Green Communities

Taking the Blame for Eco-Woes

During the 1980s, Canadians typically blamed corporations for many of the world's environmental ills. But today, they have another target as eco-villain: themselves. A new survey of environmental attitudes, one of the most extensive undertaken in the country, has revealed a profound shift in public opinion on the causes of environmental problems: People now suggest harm to the planet is being driven by their own demand for consumer goods and wasteful activities, rather than by causes such as company-produced pollution.

The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima and involving about 10,000 people who completed online questionnaires, found the most frequently cited factors for causing environmental problems were wasteful behaviour by consumers and companies alike, and 'people consuming more than they need.'

Martin Mittelstaedt reports for the Toronto Globe and Mail April 24, 2008.