A Social Survey on How the Economic Crisis Affects Peoples' Attitudes towards Environmental Subjects

A Social Survey on How the Economic Crisis Affects Peoples' Attitudes towards Environmental Subjects

Panos Kosmopoulos (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece), Athina Kantzioura (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece), Ioannis Kosmopoulos (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece), Kostas Kleskas (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece) and Andreas-Michail Kosmopoulos (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4550-9.ch017
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Abstract

This chapter presents a social survey regarding environmental subjects conducted in Greece. It is a well-known fact that Greece is suffering from an Economic Crisis. This crisis coincides with the time that Greece is supposed to take measures for Environmental Protection. During the last decade, the authors’ laboratory has been conducting social surveys regarding peoples’ attitudes towards the environmental issues and the application of Renewable Energy Sources (RES). The research described aims to represent the way peoples' attitudes and opinions towards environmental subjects and the use of RES are affected by the Economic Crisis and a rather dystopian future. How important are the environmental issues considered to be when people feel their everyday life is threatened? This subject is approached through a survey.
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Methodology

The survey has been planned by the staff of the Laboratory of Environmental and Energy Efficient Design for Buildings and Settlements, in Faculty of Environmental Engineering in Democritus University of Thrace. An initial pilot study took place, some necessary corrections were accomplished, and the survey was finally conducted. The research project, regarding the social attitudes towards the environmental subjects during this critical period, was conducted from 3/2011 to 7/2011, all over Greece and Cyprus, through the collection of questionnaires, and has covered the respective number of valid questionnaires. The survey was carried out by members of the Laboratory and a large number of students and postgraduates that attend lectures in the Laboratory.

A large number of areas and cities have been covered, with random selection among the citizens, covering the whole area of each city and its suburbs, all age groups, and several occupation and educational level groups. Thus, a satisfactory and diverse sample was achieved.

More over, two special groups have been investigated: a group of students of environmental engineering, and a group of already qualified professionals that attend postgraduate courses regarding environmental design.

The questionnaires were gathered, they have been processed with the scope to extract easily understandable data, in order to help the authorities that might be interested to use the results.

The questionnaire is based upon the Guttman scale (Ganter, 1988) but it has been adapted to the well-approved and generally accepted 5 point Likert scale, in order to be comparable to all previous relative study.

The cities and the respective number of questionnaires gathered can be presented in Table 1.

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