Last month we saw data on whether climate change or energy security is seen as more pressing.
The results were interesting. They suggested that people were more willing to reduce their energy consumption to help the environment than to protect the UK’s energy security; yet it also seemed that people wanted the government to prioritise protecting the energy supply over providing more environmentally friendly electricity.
It’s since been pointed out to me that the wording of the ‘personal responsibility’ question may have had a misleading influence. The option for energy security was phrased as ‘To conserve energy now to make sure the UK has enough in future’.
As was suggested to me, an interviewee might take issue with the implication that there are transferable units of electricity that can be used immediately or saved for later. Of course not using a unit of electricity today doesn’t mean that the unit will continue to be available tomorrow.
So perhaps my conclusion, that individuals see themselves as having a greater role in tackling climate change than they do in tackling energy security, was overstated.
And in fact another poll suggests exactly that.