UK Government Study: Greens use more electricity than skeptics

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

A UK government study has concluded that people concerned about global warming, on average, use more electricity than climate skeptics.

Some highlights from the study follow.

On the “benefits” of switching off appliances;

“There is some link between households’ stated behaviour towards switching off unused appliances and electricity use, but there is seldom a statistically significant relationship (p-value 0.05 or less) between stated and actual behaviour. This means that policy-makers cannot rely on stated behaviours alone in assessing how often householders turn off unused TVs and desktop computers, or how much hot water they use for showers.”

On the (inverse!) correlation between environmental belief and energy use;

“Taken all together, householders who strongly agreed they were not worried about climate change because it was too far in the future in fact used less electricity rather than more, counter to the hypothesis that households concerned about climate change use less electricity.”

The study noted however that this was largely due to the fact most climate skeptics were older and poorer than people who expressed strong feelings about green issues.

“However, we found this was largely due to the effect of age, as older households were much more likely to agree with this statement, and also had lower energy consumption.”

Peter Lilley, a Conservative member of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee, said:

“The survey exposes the hypocrisy of many who claim to be ‘green’: the greater the concern people express about global warming the less they do to reduce their energy usage.”

The study is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/326075/Electricity_Survey_2_-_Savings__beliefs__demographics_150514.pdf

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/10965887/People-who-claim-to-worry-about-climate-change-use-more-electricity.html

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90 thoughts on “UK Government Study: Greens use more electricity than skeptics

  1. What a great story of hypocrisy! Thanks for this.

    However, the story I really want to see is about a study of the drinking habits of alarmists vs skeptics. That would be interesting! (I bet the alarmists drink more since the news is all bad for them most of the time)

  2. For some time I have been pondering the irony of young green things with their xboxes, i phones, android tablets etc tellingme I need to use less electricity ti save the planet.

  3. So they want to install smart meters in every home so that the punters will no longer have a choice in when they switch off their appliances.

  4. This makes perfect sense. Those who read AceofSpades might recall a piece that Ace did a while ago regarding climate change belief as a sort of social indicator of “right thinking”. It seems entirely consistent with that idea that the more people talk about it publicly and the more they profess to worry about it, the less need they feel to take any actual responsibility. Having positioned themselves as Good Citizens they are absolved from the suffering that actually following through would inflict on them.

  5. I have spent most of my adult life working in HVAC and energy. I wish i could say I was even a little bit surprised by this.

  6. In much the same way that the most hardline religious people tend to be the least moral. Having the “correct” ideology is often felt to be enough.

  7. Hypocrisy?

    Think of all the Greenpeace executives flying to work, etc.
    Think of all the Hollywood Greens jetting around saving the planet
    Think of Jim Hansen flying first class with his wife around the world to give talks on CO2 emissions
    Think of Al Gore’s mansion and all the power it consumes and his crusier withall the fuel it uses

    There is no hypocrisy if you are savng the planet. All people are equal but Greenies are more equal than others!

    Is it only me who thinks that the pigs in Animal Farmseem a fitting comparson to the Greens?

  8. I would characterise myself as a strong sceptic, but I’m quite frugal: I don’t use a car, I use a bike and I normally have just a single 60 watt bulb on. The only time I put all my lights on is to celebrate Earth Hour.

    A close acquaintance of mine is a true global warming believer. When I visit, pretty well all the lights are on all the time, and very often the central heating is turned up so high that I find it very uncomfortable.
    Go figure, as you Americans like to say!
    Chris

  9. To be fair, you’d want to compare energy usage of ‘greens’ with their demographic peers before claiming hypocrisy. If the big correlation is between energy use and age (or income), that effect could easily swamp real differences based on ideology.

    We’re very eager to jump all over flawed analyses – we shouldn’t commit the same mistakes ourselves.

