A new international Gallup poll makes a fascinating discovery: the greater a country’s gross domestic product is per unit of energy consumed, the more likely it is that its citizens believe humans are responsible for climate change.
For example, 75 per cent or more of those polled in Columbia, Costa Rica and Hong Kong — which all produce at least $10 of GDP per kilogram of oil consumed — say they believe humans are causing global warming. In contrast, fewer than half the citizens polled in Iceland, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe — where GDP is less than $3 per kilogram of oil — believe people are responsible for climate change.
With Iceland in the latter category, you might assume that the GDP-oil correlation isn’t related to national wealth or literacy, and that’s exactly what Gallup finds. What exactly is causing the correlation, on the other hand, isn’t clear.
So which countries came out first and last in the survey? In South Korea — where the GDP-to-oil ratio is 4.2 — a full 92 per cent of respondents say they believe people are causing global warming. Dead last was Uzbekistan — GDP-to-oil ratio of 0.8 — where just 18 per cent blame humans for climate change.
And the UK? It’s actually a bit of an outlier: its GDP-to-oil ratio is 7.3 — definitely on the higher side — while just 48 per cent of respondents said people are responsible for climate change.