Do people that identify themselves as "left" on the political scale feel a greater personal responsibility to reduce their climate impact than people on the right side of politics? I do believe that this could be the case. To be able to shed some light on this question I will use a statistical program called SPSS and data from the European Social Survey (ESS).
In my analysis, I want to investigate whether people's political affiliation matters when it comes to feeling a greater personal responsibility for reducing climate change. As such I will use two variables from ESS, these are:
- Placement on left right scale.
- To what extent feel personal responsibility to reduce climate change.
The two variables contain 14 and 15 different response options, which also include answers such as "Do not Know" and "No Answer". The political variable includes 11 answer options, from "Left" to "Right." The climate responsibility variable contains just as many possible response options, from "Nothing at all" to "Much".
In this particular test, I only want to see the opinions of people who identify themselves on either of the far ends of the political scale. As such I have encoded these two variables through the recode function in SPSS so that only answers from the two "extremes" are reflected in the output. In other words, I only have respondents who have answered that they belong to the far left and right on the political scale. I've done the same with the climate responsibility variable.
Alright, let's get the result!
The first table shows that due to the recoding we only have answers from 575 people, which is only 1.7 percent of all respondents in the ESS data. So please, don't take this blog post too seriously.
The other table is much more interesting for us as it shows the actual answers to our question. In the above table, we see that 65 percent of those who identify as "left" feel a great personal responsibility to reduce their climate impact. Which can be compared with only 46 percent of those identifying to the "right". Only 35 percent of the people who identify themselves as "left" think they have no personal responsibility, compared to 54 percent on the "right" side of the political scale.
As we can see, more leftists feel they have a considerable personal responsibility to reduce their climate impact compared to their political opposites on the right.