  10. Nobody can do hypocrisy like lefties. Gore leads from the front with his energy-guzzling life-style of global preaching. And recall all the anti-capitalism demos with protestors clutching their iphones, starbucks coffee and wearing Timberland. ‘Yeah, big companies, what have they ever done for us?’

    I can understand that the older members of the population use less energy as on their incomes they can’t afford the green-tax hiked energy bills so have to economise.

    The great ‘smart’ meter project has hit a few snags. Unresolved questions over security of access to the system. The so-called selling point of seeing your consumption with the handy gadget fails in blocks of flats where the meters are located in the basement – the signal won’t go through the floors. In rural areas there is no signal to transmit the data. It is going to be optional but would become compulsory once critical mass is achieved. And finally, the great projected cost savings don’t add up either as the novelty of the handy gadget wears off after a few months. I know, I have a couple of the electricity readers and don’t bother with either any more.

  11. pbft – Demographics be damned. One who vocally endorses a green lifestyle should educate themself and consume less than the most energy effficient non-supporter regardless of demographics. Otherwise they should just shut up and sit down.

  12. “who strongly agreed they were not worried about climate change because it was too far in the future”

    I’m not worried about climate change, but it has nothing to do with the timescale.

  13. Elmer Gantry’s Theory of Special Relativity: The more special you think your insight is, the more likely you are to promote and exploit it with others while ignoring it for yourself.

  14. Old and poor = frugal.
    Young and rich = wasteful.

    Ideology is just decoration on simple economics and life experience.

  15. They try and claim that the apparent hypocrisy of those most worried about climate change using more energy is because of an age issue, with older people being less worried and using less energy anyways. But read their report. Those younger than 65 who are most worried about climate change use a mean of 4700 kWh/year while those younger than 65 that are least worried about climate change use a mean of 2800 kWh/year. Even if we look at all younger than 65 worried about climate change we get 4508 kWh/year versus 3700 kWh/year for those not worried. Now the number of samples is low but how can they claim that it was the effect of those older than 65 that skewed the results?

  16. One should never underestimate the Greenies’ ability to absolve themselves of their “carbon sins”.

  17. Gary says at July 15, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Old and poor = frugal.
    Young and rich = wasteful.
    Ideology is just decoration on simple economics and life experience.

    Agreed.
    But I think wealth and social class more significant than age. There are fewer old fools than the young and foolish but you will find them if you look.

    It would appear that being “green” requires a certain level of income. Mass produced goods are cheaper than the trendy alternative, renewable energy costs more than reliable energy and so on…

    Also certain industries and services use less energy per output than others (financial services and teaching, for example, compared to steel production and forestry). People employed in those industries and services are less likely to understand about the necessity of energy production; it’s value and the human / social / economic cost of making it more expensive.

  18. RTB says:
    July 15, 2014 at 4:37 am
    In much the same way that the most hardline religious people tend to be the least moral.

    well, that was totally uncalled for….

  19. kenw says July 15, 2014 at 6:16 am

    RTB says:
    July 15, 2014 at 4:37 am
    In much the same way that the most hardline religious people tend to be the least moral.

    well, that was totally uncalled for….

    It was, wasn’t it?
    Some people are just so judgemental.

    But on the internet anyone can comes across as a bit bigoted.
    He may be a charming bloke in person.
    Let’s not throw stones.

  20. I’m just above 40, have higher than average income, consume less than 10k kwh in total living in a 200 square meter house in sweden and I’m pretty sceptic.

  21. A green fellow I know has an electric car, his girlfriend also has one. He also has a big 4×4 because the electric car cannot get to his cottage and carry his hiking gear. She also has a second bigger gasoline vehicle. So 4 cars!

  22. Bruce Cobb says:
    July 15, 2014 at 5:53 am

    JohnWho says:
    July 15, 2014 at 6:10 am

    __________________________________________

    Where are the like buttons?

