A Mori Pole in the Economist uncovered something of interest. In 2007 (which was pre-recession time) 19% of people in Britain saw pollution as of concern. However, now in recessionary times, this has dropped to 4%.
Damage to the environment is, it would appear, not a consideration for those who have lost their job or who find themselves in reduced economic circumstances.
This should not be a surprise. A person’s basic needs of food and shelter takes priority over art and culture – and yes nature conservation. This is a given and needs to be acknowledged: in particular during a deep recession.
People finding themselves in sharply reduced circumstances have not become hostile to the idea of conservation. It is just that their focus is now elsewhere and will remain there until the recession in time melts away.