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Only One in Four Americans Are Anxious About the Environment

Only One in Four Americans Are Anxious About the Environment

Most favor moderate approach to environmental protection

by Riley E. Dunlap and Lydia Saad

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Sunday, April 22 marks the 31st anniversary of the first Earth Day, and organizers of this year's activities in the United States are calling for April 19 to be a "car-free day." However, according to Gallup's recent annual update of environmental attitudes, it would be difficult to mobilize Americans around such a boycott of fossil-fuel consumption. The poll shows that most Americans are sympathetic toward the environmental movement, but lack the ominous view about environmental conditions that might be needed to spur major action.

A variety of results from Gallup's Earth Day poll, conducted March 5-7 with 1,060 national adults, suggest that only a quarter or so of Americans are highly troubled about environmental conditions. About half that number could be described as complacent, while the remaining majority is concerned about the environment, but only moderately so.

At the same time, the Bush administration's emphasis on energy production and the economy over environmental concerns seems to be at odds with Americans' consistent preference for making environmental protection the priority. In general terms, the public says the environment should take precedence over economic as well as energy needs. And on specific issues -- such as regulating industrial emissions, drilling in the Alaskan wilderness, and the Kyoto global warming treaty -- the public opposes the administration's positions.

One-Quarter Appear Energized About the Environment
A key question in this year's survey asks Americans to describe the current state of environmental conditions in the United States. Overall, Americans are closely divided in their assessment, with 46% viewing conditions as "good" or "excellent" and 53% considering them "only fair" or "poor." A different question finds that only 42% of Americans worry "a great deal" about the quality of the environment.

Not surprisingly, only a third of those who rate the environment in positive terms (as excellent or good) say they worry a great deal about it. But the rate of worry is also subdued (51% saying they worry "a great deal") among those who rate the environment more negatively (as only fair or poor). Combining these ratings, only 27% of Americans fall into the highly concerned camp -- rating the environment in negative terms and indicating a great deal of concern about it. Just 14% rate the environment positively and express little to no worry about it, while 57% fall somewhere in between.

A different question yields a similar result. When Americans are asked what steps are necessary to address the Earth's environmental problems, 27% say "immediate and drastic" action is needed. Only 15% think current actions are sufficient, while the majority (56%) favors the moderate approach of "some additional" actions.

Perhaps because there has not been a highly visible environmental problem capturing public attention in recent years, or because recent economic and energy problems have changed Americans' priorities, just 57% now say protection of the environment should be given priority over economic growth. This is down from 67% who felt this way last year. Today, 33% -- up from 28% in 2000 -- say economic growth should take precedence, even if the environment suffers to some extent.

Here are other key findings of this year's survey:

  • The environment ranks 16th on Americans' list of most important problems facing the country today, well below education, crime and health care. However, it is their top concern with respect to the future -- 25 years from now.
  • Less than half of Americans, 42%, say they worry "a great deal" about the quality of the environment, on par with concerns about energy (46%), but well below crime (62%), health care (60%) and drug use (58%).
  • 57% of Americans think the quality of the environment in the United States is getting worse while only 36% say it is improving.
  • Only 25% believe a great deal of progress has been made on the environment in the past few decades, whereas 64% see some progress and 9% see hardly any progress.
  • Pollution of drinking water tops Americans' list of specific environmental concerns (64% worry a great deal about this), while acid rain is of the least concern (28%).
  • Americans think the government, corporations and the public could all be doing more to protect the environment. Two-thirds (68%) think corporations are doing too little, compared to 65% who think this about the American people and 55% who think this about the government.
  • 52% think the environment should be given priority over energy production, while 36% choose energy over the environment.
  • 18% of Americans describe themselves as an "active participant" in the environmental movement and 50% say they are "sympathetic but not active." Another 25% are "neutral," while only 5% say they are "unsympathetic."
  • Three-quarters of Americans (74%) would be willing to pay an additional $100 per year for consumer products to pay for higher industrial emissions standards. Almost two-thirds (63%) would be willing to pay an additional $500 per year.

