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Poll: Americans Still Support Environmental Protection

Poll: Americans Still Support Environmental Protection


Written by Ruy Teixeira

Given today’s economic problems, you’d think the public would be in a surly mood about environmental protection, seeing it as a secondary and perhaps conflicting priority to jobs and economic growth. That’s certainly what conservatives are hoping as they continue to push their environment-wrecking agenda.

Turns out, though, the public didn’t get the memo. In the recently released poll from Yale University’s and George Mason University’s climate change communication programs, 58 percent of poll respondents said that protecting the environment improves economic growth and creates new jobs. Just 17 percent thought environmental protection hurts growth and jobs, and 25 percent thought there was no effect.

In the same poll, when asked to choose directly which was more important—environmental protection or economic growth—the public decisively favored protecting the environment 62 percent to 38 percent when there is a conflict between the two goals.

Figure 2

So no, the bad economy has not turned the public off to environmental protection. Conservatives, if they are wise, will factor that into their political calculations.

This post was originally published by the Center for American Progress.


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6:57AM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

it only took 6 months for the glaciers to form back to the previous ice age...
Or, it could be just our planet changing one more time, as it constantly has been through the years, and maybe humans have nothing to do with it... However, I think it's better to play safe and respect the Earth that wombs and nurture us.

5:19PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

So pleased to know this. It was a difficult choice for me to make and I chose the environment as most crucial.

6:41AM PDT on May 22, 2012

what is meant by "still"? Until the overpopulated human race decides they will stop breathing the world's oxygen, they never had and "still" don't have a choice to be part of the earth's environment and they damn well better give a lot to support it. The environment is life. Are "people" going to change into plastic robots and live on a moon? Ridiculous logic

9:49PM PDT on May 19, 2012

We need to save the environment and wildlife. All is connected and whatever happens to the environment and wildlife, will happen to man.

1:38PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Wow. I'm shocked. Seems the Republicans can lie and lie and we are not buying their lie. Must be a first. Good call americans.

5:07AM PDT on May 17, 2012

IT's easy to say but a lot different to do what is necessary, to make changes in how you live. Recycling is great, I do it every day, all year(and some of it isn't even mine) but there are so many changes which are not hard but important.I never claim to be perfect but when it comes to animals and the environment, shopping ethically, and doing what I can. I get irritated by people who are just lazy and selfish all the time. we all have those lapses even if our hearts are in the right place but the important thing is to strive to care and do as much as you can instead of just giving lip service.

10:13PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Sure - everybody wants to protect the environment - just ask them - of course they’ll take part in your poll - - - BUT when it comes down to actually getting involved - taking some physical action and actually doing something - or even making that phone call and letting it be known by giving your name to someone you take serious issue with - well - that’s another matter - - - what it inevitably comes down to - the nitty gritty of human nature - is that the vast majority of people want what’s best for themselves - and if that just happens to include some sort of protection for the environment - then so much the better - - -

5:32PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Protecting the environment MUST stop growth as one of it's consequences since, once again, we cannot continue growing in a finite world. The sooner we accept this simple, obvious fact and start adjusting world economies accordingly, the better.

12:15PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Conservatives don't give a crap and a lot of those "caring" Americans will vote for them anyway. (Why am I so cynical today?)

10:18AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Protect the earth, protect animals, protect our environment, and we then protect everything we need to survive.

If we don't, we will soon have no choice, and the planet will not be able to bounce back, therefore our existance is in jeopardy.

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