Sustainability and the cultural factor. Results from the Dutch GOES MASS PUBLIC MODULE
The Dutch government declared sustainable development as the cornerstone of its environmental policy. This strategic policy shift presupposes a concerned citizenry willing to accept the way this might affect private lifestyles. The Dutch GOES MASS PUBLIC MODULE - part of a large-scale international study on citizens' environmental perceptions, values, and behaviors - shows the Dutch are concerned about environmental problems.
Though they are most worried about classic environmental problems (e.g. air pollution), they realize that more long-term issues (e.g. global warming) are pressing too. They define themselves as being well-informed, feel the individual can make a difference, display a high self-efficacy, and prioritize ecological concerns over economic gains. They, however, do not accept policies that limit personal choice. The Dutch favor soft policies, voluntary lifestyle change, and softer ways of taking action (e.g. checkbook participation).
Water and energy conservation no longer seem on the household agenda. Explaining policy preferences, protective action, and individual environmentally-friendly behavior shows environmental attitudes hardly make a difference. Basic values (e.g. postmaterialism), supporting the environment over economic growth and a higher education do have an impact as regards protective action. This is less so for policy preferences or environmentally-friendly behavior.
The Dutch GOES MASS PUBLIC MODULE points at the imperative necessity to bridge the grand environmental narratives of policy makers, particularly when they frame ecological problems as global, abstract, and long-term issues, and the here-and-now narratives of the well-informed and concerned citizens in their role of responsible consumers.
|Author(s)||Ester P ; Vinken H|
|ISSN||90 5851 030 1|