The Findings in Detail:

Seriousness of Environmental Problems
Historically, environmental problems have seldom been prominent enough in Americans' minds to register near the top of the list when respondents are asked to name "the most important problem facing this country today." This year is no exception. Only 2% of Americans -- unchanged from last year -- currently mention the environment as the nation's top problem. On the other hand, when Americans are asked what they think will be "the most important problem facing our nation 25 years from now," they are far more likely to cite the environment. In this year's poll, the environment, mentioned by 11%, tops the list of future problems -- just as it did last year with 14%. Thus, while Americans do not see the environment as a major problem at present, they see it looming as a significant problem for the future.

When presented with a specific list of "problems facing the country" that includes "the quality of the environment," respondents indicate a greater degree of concern over the environment than they do in the "most important problem" question. Environmental quality registers sixth on a list of 10 problems in terms of how much people "personally worry" about them. Forty-two percent of Americans indicate that they worry "a great deal" about environmental quality, putting it solidly in the second tier of issues that includes "availability and affordability of energy" and "hunger and homelessness." These three issues trail the top-tier issues of crime and violence, health care, and drug use, but evoke a greater degree of worry than do the economy, unemployment, race relations and illegal immigration. Such results suggest that the environment is not a marginal concern for Americans, despite being seen as more of a future than current problem.

Perceptions of Environmental Quality and Progress
When Americans are asked to rate the "overall quality of the environment" in the United States, only 5% rate it as "excellent" while another 41% see it as "good." A plurality of 47%, however, rate it as "only fair" and another 6% as "poor." Americans are even less optimistic about the future of the nation's environment. Although 36% think the quality of the environment in our country is "getting better," a 57% majority think it is "getting worse."

Consistent with the perception that our nation's environment is getting worse is the finding that only a quarter of Americans believe we have made a "great deal of progress" in dealing with environmental problems in the past few decades, whereas 64% think we have made "only some progress" and 9% see "hardly any progress at all." These results are virtually identical to those of a year ago. While the degree of perceived progress is down from its peak in 1999, when 36% indicated we had made a great deal of progress, the recent responses are nevertheless higher than those of a decade ago.

A related question asked respondents what kind of action was needed to ensure that "life on Earth will continue without major environmental disruptions." While over a quarter (27%) of Americans said that "immediate and drastic action" is required to ensure this, a majority (56%) said taking "some additional actions" will suffice and a small minority (15%) said taking the "same actions we have been taking" will do. Thus, overall, a large majority of Americans favor increased action to protect life on Earth. Yet, the percentage calling for immediate and drastic action is down from 35% in 1995.

Specific Environmental Concerns
To determine which environmental problems are of most concern to Americans, respondents were given a list of 13 problems and asked to indicate the degree to which they worry about each one. As has been the case in the past, the more immediate and tangible types of pollution are of greater concern than are more distant, global-level problems. The problems evoking the greatest degree of worry are "pollution of drinking water," "pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs" and "contamination of soil and water by toxic waste." Majorities indicate "a great deal" of worry about each of these. In contrast, the more global problems of "damage to the Earth's ozone layer," "loss of tropical rain forests," "extinction of plant and animal species" and "global warming" evoke lower levels of concern. Only "acid rain" ranks lower than global warming as a source of worry.

ENVIRONMENTAL WORRIES

Worry "a Great Deal"

2001

2000

1989

%

%

%

Pollution of drinking water

64

72

--

Pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs

58

66

72

Contamination of soil and water by toxic waste

58

64

69

Contamination of soil and water by radioactivity from nuclear facilities

49

52

54

Air pollution

48

59

63

The loss of natural habitat for wildlife

48

51

58

Damage to the Earth's ozone layer

47

49

51

The loss of tropical rain forests

44

51

42

Ocean and beach pollution

43

54

60

Extinction of plant and animal species

43

45

--

Urban sprawl and loss of open spaces

35

42

--

The "greenhouse effect" or global warming

33

40

35

Acid rain

28

34

41



It is important to note that this year Americans express lower levels of concern than they did a year ago for all 13 problems. In the cases of "air pollution" and "ocean and beach pollution," the declines in the percentages indicating "a great deal" of worry were 11%, while the other 11 problems experienced single-digit declines. Current rates of worry about many of the items are substantially lower than when the environmental questions were first asked in 1989. However, it appears the 1989 levels were particularly high due to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska that year.