  23. The study is a classic example of a spurious statistical correlation: Y is correlated with X, but the correlation is explained by the correlation of both Y and X with Z (where Z may be one or several confounding variables). In this case, skeptical frugality may be largely explained by age, possibly income level, and perhaps some other variables such as education level. A more serious study would control for these confounding variables, which explain part of the differences in power consumption, and only then check whether or not skepticism explains by itself some of the remaining variance in electricity consumption once confounding factors are controlled for.

  24. HomeBrewer says:
    July 15, 2014 at 6:24 am
    _________________________________________________________

    I’m headed for 64 have a 250 square meter house and have used 2052 KWH so far this year, last year it was 5672 KWH. Since January 1 of this year I replaced, 6 cfls with LEDs, my TV, got rid of cable, and upgraded my PC.

    Saving 130 KWH/month on average along with over $900/year net in utility costs.

    There is only natural variability in climate.

  25. @ Mark Stoval..
    Me myself, I, having been there done that and bought the T-shirt, have pondered the alcohol link. Re: the obvious feelings of guilt, depression, slow wittedness and stubborn unwillingness to change one’s mind displayed by those who partake of a lot of alcohol.
    Check out The Wiki for worldwide alcohol consumption and, with the notable exception of what was/is the USSR, some good correlation is there.
    But then, read Lierre Keith’s Vegetarian Myth book and also Gabor Matte on the subject of addiction, it will dawn that folks are addicted to glucose (that’s why so many folks are getting fat) and then, what is alcohol if not semi pre digested/metabolised sugar = glucose = starch = carbohydrate.
    And what is the alarmist’s favourite cure for Global Climate Change – it wouldn’t be drive to get folks to eat more carbohydrate now would it…….. Shades of the Stepford Wives perhaps?
    Interesting if not slightly scary times eh not?

  26. Re me at 06:58
    and if, my theory that farmers, growing (annual) cereal crops are driving the rise in CO2 (and changing the readings seen on thermometers) is in any way a correct part explanation of AGW – the irony of the warmist position becomes utterly and gobsmackingly mindblowing.
    PS just to be clear in my book, the rise of CO2 is a symptom of changing temps, NOT the cause.

  27. It’s the liberal attitude on accomplishing something, the most important thing is good intentions.

  28. Good Article. Personally, I have often noticed a disconnect between the way people think about climate change or global warming and their behavior patterns. Many seem to think that using electricity is GOOD whereas using gasoline or fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) is BAD. Yet it doesn’t seem to translate into altering their lifestyle of driving habits. When I question people about where they think the products that they use on a daily basis come from, the vast majority don’t appreciate the fact that the feedstock for most of the goods we use on a daily basis rely on hydrocarbons. My take on society and education in general is that as a society we are becoming dumb & dumber. Take away hydrocarbons and society ceases to exist.

  29. Who does this surprise? Look at the high profile green activists. Middle class rich kids. Is it in any way in their interest to elevate the poor from poverty? Of course not. The status quo is very comfortable for them. Why upset the applecart?

    What the greens would like people to believe is that we are all energy profligates who sling rubbish in the rivers who don’t care about pollution and clean air. The fact is the green lobby is holding back provision of clean energy to the poorest for cooking and heating which is killing people every day. If there was unfettered access to gas reserves, and the same level of investment that Greenpeace puts into protesting about the wicked corporations, those people would have cheap, clean, plentiful energy.

    Have a look at the green paradise of ‘free energy’ from the sun. Have a little google search for what an open cast copper mine looks like. And look at the leach water that comes off the site and the processing plants. That’s where the tellurium for solar panels comes from. I have no idea what the ratio of land ruined and solar panel coverage is (a study someone?) but to promote PV as low impact and clean is disingenuous to say the leat. Then google for pictures of a fracking site. I know which I would prefer in my neighbourhood. But the copper mines are not dug in leafy suburbia, so that’s fine.

    I am a evangelically sceptical of CAGW. I also helped plant over 30,000 trees last year with a uk charity, Trees for Cities. I am also working voluntarily on the renewal of 250 acres of ancient woodland. I don’t see a conflict. I’m sure the greens do.

