Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Environment slips in the rankings

From a recent Gallup poll:

For the first time in Gallup's 25-year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth, a majority of Americans say economic growth should be given the priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.

This follows an earlier poll:

Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated. This represents the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade of Gallup polling on the subject.

Before jumping to conclusions, please read the results of a Harris poll as well:

As the economic crisis continues, some other issues may be put on the back burner as the government focuses on getting the economy back on its feet. One such issue could be environmental conservation, but 46% of Americans say that the issue of environmental conservation is something that is more important to them personally than it was a few years ago while 47% say it is no more or less important. Just 7% of Americans say it is less important to them. Furthermore, most people do not believe the government needs to choose between the economy and the environment and that the government should be making more of an effort to be environmentally conscious. 

Is this maybe an indication of some important nuances developing in perceptions about the environment? Or just a straightforward polarisation?

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