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It is widely acknowledged that environmental quality and protection should not be ignored in the development of a society. Environmental quality actually depends not only on government programs and policies but to a large extent awareness and actions from the public. However, the latter would then relate to human behavior which could be subjective, irrational, and impressionable as well. In recent years, the fast development of Internet technology has propelled the boom of social media and instant communication tools which enable the public to express their opinions on current events more conveniently and quickly. Nevertheless, the majority of swift comments tend to be emotional or one-off knee-jerk reaction which may fail to appreciate the actual impacts behind. With this background, the importance of critical and statistical thinking in the Web era has been illustrated in this paper. One case study, which relates a recent actual incident (discarding of rubbish) on Tiananmen Square in the capital of China, is used to underscore the need for rational opinions and the circumspect in spreading the message for enhancing environmental quality and handling related behavioral issues. It has been found that typical comments on the Internet in terms of this particular environmental issue reveal the usual emotional reactions and lack of statistical knowledge among the public. It is concluded that for advances in the importance quality of the environment, guidance of critical and statistical thinking is indispensable.
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- Environmental Quality: A Case Study of Public Perceptions and Scientific Reality
Thong Ngee Goh
- Springer Singapore
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