Wealth Does Not Dictate Concern for the Environment

Jul 25, 2008

It has been a long-held assumption that poor nations will not support efforts to protect the environment since their citizens are too preoccupied with meeting basic needs, such as food and housing. However, a new study in The Sociological Quarterly reveals that citizens of poorer nations are just as concerned about environmental quality as their counterparts in rich nations.

Riley E. Dunlap, PhD, of Oklahoma State University and Richard York, PhD, of the University of Oregon compared results from four large cross-national surveys, each conducted in several dozen nations ranging with differing economic statuses. Representative samples of citizens were surveyed in each nation.

Results showed that citizens of poorer nations were equally if not more concerned about the environment compared to citizens in wealthier countries. The citizens of the poorer nations were supportive of efforts to solve environmental problems.

The authors believe that previous studies failed to recognize that environmental problems are often a threat to material welfare and not just quality of life. For example, deforestation may threaten the livelihoods of people who depend on forests for firewood, food sources, and economic products.

“Our results suggest that well-designed policies to promote sustainable development will have more appeal to citizens of poor nations than is often assumed,” the authors conclude.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In Israel, a push to bring Arabs into tech sector

Feb 07, 2014

Ibrahim Sana worked for a global tech company, then broke off to start his own venture. Last year, he was crowned one of Israel's seven most promising young entrepreneurs by a financial newspaper.

CO2 emissions +2.2% in 2012, driven by China and coal

Nov 19, 2013

Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and cement production reached a new high in 2012, rising 2.2 percent over 2011 due chiefly to an increase in coal-burning China, scientists said Tuesday.

UN telecom chief 'surprised' by US-led treaty snub

Dec 14, 2012

Envoys from nearly 90 nations signed Friday the first new U.N. telecommunications treaty since the Internet age, but the U.S. and other Western nations refused to join after claiming it endorses greater government ...

Eastern Europeans fuel fight for Internet freedoms

Feb 18, 2012

(AP) -- Eastern Europe's tradition of political revolt has met the digital age. This time it's not communists or food shortages fueling fury, but an international copyright treaty that opponents say threatens ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

22 hours ago

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GrayMouser
2 / 5 (2) Jul 25, 2008
According to one survey, Dewey was a President...
Surveys are tricky, the wording of questions and answers can tilt the result very easily.
DoctorKnowledge
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 27, 2008
Yes, GrayMouser, that's certainly the case.

In this situation, though, it might be possible to see a cause-and-effect relationship. A nation with limited expectations to "play on the world stage" might spend more time worrying about basics: farming, fishing, logging. It doesn't take a sophisticted, unbiased study to convince fishermen in many countries that their jobs are at risk because of low yields. I.e., there are going to be situations where the populations of poorer countries see differently, and sometimes, perhaps, more clearly.

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.