Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another Poll Post: The Next Generation Speaks

We simply can’t get enough of the QMark opinion survey findings on Honolulu rail – you know, the one showing a 57-to-40 percent split in favor of rail, with majority support for rail in each and every City Council district among respondents who expressed an opinion.

Before that poll recedes much further in the rear-view mirror, we have to mention the generation split on the project. Quoting QMark’s report: “Younger segments of the population tend to view this project more favorably.” The chart shows the percentage of the total number of rail supporters and opponents from each age group. (See "Comments" below for more on these numbers.)
Not surprising actually, since the younger generation doesn’t have as much gasoline in their DNA as earlier generation(s) that considered the automobile the best invention ever. The impression one gets from watching the City Council hearings is that members of the older generations seem emotionally attached to their cars and would have us believe you just can’t get along without one for all of your transportation needs. 

The younger generation seems less so inclined – and it’s no surprise that younger adults embrace the environmental and economic advantages of riding public transit more readily than their elders, who seem less inclined than young people to recognize the threats of global warming, sea level rise, species extinction and all the rest. (We could have found proof of that with a Google search, but we’re a little pressed for time this afternoon.)

He’s Just One, but….

We did find plenty of anecdotal evidence, however, including the Kids vs Global Warming group founded by Alec Loorz when he was 12 years old. Four years later, he’s suing the government over global warming.

“I think that the time has now come for the young people to stand up and hold our government accountable, Loorz says. “We are going to have to grow up and live in that future. We’re going to be affected more than anyone else by climate change.”

Honolulu rail will reduce the amount of energy required for transportation needs by 2030, and there will be less air pollution, too. We like to think Alex Loorz would support our rail project if he knew about it.


sumwonyuno said...

I'm trying to understand that chart. :-/

Care to explain what the numbers mean, Doug?

Doug Carlson said...

My interpretation: 24% of those who told pollsters they support rail are between 18 and 34 years old; 26% of supporters are 35 to 49, etc.

Doug Carlson said...

Continuing my comment, above: Half of the people who responded to the pollsters with a favorable opinion of rail were below 50 years of age. Slightly fewer were above that age (mean age was 47.52). Regarding rail opponents, only 37 percent of them were younger than 50, and 58 percent were 50 or older (mean age, 51.92). I.E., supporters tend to be younger than the opponents.

sumwonyuno said...

Ahh, thanks for the explanation! It makes sense now.