Thanks, Guardian, For Reporting that Europeans Are Also Unwilling to Make Huge Lifestyle Changes to Stop Climate Change

From ClimateREALISM

By Linnea Lueken

A recent poll, reported on by The Guardian, found that, although Europeans were concerned about climate change and thought governments should work together to fight it, the majority of those polled were unenthusiastic about any proposal that called on them to personally change their present lifestyles. The impression the poll leaves seems to be that respondents wanted to fight climate change if it doesn’t call for too much personal sacrifice. This is consistent with similar polling done in the United States, which shows Americans are concerned about climate change, but not enough to make big changes or pay much more in direct taxes or energy costs.

The Guardian piece, “Many Europeans want climate action – but less so if it changes their lifestyle, shows poll,” describes the results of a YouGov poll which surveyed between 1,000 and 2,000 people in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. A majority of Europeans surveyed in each country were either “very” or “fairly” worried about climate change, and believed that it is caused by human activities. Most Europeans were willing to support non-lifestyle threatening activities like tree planting, or small sacrifices like avoiding single-use plastics, but enthusiasm waned when YouGov asked respondents about changes they would be willing to make to their own lives to fight climate change.

“The more a measure would change their lifestyle, the less they support it,” reported The Guardian.

Strangely, The Guardian said “there was fairly solid support” among countries for limiting meat or dairy intake to two or three meals per week, but, in truth a majority of those surveyed in each country rejected even that change, with the highest support for that life choice coming from Italy at only 43 percent. That may represent a little wishful thinking on the alarmist end, but the poll results get worse for climate alarmists from there.

The poll found that government subsidies for energy efficiency were popular, but when individuals had to cover the costs themselves, support plummeted to 19 percent in Germany to 40 percent in Spain.

Very few people supported eliminating meat, or limiting the number of children they had, with The Guardian writing “10 percent (Germany) and 19 percent (Italy), and 9 percent (Germany) and 17 percent (Italy) respectively.”

These kinds of results were shown across the board on various climate policies; the more distant the proposal, like offering government subsidies, the more support there was for it. On the other hand, the more immediate an impact, like extra fuel taxes or banning combustion engine cars altogether, the less support it had among Europeans.

These results are very similar to recent polls conducted in the United States. For example, a poll conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (UC/AP) found that fewer than half of Americans (far fewer it turns out, would be willing to pay a monthly “carbon fee,” to fight climate change. Indeed, only 38 percent surveyed said that they would be willing to pay $1 per month carbon fee to fight climate change. As the amount of monthly fee increased, support fell off from there.

That poll also found that despite the widespread availability of electric and hybrid vehicles, solar panels, and utilities with renewable energy supplies, only 12 percent of respondents drive an electric or hybrid vehicle, 11 percent have solar panels, and just a quarter get their power from utilities relying on renewable energy.

Even more telling, the poll shows that despite the constant barrage of media attention and coverage that attributes every weather event or natural disaster to climate change, the percentage of Americans who believe climate change is mainly caused by human activities has dropped across all political affiliations in the last few years. Overall, fewer than half of Americans now believe that climate change is mostly caused by human activities.

Again, as Climate Realism has covered on many occasions, herehere, and here, for example, people do tend to express concern over climate change when asked about it alone. But, when climate change is ranked in comparison to other pressing issues, like crime, the economy, general pollution, and healthcare, among others, climate change consistently ranks among the least important issues to voters, usually but not always ranking dead last.

The YouGov poll, reported on by The Guardian, basically confirmed what polls taken in the United States have, that people support fighting climate change as long as it doesn’t involve much personal or economic sacrifice. As proposals to fight climate change become more invasive, requiring significant behavioral or lifestyle changes, they quickly plummet in popularity. This highlights the widening gap between what climate alarmists prioritize and what the general public is concerned about. In general, most people are alright with supporting efforts like planting trees or subsidizing electric vehicle purchases, but when the government wants to reach into their wallets, or control what they can drive and eat, support for climate policies rapidly wanes.