Support for Environmental Protection
While concern about specific problems seems to have declined, Americans continue to show widespread support for environmental protection efforts overall. Majorities of Americans believe that the federal government, U.S. corporations and the American people should all be doing more "in terms of protecting the environment." Specifically, 68% say corporations are doing "too little" and only 4% "too much," while the comparable figures for the American people are 65% and 2%, respectively. Even in an era of widespread concern about the scope of government, 55% say the federal government is doing too little, compared to 11%who say it is doing too much. Clearly, Americans see all sectors of society as needing to do more in terms of protecting the environment.

Yet, when it comes to a choice between environmental protection and the economy, this year's poll found a sharp decline in the percentage giving greater priority to the environment. Perhaps because of the slowdown in the nation's economy over the past year, the percentage of Americans favoring environmental protection "even at the risk of curbing economic growth" dropped to 57% from last year's figures of 67% and 70%. Conversely, 33% favor giving priority to economic growth, "even if the environment suffers to some extent," an all-time high for this measure, which dates back to 1984. Thus, while a majority of Americans continue to support environmental protection over economic growth, the proportion of support is clearly down in this era of economic uncertainty.

Americans' responses to a question posing a tradeoff between energy production and environmental protection reveal a similar level of commitment to environmental protection. Despite the highly visible energy shortages currently plaguing the West Coast, 52% say that "protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies," compared to 36% who say that "development of U.S. energy supplies should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent."

Americans' continuing support for environmental protection is also apparent in their responses to a list of eight environmental policy proposals being discussed in various policy circles. Three-quarters or more of Americans favor "setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry" (81%), "spending more government money on developing solar and wind power" (79%), "more strongly enforcing federal environmental regulations" (77%) and "setting higher auto emissions standards for automobiles" -- most of which are at odds with proposals from the Bush administration. In contrast, only 53% favor "giving tax breaks to provide incentives for drilling more oil and gas in the U.S.," while "expanding use of nuclear energy" and "opening up the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration" are opposed by majorities of 51% and 56%, respectively.

The least-favored proposal is one that would set "legal limits on the amount of energy that average consumers can use," which is opposed by 62% and favored by only 35%.

The overall pattern of responses suggests that Americans want strong environmental protection efforts (at least for industry) and are unwilling to let current energy problems override such efforts. These views would seem to conflict with many environmental and energy proposals coming out of the White House.

Personal Commitment to Environmental Protection
As in last year's Earth Day poll, respondents were asked to describe their relationship with the environmental movement. Once again, over two-thirds of Americans say they are either "an active participant" (18%) or "sympathetic towards the movement" (50%). In contrast, only 5% say they are "unsympathetic," with the remaining one-quarter being "neutral."

A pair of questions focusing specifically on "willingness to pay" for air-pollution control reveals somewhat greater support for environmental activism. When Americans were told that "increased efforts by business and industry to reduce air pollution might lead to higher prices," and then asked if they would be willing to pay more so that industry could reduce air pollution, solid majorities replied in the affirmative to two differing scenarios. Half of the sample were asked if they would be willing to pay "$100 more each year in higher prices"; nearly three-quarters (74%) said yes. When the figure was raised to $500 for the other half of the sample, the percentage saying yes dropped to 63%, but still greatly exceeded the 35% saying no.

Survey Methods

The results reported here are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,060 adults, 18 years and older, conducted March 5-7, 2001. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today? [Open-ended]

Looking ahead, what do you think will be the most important problem facing our nation 25 years from now?

MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM -- TODAY VS. 25 YEARS FROM NOW

2001 Mar 5-7

Today

25 years from now

%

%

Education

16

6

Ethics/moral/family decline/children not raised right

11

6

Economy in general

10

5

Crime/violence

8

6

Health care

7

3

Taxes

7

1

Drugs

6

2

Poverty/homelessness

5

4

Dissatisfaction with gov't/politicians

5

3

School shootings/school violence

5

*

Medicare/Soc. Sec.