  30. North of 43 and south of 44
    Saved 15000 kWh/year by installing a ground heat pump and drilling a 170m deep hole in the ground.

  31. We had a lightning induced power cut the other day, only a few minutes in length, but it knocked out the smart meter which now says please move it closer to the meter or reset it.

    Think I’ll unplug it instead to save electricity ; )

  32. “philjourdan says:

    July 15, 2014 at 4:20 am

    The word is hypocrisy. Do as I say, not as I do. Algore is famous for that.”

    So is President Obama, flying to North Dakota, and on to Southern California, burning plenty of fossil fuel in the process, where he spoke at a graduation ceremony on the evils of global warming and burning fossil fuel.

  33. Further confounding point.
    Those with children in the household will use more electricity than those who don’t. They may also have a higher concern about the far end of their children’s lifetimes than those without children or grandchildren.

    In short, this study is too poorly designed to be meaningful. It can justifiably mean whatever people want it to mean.

  34. Might have less to do with morals than with quantitative thinking and technical inclinations. The most ardent greenies are usually not the ones with thorough technical or scientific training.

  35. IMHO, the whole AGW religio-political myth is a litmus test, designed to reveal who among us is willing to swear allegiance to Big Brother Government over all other authorities.

  36. Didn’t really need a study to know this. Just a look at a certain ranch in Texas compared to a certain mansion in Tenn. would have told the same story.

  37. What you folks don’t understand is that the greens are using the green bit of the power and therefore their consciences are clear, It is the sceptics who are sinning by using the fossil fuel derived portion of the electricity.

  38. The irritation is:
    The Young and rich = wasteful telling the Old and poor = frugal to use even less.

    There is a fair chance that the debate will collapse in the US with our next winter. If the winter of 2014-2015 is a repeat of last winter, we face a possibility of a large-scale electric grid failure in the northeast due to many coal-powered electrical plants being forced to shut down. Few will take solace that by freezing in the cold they are helping to keep temperatures from rising. If people die, those in the EPA responsible for the power plant closures should be charged with criminally neglegent homicide.

  39. Grow lamps are not cheap, but if you have garden essentials like fresh dandelions year around for your salads it’s worth it.

  40. @RTB says:July 15, 2014 at 4:37 am

    RTB Define and contextualize “most”, “hardline”, “religious” and “moral, these words have very different meanings in different cultures .

    I’m unclear what you are talking about other than a meaningless opinionated anti-religious rant.

  41. Q: What’s the difference between an environmentalist and a developer.
    A: The environmentalist already owns a house in the woods.

    It’s amazing how so many environmentalists measure their conviction by how much they want other people to change. Themselves, not so much.

  42. Old Huemul says:
    July 15, 2014 at 6:50 am
    =====
    The correct response is that this study “may be” the result of spurious correlation.
    You may believe it to be, but you haven’t proven it, so you can’t say claim definitively that it is.
    BTW, read the article.

  43. M Courtney says:
    July 15, 2014 at 7:53 am
    =====
    If environmentalists are having a lot of kids, then that is a different form of hypocrisy on their part.
    Environmentalists are always going on about too many people on the planet. They should be doing their part to hold down the population.

  44. evanmjones says:
    July 15, 2014 at 7:57 am
    ====
    Relative wealth shouldn’t be relevant. Not if the greens were following their claimed convictions.
    In fact extra wealth gives them the wherewithal to afford energy saving devices that the rest of us can’t. If they are instead using their extra wealth to buy bigger houses and more stuff, then are failing to act on their convictions.

  45. Along with having control of far more resources (‘wealth’) than you really need comes a burden of guilt. Environmentalism is just one way to deal with that guilt. That is NOT meant to imply that those with the burden of wealth are going to really inconvenience themselves, however. They live by the rule “Do as I say, not as I do.”
    One of my favorite prayers has always been “Lord, please give me a chance to prove to You that great wealth will not spoil me.” ;)
    That prayer has never been answered. :(

  46. “most climate skeptics were older and poorer ..” Less gullible, maybe, than younger and richer who believe that climate skeptics are bribed by Koch brothers.

