Britons more worried about waste than climate
LONDON - Hazardous waste disposal is the most important environmental concern among the British public according to an official survey published yesterday which comes as the government ponders the future of the nuclear industry.
\"People were in general most worried about pollution issues, such as hazardous waste, pollution in rivers and bathing waters,\" the Office of National Statistics said in its annual Social Trends report.
Two-thirds of people were \"very worried\" by the issue of how to dispose of hazardous waste, compared to 59 percent on the effects of livestock methods and 29 percent on genetically modified crops.
The government is shortly to publish a root-and-branch review of the country\'s energy needs for the next 50 years.
Environmental group Greenpeace said yesterday that it had obtained a leak of the report.
\"It leaves the door open for a new wave of dangerous nuclear power stations,\" said Greenpeace director Stephen Tindale. Greenpeace says there is no safe way to deal with radioactive nuclear waste.
However, other leaks have said the review will call for a big increase in renewable forms of energy, especially wind power.
CLIMATE CONCERN WITH INCREASED STORMS
The survey said that 46 percent of people were very worried about climate change or global warming, up 11 percent from 1996/7.
Scientists said in the journal Nature this week that the climate outlook for northern Europe over the next 100 years was for increased storms and extremely wet winters, because of rising CO2 gas levels that are warming the atmosphere.
Seven people were killed on Monday when storm-force winds ripped across northern Britain, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, before the storm moved across northern Europe killing at least more ten people.
Fifty-two percent of people in the survey were very worried about traffic exhaust fumes and urban smog, with many environmentalists blaming exhaust fumes from vehicles as a major contributor to global warming.
The survey said 42 percent of respondents had regularly used public transport, walked or cycled instead of using a car to try to have a positive environmental impact.
Forty percent had also deliberately cut down on electricity or gas use. Fifty-three percent had regularly taken paper to a paper bank but only 23 percent recycled plastic.
Story by Neil Chatterjee
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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