging up the laundry to dry is the only option.

    The same principle holds for commuting by bicycle, bus, subway or train. Most users of public transportation do it only out of necessity, because they cannot afford cars. It’s very rare to meet a Chinese urbanite who can afford to buy a car but refuses to do so for environmental reasons. For the last ten years, new car ownership has been increasing by double digits each year. I’m not sure about the following stat, but it seems I’ve read that the number of private cars in Beijing has increased fourfold in the last decade (as has the average income, incidentally).

    All in all – based on my personal observations and reports in the Chinese and overseas media – the new affluence seems to be making people behave less responsibly, rather than more responsibly.

    Although all of my Chinese friends, colleagues and neighbors are concerned about pollution – indeed, pollution is so rampant and visible in China that it affects everyone – not many seem to translate this concern into individual action.

    An all-out education effort and public service campaign might help remedy the situation, but thus far the Chinese government seems more interested in spouting platitudes about conservation and environmental protection than in taking concrete action.

    I think that of all the trends in contemporary mainland China, the trend toward environmental catastrophe is the most important, the most disturbing and the most likely to have negative and far-reaching political consequences.

  3. » Blog Archive » “Global Warming” - trend in declineTrendsspotting Says:

    […] Following the global warming trend (perceptions and actions) I was troubled by my recent inquiries.? It seems that this scope has lost interest by not only the online news media (see trendio graph 1) but also? by us bloggers (see blogpulse graph 2 for blog citations). People’s search on this subject has also been affected (see Google Trends graph 3). […]

  4. “Green is better” but not by UK consumers: European online survey Says:

    […] In an earlier post presenting The 2007 Annual World Environment Review I found European countries to be high adopters of eco-minded habits. […]

  5. 2007 TrendsSpotting Trend Review Says:

    […] 3. Issue of the year: The grass looks much greener in least Yahoo !s Top 10 environmental query suggests so. Interesting. .Global warming – is that a Global issue or was it Angela Merkel’s political agenda to G8 summit? Why only people of 3 countries are proactively demanding from their governments to take responsibility ? On the contrary “United States election” made a loud noise in almost all main stream media across the globe. […]

  6. network security Says:

    An fascinating discussion is worth a comment. I think that it’s best to write extra on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject however typically individuals are not brave enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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