Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Time for Earth Hour: Review on the Decline of Global Warming Concerns.

March 24th, 2009 by


Earth Hour is only 3 days away.
Today, more than ever, we need to show we care.
To show your support for Earth Hour:
Join as fan @ Facebook , Follow Earth Hour @ twitter
Spread the word in your blog or website, email your friends and family,
And please – Turn your lights off for an hour on Saturday – March 28, 20:30 pm, together with those who care!

Why should we care more today? Simply because while scientists believe that global warming is already worse than predicted even a few years ago, people today show less concern.
TrendsSpotting is contributing its efforts by providing a comprehensive review on the decline of interest concerning global warming issues.

Our thesis:

We have been witnessing a strong decline of interest in the global warming consequences. Mostly due to the economic crisis, web measures indicate that people discuss global warming issues less than they used to, and search less for information on this issue. Moreover, recent US surveys may suggest a strong cognitive dissonance Americans are unconsciously processing. Why do we suggest cognitive dissonance? Because, while the global warming consequences are clear and known, people prefer to deny those in order to feel better with their personal concerns. According to the latest Gallup’s March poll – people are more skeptic than ever before, regarding the global warming problem. Pew research survey indicates a sharp fall in the public concern over the issue of protecting the environment.

1. The Global Warming Trend:

During 2006, 2007 and most of 2008, Global Warming was a very hot topic (“Greenwashing” was in fact one of the 5 top words for 2008, according to  Global Language Monitor), which received our complete attention with more and more innovations caring the “environment” label. TrendsSpotting has been following its influence world-wide while consumers were adapting new behaviors to cope with environmental threats.
Mostly due to the economic crisis, Global Warming appears as a luxury concern when it comes to paying more for “saving the planet”. We found this subject to almost disappear from the 2009 consumer predictions. We did find many discussing Green IT inside the organizations – there too, most carry a pessimist and cautious approach.
As put by LightSpeed:

“The downturn has also made consumers and enterprises increasingly price sensitive and less willing to choose products at a price premium for the sake of “going green.”

2. The decline in Global Warming concerns through web measure indications:

Evidences for the decline in interest can be seen in the blogosphere discussions:


and in world wide search volume

See this decline in specific countries where the English phrase is sought for:
The US, Canada, The UKAustralia, and New Zealand.

3. The decline in Global Warming concerns through public surveys:

Gallup’s March 2009 environment poll, which surveyed 1,012 US adults, shows greater doubts and less concern over the Global Warming problem, this year in contrast to past years.

  • 60% of the Americans indicate that they are highly worried about Global Warming, including 34% who are worried “a great deal” and 26% “a fair amount.” Overall worry is similar to points at the start of the decade, but is down from 66% a year ago and from 65% in 2007.


  • Also, compared with last year, fewer Americans believe the effects of global warming have begun to occur. The figure is now 53%, down from 61% in March 2008. At the same time, a record-high 16% say the effects will never occur. (Prior to now, Gallup polling found no more than 11% of Americans saying the effects of global warming would never happen.)


  • Highest record ever of 41% now say global warming issues as reported on the news are exaggerated.


In the past year, Republican doubters grew from 59% to 66%, and independents from 33% to 44%, while the rate among Democrats remained close to 20%. Skepticism about the seriousness of global warming coverage occurred mostly among Americans 30 and older.

Pew Research Center survey indicates a similar pattern:
Of the 20 issues US people were asked to rate in both January 2008 and January 2009, protecting the environment fell most sharply – just 41% rate this as a top priority today, down from 56% a year ago.



The decline in interest in Global Warming and other environmental issues is unsurprising at times when people world wide are facing a more immediate threat to their jobs and homes. Still, we must do all we can to promote awareness and pressure our governments to continue allocate resources  and provide the actions needed.
Switch off your lights at 20:30 PM, February 28.

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2 Responses

  1. jean michael Says:

    In our place we are now experiencing the effect of climate change.Storms are now typhoons and it is not normal to our place.

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