Climate what? I’ve got cash to burn!

People would care more about trees if money grew on them. A new piece of research from the UK Energy Research Centre has found people care less about the environment […]

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By Tom Gibson

People would care more about trees if money grew on them. A new piece of research from the UK Energy Research Centre has found people care less about the environment during times of recession. However, the findings do suggest people are more likely to be concerned if there is a financial gain to be made.

These are the initial results of a study carried out by the Glasgow University Media Group and Chatham House, funded by the UK Energy Research Centre, which wants to find out how people form their opinions on issues such as climate change and how they process and respond to information, and the likely triggers for behaviour change.

Dr Catherine Happer, Research Associate at the Glasgow University Media Group said: “The findings from the first wave of research suggest that there is a general lack of commitment to real behavioural change in relation to these issues and that this is very much rooted in the current economic climate. Problems with the economy have not only displaced environmental issues in the media agenda but have led people to conceive of ethical decisions.”

According to the research, many of us are able to switch off when it comes to natural disasters in developing countries, reasoning that it doesn’t affect us because it’s far away.