4

8

Intern'l issues/foreign affairs

4

4

Unemployment/jobs

4

3

Guns/gun control

4

2

Recession

3

1

Environment

2

11

Lack of energy sources

2

7

Fear of war

2

4

Federal budget deficit/federal debt

2

3

High cost of living/inflation

2

1

Military/defense issues

2

1

Racism/race relations

2

1

Overpopulation

1

6

Care for the elderly

1

4

Fuel/oil prices

1

1

National security

1

1

Gap between rich and poor

1

1

Judicial system/courts/laws

1

*

Lack of respect for each other

1

*

Unifying the country

1

*

Wage issues

1

*

Welfare

1

*

The media

1

*

Abortion

1

--

Advancement of computers/technology

*

3

Immigration/illegal aliens

*

1

Trade relations/deficit

*

*

AIDS

--

*

Youth/Teen pregnancy/Children's needs

--

3

Child abuse

--

--

Other non-economic

1

2

Other specific economic

1

2

No opinion

7

16

Total

134%

122%

Totals add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

* Less than 0.5%

Next I'm going to read a list of problems facing the country. For each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all? First, how much do you personally worry about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2001 Mar 5-7
(sorted by "a great deal")

A
great deal


A fair
amount


Only a
little


Not
at all


No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Crime and violence

62

26

9

3

*

The availability and affordability of health care

60

24

11

5

*

Drug use

58

22

13

7

*

The availability and affordability of energy

46

31

16

6

1

Hunger and homelessness

45

34

16

5

*

The quality of the environment

42

35

17

5

1

The economy

35

42

19

4

*

Unemployment

30

33

24

13

*

Race relations

28

34

23

15

*

Illegal immigration

28

24

29

18

1

* Less than 0.5%

How would you rate the overall quality of the environment in this country today -- as excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent

Good

Only fair

Poor

No opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

5%

41

47

6

1

Right now, do you think the quality of the environment in the country as a whole is getting better or getting worse?

Getting better

Getting worse

SAME (vol.)

No opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

36%

57

5

2

(vol.) Volunteered response



Next,

How much progress have we made in dealing with environmental problems in the past few decades -- say since 1970? Would you say we have made a great deal of progress, only some progress, or hardly any progress at all?

BASED ON -- 506 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±5 PCT. PTS.

A great deal of progress

Only some
progress

Hardly any
progress at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

25

64

9

2

2000 Apr 3-9

26

64

9

1

1999 Apr 13-14

36

55

8

1

1995 Apr 17-19

24

61

14

1

1991 Apr 11-14

18

61

19

1

1990 Apr 5-8

14

63

21

2



How much optimism do you have that we will have our environmental problems well under control in twenty years -- that is, by about 2020 -- a great deal of optimism, only some optimism, or hardly any optimism at all?

A great deal of optimism

Only some optimism

Hardly any optimism

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

15

65

19

1

2000 Apr 3-9

18

60

21

1

1999 Apr 13-14

18

62

18

2

1991 Apr 11-14

19

60

18

2

1990 Apr 5-8

18

58

22

2



Thinking specifically about the environmental movement, do you think of yourself as -- an active participant in the environmental movement, sympathetic towards the movement, but not active, neutral, or unsympathetic towards the environmental movement?

Active participant

Sympathetic, but not active


Neutral


Unsympathetic

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

18

50

25

5

2

2000 Apr 3-9

16

55

23

5

1



For each of the following, please say whether you think they are doing too much, too little, or about the right amount in terms of protecting the environment. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?


2001 Mar 5-7


Too much


Too little

About the right amount

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

A. The federal government

11

55

31

3

B. U.S. corporations

4

68

23

5

C. The American people

2

65

30

3



With which one of these statements about the environment and the economy do you most agree -- [ROTATED: protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth (or) economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent]?

