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How important is the protection of our environment to children?

How important is the protection of our environment?

How important is the protection of our environment? - Schoolchild Survey - Graph from Education Quizzes

Climate change is real, at least according to the vast majority of scientists it is. But not everybody thinks so. US President Donald Trump has said that he doesn’t believe in it and many others think as he does. This made us wonder what children think of the issue. Have they been convinced by Mr Trump and others that climate change poses no threat or do they believe the science?

Well, for our latest survey we decided to find out. We asked 1,556 schoolchildren this question: “How important is the protection of our environment?” We offered them four choices: extremely important, fairly important, not very important, and not at all important. This is what we found…

The vast majority of children (83%) believe that protecting the environment is extremely important. That is the largest majority any of our polls have ever had, which is quite comforting. 12% of children think it is fairly important, 2% think it is not very important and 3% that it is not at all important.

Doubts about climate change

Throughout history science has revealed truths which make some uncomfortable. The idea that the Earth is round, spins on its axis and orbits the Sun seemed ridiculous at first. Not only did it go against the church’s teaching at the time, but it also defied common sense. Darwin’s theory of evolution was difficult for many to believe too, seeing how it cast doubt on the Biblical story of creation which people had believed to be literal truth for centuries.

We face a similar situation today, only this time, instead of scientific theories going against church teaching, the theory of climate change caused but human activity goes against our modern consumerist lifestyles. We have become addicted to buying new things and throwing them away when the latest model comes out. Or using energy in vast quantities to travel or to power our electronic devices.

So, being told by scientists that we must change our way of life does not go down well with some. Add to this pressure from companies which rely on fossil fuels, and fears for the economic state of countries if the necessary changes are made, then you end up with an anti-science movement, convinced that climate change is a hoax.

Evidence for climate change

But, if climate change is a hoax then we have to ignore all the evidence supporting the theory. And there is quite a lot of it! Here are just a few examples:

  • Global Temperature Rise. The planet's average surface temperature has risen by 1.14 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century
  • Warming Ocean. The ocean has absorbed much of this heat and parts have warmed by 0.33 degrees Celsius since 1969
  • Shrinking Ice Sheets. The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost an average of 283 billion tonnes of ice per year since 1993 and Antarctica lost about 150 billion tonnes of ice per year
  • Glacial Retreat. Glaciers in mountain ranges around the world are retreating
  • Less Snow Cover. Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased since the 1960s and is now melting earlier
  • Sea Level Rise. Over the course of the last century global sea levels rose by 20 centimetres. What’s more, the rate of this rise is increasing every year
  • Declining Arctic Sea Ice. The extent and the thickness of Arctic sea ice have declined rapidly over the last several decades
  • Extreme Events. The number of record high temperatures has been increasing, as have the number of high rainfall events
  • Ocean Acidification. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by 30% which poses a threat to corals and other sea life
More Survey Results

Full Results of our “How important is the protection of our environment?” Survey

Here are the results from 1,556 children who answered our question "How important is the protection of our environment?". The survey was conducted in the week ending October 24th, 2020.

How important is the protection of our environment? Percentage of Respondents
Extremely important 83
Fairly important 12
Not very important 2
Not at all important 3

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