According to a poll conducted by the Gallup Organization in early March , Americans are less concerned about eight specific environmental issues than they were one year ago. Fewer than half of those surveyed–32 percent–said they felt that that climate change will have an impact on their way of life as compared to a high of 40 percent in 2008.
Close to 50 percent of Americans believe the threat of global warming is exaggerated. Fifty-three percent believe that economic growth, especially with regard to jobs and unemployment, is more important even if it has a negative impact on the environment, according to Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor in chief, as quoted in an article in USA Today .
Surprisingly, many Americans perceive that environmental woes in the US are improving; those polled were less concerned about other environmental problems than at any other time in the past 20 years. According to Gallup, in 1989, 72 percent of Americans were worried about pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
By 2004, only 54 percent were concerned, and 46 percent are worried about water pollution today. Concern about pollution of drinking water is at the top of the list.
The eight environmental problems those questioned by Gallup in random telephone interviews of 1,014 adults 18 and older were asked about were:
- Pollution of drinking water
- Pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs
- Maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs
- Contamination of soil and water by toxic waste
- Air pollution
- The loss of tropical rain forests
- Extinction of plant and animal species
- Global warming
In an article in Business Week , California Senator Dianne Feinstein was quoted as saying that those skeptical about the seriousness of climate change should support legislation that would put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions because new U.S. energy laws will be necessary to stimulate the growth of green jobs.
Article by Julie Mitchell appearing courtesy Celsias.