For a time back in 2015, there were widespread concerns that the spike in terrorist attacks in Germany in the aftermath of Angela Merkel's open door policy which admitted 1 million refugees in Germany from the middle east would lead to a popular wave of unrest, perhaps culminating with the unseating of Angela Merkel as Chancellor. It now appears that the Germans had more pressing concerns on their mind like... global warming.
According to a new poll ahead of the German national election in September, Germans are more concerned about the future state of the environment than they are about more headline-grabbing topics like terrorism or the refugee crisis. The survey released on Tuesday conducted by research group Kantar Emnid Institute on behalf of publishing group Funke Mediengruppe found that 71% of respondents said they were personally more concerned about climate change. This worry ranked higher than the possibility of new wars, listed by 65% of survey participants, and also above terror attacks, listed by 63%.
Crime was noted as a worry by 62% of the 1,000 participants surveyed, who were able to list more than one fear.
But the most surprising finding is that less than half of those polled, or 45%, said they were anxious about the immigration of refugees into the country, while the lowest concern was unemployment 33% .
Ironically, as the Local.de points out, while climate change was the biggest concern named by Germans, the topic doesn't seem to be winning any more support for the environment-conscious Green party, which is currently polling at around 8% .
"Environment and climate protection have already greatly mattered to people in Germany for years," Torsten Schneider-Haase, head of political research at Kantar Emnid, explained to the publishing group. "The fight against climate change has been understood as a cross-party effort, and not only associated with the Green party." Plus, he noted that Chancellor Angela Merkel stood out recently as a convincing advocate for battling climate change after she criticized US President Donald Trump for announcing that his country would withdraw from the international Paris climate agreement.
That, or the poll had "sampling" issues similar to the polls that gave Hillary Clinton a 95% probability of winning.
In fact, one can't help but wonder if the entire poll was nothing more than an informercial for Merkel's CDU, with comments such as the following:
The fact that most of those polled did show concern for security issues like wars, crime and terrorist attacks could have an implication for how people ultimately vote in September, Schneider-Haase added.
"Security topics play a big role. This pertains to external, internal and social security," said Schneider-Haase.
"The classic topics of social equity will not win anyone more votes right now."
Why worry about mundane things that impact everyone on a tangible daily basis when there are icebergs to be rescued?
According to the institute, support for the Union parties is currently polling at 38 percent, while the SPD is at 24 percent.
In some vestige of credibility, the survey at least found differences among respondents according to their political party preferences: supporters of the anti-immigrant AfD party were much more likely to be worried about an influx of refugees at 90 percent, and were also more concerned than the general population about crime (84 percent) as well as terror attacks (72 percent). On the other end of the political spectrum, supporters of Die Linke (The Left Party) were most concerned about old-age poverty (71 percent), new wars (69 percent) and climate change (58 percent).