  47. It’s actually worse than this behavioral problem if you add in a scenario of lower average economic and revenue growth going forward from any mix of factors including aging population and social program cost, debt service, and further misplaced green spending. The best years may well be behind us as we lurch in the wrong direction, up until the next crisis recognition.

  48. HomeBrewer says:
    July 15, 2014 at 7:37 am
    _______________________________

    Wonderful, now can you reduce it further?

  49. Given the number of variables likely to effect electricity consumption, the study with an N of 250 is far too small to be taken too seriously – though it would be nice to see Josh encapsulate the finding in a cartoon
    More worrisome to me is this throwaway line by the author:
    “The findings will strengthen the case of those who argue that more coercive methods are needed if people’s energy consumption is to be reduced. ”
    This is a very strange and logical non sequitur. Assuming that the results held up with a more rigorous study, it seems to me that the correct interpretation of the results is that people on the are aware of their self-interests and act more or less in accord with those self interest. This is demonstrated that on average folks in the same general life circumstances consume roughly the same amount of electricity. Coercion in any form seems to be hardly justified by this study’s results.

  50. I’m so green, i have 35 energy saving lamps in my house- but i ‘m using them only 3 hours a day.
    -Hey I’m much greener, i have 200 of them and they’re on 24/7.

  51. Apologies for any offence, I was pointing out that the green movement has a lot in common with organised religion and those at the center of organised religion tend to display the greatest hypocrisy in their behaviour e.g. attacking consenting adults for having sex outside marriage whilst covering up child sex abuse, that kind of thing.

    It’s the same with any large movement that takes itself too seriously.

  52. Youth is passionate and filled with the urge to do good, to struggle against the wrongs of the world. Youth looks for causes to support. With age comes skepticism, not just that the individual can do much to change anything (that lasts), but that the crisis is real.

    You can live in a zero CO2 world when you are raising kids and exploring the world. But who will when it means you sit at home and watchthe vegetables grow?

  53. RTB says:
    July 15, 2014 at 4:37 am
    In much the same way that the most hardline religious people tend to be the least moral.
    ———————————————————
    kenw says:
    July 15, 2014 at 6:16 am

    well, that was totally uncalled for….
    ======================================
    Oh, I don’t know. I, for one, instantly thought “Jimmy ‘I have sinned’ Swaggert”.

  54. That explains it all, says a skeptic using a 800 cc vehicle for shopping and living in a house heated with solar & a couple of energy-efficient stoves. All lights and equipment are needlessly on during the earth hour only.

    Of course, a powerful, spacious and comfortable 4×4 (with a couple of pony-sized dogs fed almost exclusive with meat) is used for longer journeys – for the pleasure of overtaking retired hippies and electric cars with ‘nuclear, no thanks’-bumper stickers.

  55. QUOTE
    Households that said the effects of climate change are too far into the future to worry them use less, rather than more, electricity. However, this was largely due to their age: older households (over 65) were much more likely to say climate change is too far off to worry them, and also had lower energy use

    The Household Electricity Survey monitored a total of 250 owner – occupier households across England from 2010 to 2011. Twenty – six of these households were monitored for a full year. The remaining 224 were monitored for one month, on a rolling basis throughout the trial.

