"Public Opinion Snapshot: Americans Still Support Environmental Protection"
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.
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.
Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. This is a CAP cross-post.
- Gallup: 65% of Americans Support ‘Imposing Mandatory Controls On CO2 Emissions’
- Poll: 75 Percent of Americans Support Regulating CO2 As A Pollutant, 60 Percent Support Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax
- Polling Expert: Is Obama’s Reluctance to Mention Climate Change Motivated by a False Assumption About Public Opinion?
- Independents, Other Republicans Split With Tea-Party Extremists on Global Warming
- Democrats Taking “Green” Positions on Climate Change “Won Much More Often” Than Those Remaining Silent