Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

5 Oct 2015

Environmental decline and human survival

Posted by Michael Keating

According to an international survey, most environmental experts are getting more worried that ecological decline is threatening our future. For 24 years the Asahi Glass Foundation in Japan has polled people around the world about their level of concern about how the deteriorating environment threatens human survival. Experts from governments, academic institutions, NGOs, corporations and mass media are asked to plot their level of concern on the face of a clock.

This year, more than 2,000 people from 152 countries responded. Only about 10 per cent of people had a relatively low level of concern. The highest readings on the clock, about two hours to midnight, were from people in Oceania (threatened by rising global seas) and from Canada and the United States. The global average time was 9:23pm. The lowest levels of concern were in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Africa and the Middle East.

The Asahi Foundation’s Environmental Doomsday Clock is modeled on the Doomsday Clock created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1947 to represent the threat of nuclear war to human survival. More recently it has also reflected other risks, such as climate change.

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