    Participants kept detailed diaries of how they used certain appliances, which can be matched against actual energy use monitoring for their homes. Each household filled in a diary every day for one week. The households monitored for a year did this twice. The diaries covered use of wet appliances, tumble dryers, ovens and hobs. They had between 13 and 85 appliances in their homes, with about a third of households owning between 30 and 40 appliances

    The sample of homes was not perfectly representative – partly because only homeowners were included and partly because they were more energy – conscious than average households
    END QUOTE

    10 million over 65 in uk
    only home owners in survey and only 26 homes for one year, the others for 1 month – although filling in a diary for a week, some for two is not very informative. To draw conclusion like the telegraph did and this article quotes is nonsense – total misrepresentation of the facts, garbage report on study. I am not impressed with the study itself either – such a small sample, 26 homes for a year!? a further 221 a month, participants fill in a diary for a week – you gotta be kidding…
    My conclusions:
    Sensationalist reporting
    A weak/poor study extrapolated to mean something it does not – is/was worthless – no value.
    Cheap mini-study that cannot achieve anything – except sensationalist report to make out someone is studying this issue, when they are not seriously studying much at all.
    Wasted everyones time
    .

    • neillusion – Well said. Bogus study. Reactions to it, tell you more about the responders than anything else.

  56. North of 43 and south of 44
    There’s not much more to save with two kids and an indoor/outdoor temperature difference at about 45C during winter.
    Perhaps one could save some by not turning on all the lights during Earth hour, but I think it’s worth celebrating. ;)

  57. “The study noted however that this was largely due to the fact most climate skeptics were older and poorer than people who expressed strong feelings about green issues.”

    Sounds like the the authors discounting their results. They just know that old people and poor people are not as smart as the young who care.

  58. pbft says:
    July 15, 2014 at 5:00 am
    “To be fair, you’d want to compare energy usage of ‘greens’ with their demographic peers before claiming hypocrisy. If the big correlation is between energy use and age (or income), that effect could easily swamp real differences based on ideology.”

    Being a Green correlates strongly with working for Big Government and thus having a lavish salary for no work at all.

  59. The title of this story is “UK Government Study: Greens use more electricity than skeptics.”

    The first line of this story says essentially the same thing: “A UK government study has concluded that people concerned about global warming, on average, use more electricity than climate skeptics.”

    However, the study (to which the author provides a link) specifically does NOT reach that conclusion: “None of the stated attitudes about environmental or climate change had any significant impact on overall energy use when household age was taken into account.”

    Given the limited size and scope of the study, the reporting in the Telegraph and the reporting that appears here strike me as misleading and irresponsible.

  60. Andy_E says:
    July 15, 2014 at 7:44 am

    You are sadly misinformed about ‘smart meters’. You have a wireless electricity monitor.

    From the wiki article at end:

    Research by Which?, the UK consumer group, showed that as many as one in three confuse smart meters with energy monitors, also known as in-home display monitors.

    Smart meters are much more sophisticated devices whose purpose is monitor your energy consumption (both electricity and gas) every 5 seconds and report this back to your supplier(s) and, indirectly, your government every 30 minutes. Ultimately, by a progressive implementation of features built in to the smart meter, your consumption will be controlled by the supplier who may impose dynamic ‘time of use’ pricing depending on direction from government.

    See:

    https://www.gov.uk/…/225-smart-metering-imp-programme-design.pdf (applies to UK only)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_meter (other countries)

    Smart meters are going to ruin the internet … by overloading it with micro-management by energy suppliers.

  61. If the hypothesis of AGW is valid, and the Hypocrites believe that Un-Green lifestyles is destroying the climate and dooming humanity to death, famine and pestilance, and those hypocrites continue to engage in those lifestyles that doom us, then what kind of monsters are they? At least the deniers honestly think that the past warming was predominately due to natural cycles and any anthropological input is self-limiting so if they destroy the world it’s through ignorance instead of malice.

  62. Belief in CAGW is clearly a ritual which improves chances of entry into the socioeconomic elite.

    It shows that you know how the game is played.

  63. This report is all wrong. The study did not find that ‘greens’ used more electricity than ‘sceptics’. It explicitly said it could not determine that. It only found a difference between age groups. In order to come to a conclusion wrt green vs sceptic, it would have had to find a difference between them that could not be caused by some other factor, for example by finding a green-sceptic difference within the younger group or within the older group.

  64. Mike Jonas
    This report is all wrong. The study did not find that ‘greens’ used more electricity than ‘sceptics’. It explicitly said it could not determine that. It only found a difference between age groups.

