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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article analyzes the data of the sociological research “Ecology and Health”, conducted among students of two Moscow higher education institutions in 2011–12. The interest of high school students in environmental issues was studied, their perceptions of environmental changes in the past and in the future; opinions on the prospects for the existence of mankind in conditions of limited natural resources, the preferred strategy in the use of natural resources in our country; concern about the consequences of environmental degradation, attitude to various measures to preserve it, and also preferences of personal participation in improving the environmental situation. Most students are aware of the following: the environmental situation in the country has deteriorated over the past two decades, and this trend will continue in the future; the deterioration of the environmental situation in Moscow adversely affects their health; there is a threat of increasing tension in the world as a result of the planet’s resources reduction; it is necessary to develop less environmentally harmful production in the Russian Federation, and not to increase the extraction of natural resources. A low cognitive interest of the students in the problems of changing the state of the environment was noted. About half of the respondents do not think about the future and do not understand the relevance of scientific modeling for choosing economic development options, taking into account the consequences for the environment, nor the need to create new conservancy areas and protected areas. Almost 40% of respondents do not believe that recyclable materials need to be arranged into effective use urgently. The students demonstrate low activity and willingness to participate in collective forms of environmental protection. On the issues discussed in society, they have more certainty in the answers (for example, about separate waste collection) than on the issues that are not paid attention to. The conclusion is drawn that it is important to develop environmental education in higher education institutions, by including in the program a course of social ecology, considering the interaction of human and nature and the consequences of anthropogenic pressure on it.
ecological culture, interest in information about the state of environmental attitudes and activity for its improvement