Scientists analyze how people feel about initiatives for environmental sustainability

People tend to be skeptical about the changes society will have to make to sustain the environment. In particular, according to a study by Paul Bain and Tim Kurz of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, most people are skeptical that we can achieve a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable world at the same time.

In essence, people believe that the efforts being made to combat climate change and reduce pollution will have a significant cost in terms of quality of life. This is an additional obstacle that those who are responsible for carrying out these same changes will have to overcome in order to achieve the goal of achieving a more sustainable world in general.

The study, published in Nature Sustainability, analyzed the responses of over 2100 people from 12 developed and developing countries. The questions concerned the objectives that the countries are proposing to achieve this goal.

“A minority of people believe that everything can be achieved, but most people believe that not all problems can be solved at once, and wherever we direct our resources will have consequences elsewhere.”

The results of this study could help to design better communication policies to overcome public skepticism that a more sustainable world is actually achievable and that it does not have to conflict with quality of life.


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