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SOFT VERSUS HARD: AN AUSTRALIAN STUDY OF AN IDEOLOGICAL BASIS TO ATTITUDES TOWARDS ENERGY USE AND SUPPLY

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A distinguishing factor of western societies is their consumption of energy. In 1986, Canada, the United States, and Australia had per capita consumption rates of 6.3, 4.7, and 3.2 times the global rate, respectively (DIESA 1988). Much of this energy is supplied by fossil fuels. At present, fossil fuels are economically attractive and their relatively high energy densities make them particularly attractive for transport purposes. However, their supply is finite (particularly in the case of petroleum) and their consumption produces atmospheric pollution. The depletion of fossil fuels or a rapid global warming of the atmosphere may eventually force changes in the way developed countries use energy (Lowe 1989). As everyone is an energy consumer, changes in consumption at a societal level are linked with changes at a personal level.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Science and Technology, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 1990

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