Perceptions of an endangered Baltic Sea


In a series of ad-hoc surveys at different academic institutions in the Baltic Sea region, students and young scholars were asked about their views about the environmental issues of the Baltic Sea, and who would be responsible for the management of the Baltic Sea. Overfishing, climate change and waste were considered the most significant issues, while tourism and constructions (of bridges, etc.) were less often recognized as severe. The responsibility for the management of the Baltic Sea was mostly attributed to the European Union or to the respective national governments. Since climate is one of these issues, one question has dealt with the main task of climate science. It turns out that the most frequent assertion was not the genuine scientific task of generating knowledge about the dynamics of the system. Instead, the task of solving the problem and, equally often, supporting climate activism was favored. The results are not representative – neither for the separate surveys, nor for the selection of the sites of surveying. However, when taken all surveys together, the emergence of consistent perceptions may be considered evidence for a general attitude among students and young scholars in the Baltic regions. However, differences between groups – in terms of nationality, seniority and discipline - may be related to sampling randomness.
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