Protection of the environment


Economic growth

EQUAL PRIORITY (vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

57

33

6

4

2000 Apr 3-9

67

28

2

3

2000 Jan 13-16

70

23

--

7

1999 Apr 13-14

67

28

--

5

1999 Mar 12-14

65

30

--

5

1998 Apr 17-19

68

24

--

8

1997 Jul 25-27

66

27

--

7

1995 Apr 17-19

62

32

--

6

1992 Jan 5-Mar 31

58

26

8

8

1991 Apr

71

20

--

9

1990 Apr

71

19

--

10

1984 Sep

61

28

--

11

(vol.) Volunteered response



All in all, which of the following best describes how you feel about the environmental problems facing the Earth -- life on Earth will continue without major environmental disruptions only if we take additional, immediate, and drastic action concerning the environment, we should take some additional actions concerning the environment, or, we should take just the same actions we have been taking on the environment?


Immediate, drastic action

Some
additional actions

Same actions


No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

27%

56

15

2

1995 Apr 17-19

35%

48

15

2



With which one of these statements about the environment and energy production do you most agree -- [ROTATED: protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies -- such as oil, gas and coal -- which the United States produces (or) development of U.S. energy supplies -- such as oil, gas and coal -- should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent]?


Protection
of the environment

Development of U.S. energy supplies


BOTH/
EQUALLY (vol.)


NEITHER/
OTHER (vol.)

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

52%

36

6

2

4

(vol.) Volunteered response



Next I am going to read some specific environmental proposals. For each one, please say whether you generally favor or oppose it. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Expanding use of nuclear energy


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

44%

51

5

B. Opening up the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

40%

56

4

C. Spending more government money on developing solar and wind power


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

79%

19

2

D. More strongly enforcing federal environmental regulations


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

77%

20

3

E. Giving tax breaks to provide incentives for drilling for more oil and gas in the U.S.


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

53%

43

4

F. Setting higher auto emissions standards for automobiles


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

75%

23

2

G.Setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

81%

17

2

H. Setting legal limits on the amount of energy that average consumers can use


Favor


Oppose

No
opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

35%

62

3

ENVIRONMENTAL PROPOSALS SUMMARY TABLE

2001 Mar 5-7
(sorted by "favor")


Favor


Oppose

%

%

Setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry

81

17

Spending more government money on developing solar and wind power

79

19

More strongly enforcing federal environmental regulations

77

20

Setting higher auto emissions standards for automobiles

75

23

Giving tax breaks to provide incentives for drilling for more oil and gas in the U.S.

53

43

Expanding use of nuclear energy

44

51

Opening up the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration

40

56

Setting legal limits on the amount of energy that average consumers can use

35

62

I'm going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all. First, how much do you personally worry about…[RANDOM ORDER A-M]?