Linnea Lueken

Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy. While she was an intern with The Heartland Institute in 2018, she co-authored a Heartland Institute Policy Brief “Debunking Four Persistent Myths About Hydraulic Fracturing.”

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May 8, 2023 10:18 pm

Hmm What’s going to happen when the people come to understand that the blob doesn’t want to just change your standard of living they effectively intend to destroy it. What is it about the WEF prediction: “You will own nothing and you will be happy.” that the hoi polloi doesn’t understand.

Reply to  terry
May 9, 2023 6:31 am


Thanks, Terry.

What the climatistas do not realize is the “transition” will not only force lifestyle changes that they cannot imagine, but it will also become a health issue with poor food refrigeration, dirty “reuseable” shopping bags, no more great variety of veggies and then the breakdowns of water and sewer systems when the sun doesn’t shine for a few days. Then, the ambulances’ batteries will die and so will those they are moving. Ditto for fire fighting vehicles and equipment. Oh yeah, reliable electricity in hospitals is a biggie…ask folks in New Orleans after Katrina when the standby generators were flooded!

Gonna be interesting, huh?

Gums sends…

Bill Powers
Reply to  Gums
May 9, 2023 11:18 am

As so many have already observed the movie “Idiocracy” was not a fictional dystopian comedy, but rather a predictive documentary.

May 8, 2023 10:45 pm

If granuid hacks actually practiced what they preach, then I guess people might be more inclined to try harder, but even they know it’s unworkable.

Rod Evans
May 8, 2023 11:12 pm

Well there you go, proof positive the general public just need to be told what to do, because they can’t be relied upon to make the right decisions, Their selfish interests just keep getting in the way.
Totalitarianism is so necessary for the good of the, erm? er?. wait, it will come to me, oh yes, the Planet. Once those selfless humans are out of the way everything will be perfect.
Remember folks, in Guardian world everything is done for your own good….

John V. Wright
May 8, 2023 11:37 pm

Fairly encouraging on the face of it, but this is a depressing line: “A majority of Europeans surveyed in each country were either “very” or “fairly” worried about climate change, and believed that it is caused by human activities.”

It is amazing that these moronic beliefs exist. Just a little scientific enquiry, logical reasoning, basic research would help to enlighten them. Particularly these days where information is globally available and easily accessible.

I have intelligent friends who hold these beliefs. And it is a belief system, similar to Christianity, Islam etc. When I try to take them through some of the basic maths or explain Milankovitch cycles or detail the research into ice ages and average temperatures they effectively put their hands over their ears and sing “la la la”. These are university-educated folk who can argue for hours over how many angels can dance on the end of a pin – but when it comes to manmade catastrophic global warming they don’t want to HEAR the evidence.

It’s all very strange and I don’t begin to understand it. The earth is 4.5 billion years old and man’s existence is a finger smear on the glass of a window in the last building. They seem to have no sense of perspective or logic. Is anyone else baffled by this mind-set?

Reply to  John V. Wright
May 9, 2023 12:51 am

Yeah….maybe you will begin understanding your relationship with your friends’ intellects once you admit that “They say” the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Like evolution (or revolution) it is but theory… a lot of calculations are done in the religious belief that they know the facts of long ago…they assume certain underlying things.
Maybe you should show interest in your friends’underlying assumptions, before you try alter the intellectual result of those beliefs.
It turns out the vast majority of people think winter happens because we are further from the sun. Once you get that right, things become easier… In my humble experience, of course.

John Hultquist
Reply to  cilo
May 9, 2023 8:31 am

the vast majority of people think winter happens because we are further from the sun

I know many people think this, but with a 5 minute search I could not find a report.
This intuitive idea should be easy to counter — it isn’t. More difficult is to have people understand the path of the Moon through the Cosmos. In what sense does the Moon make a circle around Earth?

