Environment Survey
These are the notes that I used for this morning's interview with Madonna King on 612 ABC Radio Brisbane. Will do some more work on this tomorrow morning, however, here are the statistical highlights. I think that the take-out is that people are very pessimistic about the international and national environment and feel that things are outside their control - it’s a Doomsday scenario. Where things are within their control, which is at a local level, they can point to many things which make them optimistic, even though even here they still feel on balance pessimistic. Global warming over-all is a big concern, but degradation is the largest. Population and greed (business and consumerism) get most of the blame. We’re caught between our will and our destiny. We’d change things if we could, but there is no mechanism to allow us to do that, so we regrettably go with the community.
  1. Great response to this one. 565 responses with more tumbling in. More male than female, with the bulge in the baby-boomer area.
  2. Most of us believe that the environment is in real trouble at an international, national and local level. Only National Party voters think that on balance things are getting better locally and nationally.
  3. Using a balanced sample, 10% think the International environment is heading in the right direction versus 74% who think it is going in the wrong direction - no wonder Bjorn Lomborg (the skeptical environmentalist) is so unpopular.
  4. Using a balanced sample, 18% think the national environment is heading in the right direction versus 66% who think it is going in the wrong direction.
  5. Local fares the best. 30% versus 57%.
  6. Most of us regard ourselves as “environmentalists” - 92% Greens, 81% Labor, and 61% each for National and Liberal. But check out the sub-categories. Quarter of Libs neutral and almost a quarter of Nats negative!
  7. Why is the International environment in trouble? The big one is degradation - pillaging of forests, seas, disappearance of species (15%) Then comes global warming (13%). Then population (10%) Our lifestyle also gets a touch up - consumerism (8%) and business (8%).
  8. Why is the national environment in trouble? Global warming the winner (15%) Indifference - blame the government- (12%). Initiatives - (10%). A lot of this has to do with failure to ratify Kyoto.
  9. When it comes to local, many people can cite things that their councils have done to make a difference. 26% cite initiatives as the reason for how they think, and this is overwhelmingly amongst people who are optimistic. Planning is a negative (8%) and there is some concern about degradation (9%) although this mainly refers to farmers and industry. Planning includes people in SEQ who are worried about Dams.




“well, all the international climate change scientists are now saying that we are heading for a worst case scenario, big business keeps polluting and greenwashing, we in the wealthy countries are too concerned with consuming, and those in the poor nations too busy trying to survive to care about the environment.” Female, 31-40, Independent (was Greens).


“I don't believe we can predict the climate to any great degree, and even if we can a warmer climate isn't so bad - yet this is where the focus is. Yet the world globally is running out of other resouces - water, oil, fish, and land (degradation), and it is obvious problems in these areas will become acute in the next 50 years - unlike climate change.” Male, 41-50, Independent (normally Liberal)


“Population press is a problem for much of the developing world. Meeting the growing population is putting huge pressure on, and depleting resources, and also generating pollution.” Female, 41-50, Liberal (normally swings).



“Landcare has achieved slight slowing in rate of land degradation but only slight. Australia is the largest per capita greenhouse gas creator in the world and has not ratified Kyoto. Government prefers new flirtation with dangerous nuclear energy rather than take hard decisions on reduction or sustainable/renewable energy sources. Deforestation still alarming, usable water an increasing issue. Too many cars a huge problem and governments pandering to the oil/car/expressway lobby.” Male, 51-60, Greens


“Rome burns whilst 99% of humans say, "I can't make a difference, so why should i bother." Also politicians talk and do nothing to influence corporate and individual decisions which affect environmental outcomes.” Male, 51-60, Liberal


“Water pollution is on the decline. Air pollution in the major cities is at much lower levels than the past. The great fears of a catastrophic collapse in the Murray systems or the Great Barrier Reef are now found to be baseless. Although much remains to be done, we are clearly moving in the right direction and so long as we continue these efforts, the situation will only improve further.” Male, 51-60, Liberal



“It has improved over the last 5 years. We have a park near us with two rather large wet areas and a large patch of bush. The Council did its best to destroy it several years ago but when local people complained about spraying and rubbish dumping in the bush the Council cleaned up and improved their practices. The area is not 100% but certainly much much better than it was and wild fowl are slowly retruning to the area.” Female, 51-60, Greens (usually Labor).


“Because of the extremely poor local council and lack of trust they hold from the electorate. Ron Clarke is a poor politition with hidden agendas and no regard for the people who voted him in. Land is still being clear felled to allow low cost housing estates to be developed with no regard for the environment or the future.” Male, 31-40, Ind (usually Liberal) “We have a sawmill down the road that is operating in 1950's facilities, with OH&S issues that has led to half its staff being retired prematurely in the last decade. I hear noise that is beyond the state noise policy standard for a rural area ignored by the EPA. I see air quality that is dripping in particles ignored.” Male, 51-60, Independent (normally swings).


“Well its to do with drought. I recall that former PM Keating said that drought was no different to any other event in nature and in proposing to abolish Drought relief to farmers said that farmers should plan for drought. How much planing have state and local govts done recently in planing for drought. The last Premier to open a dam was Sir Joe, nearly 20 years ago. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me.” Male, 51-60, Independent “SImilar to above, the local area follows the paradigm that development is more important than sustainability.” Male, 51-60, Liberal.


“Watching the carrot and vegetable farmers pump chemicals into the soil, pull water from Warrill Creek for vegetables that get fed to cattle because they don't conform with Woolworths or Coles requirements .... too many resources being stripped for flavourless fodder.” Female, 41-50, Labor. The full document with the tables can be downloaded by clicking here .
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0 #1 CommentAnne 2006-06-29 09:11
It appears many councils have their own agenda & it's not for the betterment of communities or cities.Some councils are still doing deals behind closed doors,they call it progress when in actual fact it's nothing short of greed and environmental vandalism.Bush Forever is a firfy it's land on hold until government can make money on it.Governments on all levels need an education & a does of reality.
0 #2 CommentEarth Waratah 2006-07-13 04:21
I do not agree with the notion that not signing the Kyoto agreement is negatively affecting the environment when in fact, Australia is leading the nations that are signed up.

On top of this, I would not sign an agreement that would only discriminated against Australian's. Even though we are achieving more, were we signed up, we would be punished, as nations who commit more environmental destruction than are rewarded.

The whole concept is a farce...I smell money and politics behind this whitewash.
0 #3 CommentTerry 2006-07-13 06:13
I feel that a lot of the vital information about the state that the enviroment is actually in, is not made available to the wider community.
Everyone puts there own spin onto what the problem is and what the solution should be.
The enviroment is not a vote getter and does not make billions of dollars for companies.
We need to look into the future and not just today. Eviromental friendly solutions are out there and ideas abound just waiting to be developed and utilised. If a lot of these things were put in place instead of this consumeristic push by the world, what we are now inflicting onto the earth and the people that live there including our children would not be as serious as the now situation is.
0 #4 CommentCy dOliveira 2006-07-14 03:23
The solution to the above problem can be solved today , go to my website > www.users.bigpond.net.au/dngr < the big question is Why will our leaders not take on this solution Answer is that the oil cartel is stopping them.
0 #5 Commentreplica rolex 2006-07-19 10:10
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0 #6 CommentIan BATTISSON 2006-08-30 20:16
I personally do not care if our PM is the illegally elected US President's best mate. Treason in my dictionaries is described as betrayal of eg a spouse by their partner. High treason is the betrayal of the citizen. Let's prosecute the Australian cabinet. Their care of the environment, (duty to the people), has long been forgotten and substituted by arse-licking of the yanks and their military and corporate conglomerates.