A. Ocean and beach pollution

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

43

34

17

5

1

2000 Apr 3-9

54

30

10

5

1

1999 Apr 13-14

50

32

13

4

1

1999 Mar 12-14

43

32

17

7

1

1991 Apr 11-14

53

26

14

6

1

1990 Apr 5-8

52

27

12

7

2

1989 May 4-7

60

23

11

5

1



B. Pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

58

29

10

3

*

2000 Apr 3-9

66

24

8

2

*

1999 Apr 13-14

61

30

7

2

*

1999 Mar 12-14

55

30

12

3

*

1991 Apr 11-14

67

21

8

3

1

1990 Apr 5-8

64

23

9

4

--

1989 May 4-7

72

19

5

3

1



C. Air pollution

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

48

34

14

4

*

2000 Apr 3-9

59

29

9

3

*

1999 Apr 13-14

52

35

10

3

*

1999 Mar 12-14

47

33

16

4

*

1997 Oct 27-28

42

34

18

5

1

1991 Apr 11-14

59

28

10

4

*

1990 Apr 5-8

58

29

9

4

*

1989 May 4-7

63

24

8

4

*



D. Damage to the Earth's ozone layer

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

47

28

16

8

1

2000 Apr 3-9

49

29

14

7

1

1999 Apr 13-14

44

32

15

8

1

1997 Oct 27-28

33

27

25

13

2

1991 Apr 11-14

49

24

16

8

4

1990 Apr 5-8

43

28

15

10

4

1989 May 4-7

51

26

13

8

2



E. The loss of tropical rain forests

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

44

32

15

8

1

2000 Apr 3-9

51

25

14

9

1

1999 Apr 13-14

49

30

14

6

1

1991 Apr 11-14

42

25

21

10

2

1990 Apr 5-8

40

24

19

14

3

1989 May 4-7

42

25

18

12

3



F. The loss of natural habitat for wildlife

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

48

33

15

4

*

2000 Apr 3-9

51

31

13

5

*

1999 Apr 13-14

51

31

13

5

*

1991 Apr 11-14

53

27

15

5

1

1990 Apr 5-8

51

30

12

7

*

1989 May 4-7

58

27

9

5

1



G. The "greenhouse effect" or global warming

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

33

30

22

13

2

2000 Apr 3-9

40

32

15

12

1

1999 Apr 13-14

34

34

18

12

2

1999 Mar 12-14

28

31

23

16

2

1997 Oct 27-28

24

26

29

17

4

1991 Apr 11-14

35

27

22

12

5

1990 Apr 5-8

30

27

20

16

6

1989 May 4-7

35

28

18

12

7



H. Contamination of soil and water by toxic waste

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

58

27

12

3

*

2000 Apr 3-9

64

25

7

4

*

1999 Apr 13-14

63

27

7

3

*

1999 Mar 12-14

55

29

11

5

*

1991 Apr 11-14

62

21

11

5

1

1990 Apr 5-8

63

22

10

5

*

1989 May 4-7

69

21

6

3

*



I. Contamination of soil and water by radioactivity from nuclear facilities

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

49

22

19

10

*

2000 Apr 3-9

52

23

16

9

*

1999 Apr 13-14

48

27

16

8

1

1991 Apr 11-14

44

25

20

10

1

1990 Apr 5-8

48

23

17

10

2

1989 May 4-7

54

24

14

7

1



J. Acid rain

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

28

28

26

16

2

2000 Apr 3-9

34

31

19

15

1

1999 Apr 13-14

29

35

23

11

2

1991 Apr 11-14

34

30

20

14

3

1990 Apr 5-8

34

30

18

14

4

1989 May 4-7

41

27

19

11

3



K. Pollution of drinking water

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

64

24

9

3

*

2000 Apr 3-9

72

20

6

2

*

1999 Apr 13-14

68

22

7

3

*

1991 Apr 11-4

67

19

10

3

1

1990 Apr 5-8

65

22

9

4

*



L. Extinction of plant and animal species

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

43

30

19

7

1

2000 Apr 3-9

45

33

14

8

*



M. Urban sprawl and loss of open spaces

A
great deal

A fair
amount

Only a
little

Not
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Mar 5-7

35

34

19

10

2

2000 Apr 3-9

42

31

14

12

1

* Less than 0.5%



Increased efforts by business and industry to reduce air pollution might lead to higher prices for the things consumers buy. Would you be willing to pay $100 more each year in higher prices so that industry could reduce air pollution, or not?

BASED ON -- 506 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±5 PCT. PTS.

Yes

No

No opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

74%

24

2



Increased efforts by business and industry to reduce air pollution might lead to higher prices for the things consumers buy. Would you be willing to pay $500 more each year in higher prices so that industry could reduce air pollution, or not?

BASED ON -- 554 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±5 PCT. PTS.

Yes

No

No opinion

2001 Mar 5-7

63%

35

2



President Bush recently announced that the United States will not adhere to the Kyoto international treaty, which sets voluntary limits on the production of carbon dioxide and other global warming-related gases. Bush said that the treaty places too much of an economic burden on the U.S. while demanding little of developing countries. Do you approve or disapprove of Bush's decision for the U.S. not to adhere to the Kyoto treaty?

BASED ON -- 519 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±5 PCT. PTS.

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

2001 Apr 6-8

41%

48

11



Gallup

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Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/1801/only-one-four-americans-anxious-about-environment.aspx
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