World Public: Oil Needs to Be Replaced as Energy Source  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

World Public Opinion.org has conducted a survey that shows that the general public realises what policy makers are ignoring - we need to replace oil as an energy source (via Energy Bulletin).

A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds that majorities in 15 of 16 nations surveyed around the world think that oil is running out and governments should make a major effort to find new sources of energy. Most think that future oil prices will be much higher.

Only 22 percent on average believe that "enough new oil will be found so that it can remain a primary source of energy for the foreseeable future." Only in Nigeria does a majority (53%) endorse the view that governments can rely on oil in the long term.

Instead, an average of 70 percent takes the position that governments should assume that "oil is running out and it is necessary to make a major effort to replace oil as a primary source of energy." The largest majorities endorsing this view are found in South Korea (97%), France (91%), Mexico (83%) and China (80%). The smallest are in Russia (53%) and India (54%), while in Nigeria only a minority (45%) holds this view.

"The widespread consensus that oil needs to be replaced as an energy source may be prompted by concerns about the effect of oil on climate change as well as the belief that oil will run out," said Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org.

The poll of 14,896 respondents was conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a collaborative research project involving research centers from around the world and managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. Interviews were conducted in 16 nations including most of the largest nations --China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia--as well as Mexico, Iran, Britain, France, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Egypt, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories and South Korea. The nations included represent 58 percent of the world population.

A majority in the United States (57%), the world's biggest consumer of oil, believes their government is acting on the assumption that oil can remain a primary source of energy. This is also true in Nigeria (63%). However, while most Americans believe their government's assumptions are incorrect, most Nigerians think it is correct.

WPO_Oil_Apr08_graph3.jpgIn 12 of the 16 nations, the dominant view among those polled is that their governments assume oil is running out and needs to be replaced. This is especially true in South Korea (79%), China (70%), and Egypt (67%). In Iran, which is developing a controversial nuclear energy program, 63 percent say that oil must be replaced while only 12 percent--the lowest percentage among the countries polled--say their government assumes enough oil can be found.

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