Reply to  John Hultquist
May 10, 2023 12:22 am

I don’t understand your comment, really. Except for the arcane imagery if the moon’s orbit, cute!
Next time an actual, real, live person talks about global warming and whatnot, just calmly look it in the eye, and ask: “How does summer and winter happen?”
THAT is where I get my assessment of a majority not knowing the most basic facts about nature and how things work. I am not making fun of them, I think it bloody sad.
Oh, and we know the moon circles us in the same way we know the sun circles us, just look up, silly!

Last edited 23 days ago by cilo
Reply to  John V. Wright
May 9, 2023 3:31 am

I am. I met a young man from Denmark here in Vietnam. He did IT work for some World Bank organization. The topic of climate change came up and he commented that no cost was too great to combat climate change. I ask him how well versed he was on the topic. He told me he monitored the subject very closely. He could not discuss the data or the science behind climate change at the most basic level. I sent him several videos and articles on the topic but he could never bring himself to look at any of them. Willful ignorance seems to be a common pattern among the most enthusiastic of the climate zeolites.

Reply to  Windsong53
May 9, 2023 6:40 am

It is extremely difficult to confront true believers in the Climate Change Cult with hard evidence as it threatens their entire mental world.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Graemethecat
May 9, 2023 10:07 am

Yes, people don’t like their world view disturbed.

Reply to  John V. Wright
May 9, 2023 4:30 am

It’s the same as the corona logic they exhibited—a level of zero understanding. I don’t even bother with them any more, logic-wise. And this is sad, because if I can’t discuss things with someone, well, what’s left to share?

John in Oz
Reply to  John V. Wright
May 9, 2023 4:43 pm

Re: Earth distance from the sun and winter – perhaps (try to) get them to understand that winter in the Northern hemisphere is summer in the Southern and vice versa – same distance from the sun but very different result

(written in currently cold South Australia where winter is beginning to bite)

Reply to  John in Oz
May 10, 2023 5:11 am

And there are some people who can’t grasp that you, in South Australia, have not fallen off the earth yet, because you are upside down. It’s tough to explain basic facts sometimes.

Alexy Scherbakoff
May 9, 2023 12:04 am

The fundamentals of humankind:
Full belly
Shelter from the weather
Feeling safe for self and family
Spare funds to make life better

Screw around with those and you will have little success.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
May 9, 2023 6:35 am


Beginning to sound like Maslow’s hierarchy.

Gums sends…

Alan M
May 9, 2023 12:07 am

The intriguing point is that people seem happy for climate actions when it is “Government money” but less so when it is their own. Where do they think the government gets its money from?

Reply to  Alan M
May 9, 2023 4:32 am

They are usually low on the tax scale, so while they know some is theirs, they know more is yours. And for the few enthusiasts who are higher on the tax scale, they’re trying to show concern by their support for climate justice, even though it’s condemning everyone to a life of increasing cost and discomfort…

Reply to  Alan M
May 10, 2023 5:13 am

If you are in the US, money comes from printing presses. And if you are AOC, meat comes from the grocery store. Some people have a very limited perspective.

May 9, 2023 12:16 am

Just in case you aren’t worried enough…

“”Frogs in Puerto Rico croak at a higher pitch due to global heating

If the trends continue, the heat could become too much for the sensitive amphibians to survive successfully””


Last edited 24 days ago by strativarius
Bill Toland
Reply to  strativarius
May 9, 2023 12:29 am

It is increasingly difficult to tell the Guardian apart from the Babylon Bee.

Reply to  Bill Toland
May 9, 2023 12:43 am

How does anything survive unsuccessfully?

Reply to  strativarius
May 9, 2023 3:06 am

…by reducing totally, being one of the only, literally drowning in appointments, following the science…

Reply to  Bill Toland
May 9, 2023 2:55 am

The Bee would never dare go as far into the surreal as the guardians of credibility do.
I am starting to wonder if journalists also have a sort of hypocritic oath like medics. You know: “I solemnly swear to only publish that which serve to confuse the electorate blah blah”.
A secret Translogical Brotherh Themhood of Venal Scribes is fast becoming the last possible explanation left for the ridiculous nonsense we are required to accept as “consensus fact”.

Reply to  Bill Toland
May 9, 2023 6:41 am

The latter is far more credible.