    In order to come to a conclusion wrt green vs sceptic, it would have had to find a difference between them that could not be caused by some other factor, for example by finding a green-sceptic difference within the younger group or within the older group.

    I disagree. The older more skeptical group is clearly demonstrating by their example that it is possible to be frugal with energy. The younger, “greener” group are demonstrating they’re all talk – they don’t make any effort to practice what they preach.

    If we follow your reasoning, we would have to give an “allowance” to richer younger people to burn more energy. After “adjustment”, richer younger greens who made some effort would appear frugal, even if they burned more energy than an older skeptic who made a lot of effort to keep the bills down. This, with respect, would be utterly absurd.

  65. Read the study. People’s views are confounded with age and income. Skeptics are older and poorer.

    • Siberian Husky: You cannot draw that conclusion from this tiny poorly designed study. The sample is way too small and, skeptics, if they are anything like me, are more likely to decline to respond to such surveys.

  66. Eric Worrall – What I’m trying to say is that the study doesn’t distinguish between greenness and scepticism within each age group. It’s perfectly possible that older greenies and older sceptics are equally frugal, while younger greenies and younger sceptics are equally profligate.

    The idea of having to give “allowances” is way beyond the limits of my argument.

  67. @pbft

    From the study: “When we separate the pensioner households from younger ones there was no significant relationship between this statement and energy use in the pensioner group, and only a weak trend among the younger households.”

    In other words, even when controlled as you suggest, they don’t practice what they preach.

  68. Mike Jonas
    Eric Worrall – What I’m trying to say is that the study doesn’t distinguish between greenness and scepticism within each age group. It’s perfectly possible that older greenies and older sceptics are equally frugal, while younger greenies and younger sceptics are equally profligate.

    The idea of having to give “allowances” is way beyond the limits of my argument.

    Older greens and skeptics using the same energy seems likely, from the study – nevertheless, the point stands; Greens are not practicing what they preach.

    The older generation are using less energy than younger people, despite a higher proportion of younger people claiming to be concerned about the environment.

    So clearly younger people, even if they think they are being green, are not reducing their personal energy use in line with their stated beliefs, as much as the older generation demonstrates that they could. It could be down to ignorance of possible means of saving energy. More likely its due to hypocrisy.

  69. “””””…..Brian says:

    July 15, 2014 at 4:34 am

    I have spent most of my adult life working in HVAC and energy. I wish i could say I was even a little bit surprised by this……”””””

    So since I don’t tinkle or titter, nor do I text, just what is HVAC ??

    I’m torn between “High Voltage Alternating Current”, and “High VACuum”, which I presume is similar to HV.

    Whatever happened to the rule of defining your buzz words the first time you use them in a document ??

    • @george

      Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning – not a field I work in and I’ve never really thought it to be a buzz word – it’s the header those services are listed under in the yellow pages.

  70. “bernie1815 says:

    July 16, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Siberian Husky: You cannot draw that conclusion from this tiny poorly designed study. The sample is way too small and, skeptics, if they are anything like me, are more likely to decline to respond to such surveys.”

    Yes Bernie- that’s kinda my point- you can’t draw any conclusions from this tiny poorly designed study. I’m not the one who’s doing so.

    • But Siberian Husky, you appeared to have done just that: “Skeptics are older and poorer.”

  71. For this issue the demographic comparisons are irrelevant, because any adult in the developed world makes innumerable choices about how to live, how much energy to utilize etc. Those “younger, wealthier” greens could choose to lower their energy and resource consumptions to levels well below “older, poorer” skeptics, but that would require efforts and inconveniences that few hypocritical greens wish to suffer.

    Far easier to preach to others, work to employ increased state controls and taxes against us, and then jet off to Bali or Rio when the stress of being Green becomes too intense.

    I know people who think nothing of demonstrating against globull warming one day, then jetting off to Bali the next for vacation.

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