Coeur de Lion
May 9, 2023 12:20 am

Who did the polling? The idea to do it must have been activist? There’s inherent pollster bias in the framing and asking

Richard M
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
May 9, 2023 6:58 am

My first thought as well. Chances are these numbers are biased high. The people they aren’t polling would be older on average and even less likely to accept changes.

May 9, 2023 12:44 am

The problem with this sort of reporting is that it presents people’s feelings as an indictment. “We’re not going to save Earth, because you people are too comfortable”.
It is an insidious alternate form of mental abuse practiced upon a rudderless electorate desperately seeking for some sense amongst all the information overload of phat WAPs and Hollywood gossip. I hope everybody a good time tearing this one a new one.

Reply to  cilo
May 9, 2023 12:52 am

Feelings and not facts – this is the way

Reply to  strativarius
May 9, 2023 2:33 am

But you agree, the human psyche is much more amenable to attack by emotion, than fact?
Which is why I point out how emotion is being used to attack the collective psyche.

Peta of Newark
May 9, 2023 12:53 am

Only slightly On Topic but it tickles me immensely.

Sums up Europe, esp the Dutch right now with their insanely misguided Nitrogen invective
(I cannot find a link apart from MSN UK and it will disappear ‘just like that’)

The screenshot says most of it:
Basically, The Dutch have entered 2 people to sing a duet into a Europe-wide Eurocentric song contest = 2 people who cannot sing.

Gotta be below the level of what even Brandon could pull off.
An everyday occurrence for Boris tho.

Dutch Eurovision Wrong Notes.PNG
Steve Case
May 9, 2023 1:32 am

“…or limiting the number of children they had…”

Hmmm, they would probably scoff at the notion of showing up at the community euthanasia center when they turn sixty-five.

May 9, 2023 4:27 am

What a great article to read with my morning coffee. I didn’t realize just how low the participation in climate-friendly choices was, e.g., solar panels, EVs, etc. At some deep level, people have not thrown away their marbles, it’s just that they like to talk a good game of concern.

May 9, 2023 8:08 am

No one wants to take a step back in lifestyle. No one. Right now it’s easy to just agree and go along with the alarmists but taking action that undermines your status quo is another thing. Proof of concept cities powered by wind and solar …. like 10 million people …. need to be put together so the world can see if it’s even possible.

More Soylent Green!
May 9, 2023 8:59 am

This is a golden opportunity for luke-warmers to point out that it’s much less expensive to fix any associated damage from climate change than to prevent it.

It’s possibly a point of compromise for us hardline skeptics, but I’m not sure if it’s good messaging. That is, “While there is no climate crisis, climate change does occur and it’s more feasible to repair any damage than to prevent it. The climate is always going to change and human civilization needs to adapt.”

old cocky
Reply to  More Soylent Green!
May 9, 2023 2:58 pm

You have to look at the combined cost of the associated damage and the prevention efforts.

This is essentially what Nordhaus did with the DICE model, and it got him the Economics equivalent of a Nobel Prize.

Max More
May 9, 2023 4:37 pm

Consider that the survey is only asking a hypothetical. If people actually experience the costs of these measures, they will even less willing.

Joe Gordon
May 10, 2023 6:32 am

The second part of this is that when cost increases are mentioned in the media, it’s always the fault of big oil fighting the magic of “free” energy like wind and solar. Or Trump’s fault. Biden likes to blame Trump every time he fails… if he can remember what it is he failed to do.

Young people are being trained to think that the inflation we’re seeing as a result of the green new deal has nothing to do with those policies and everything to do with those tied to the fossil fuel-based industries.

It’s too bad utilities are prevented from breaking down their bill by category related to extra costs. A monthly surcharge of $50 for “installing government-mandated carbon-capture infrastructure” would open some eyes.

Jeff Alberts
May 11, 2023 11:10 am

Humans, and all life forms on Earth, have been adapting to climate change for their entire existence. Trying to make “the climate” not change is possibly the most idiotic concept imaginable.

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