Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gallup: We're Less Concerned About Environment

The results of a poll recently released by Gallup* indicate that Americans are less worried about eight specific environmental problems than they were a year ago. The problems asked about include: 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; and global warming. For six of the categories in the survey, concern is the lowest Gallup has ever measured. Gallup has been conducting its poll since 1989.

Why the decrease in concern about the environment? Gallup speculates that one reason Americans may be less worried about environmental problems is that they perceive environmental conditions in the United States to be improving. Gallup adds that the decrease in concern may also be a reflection of greater public attention on economic issues.

Does the level of Americans' concern reflect reality? Gallup does not address this but in at least one instance--the drop in concern about the loss of tropical rain forests--some Americans are ill informed. According to experts, the planet is still losing 1.5 acres of rain forest every second and 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rain forest deforestation.

Have I detected a comparable drop in environmental concern in the lodging industry? Not at all. In fact, the opposite is occurring. What are your thoughts?

*Gallup surveyed a random sample of 1,014 adults from March 4 to 7, 2010.

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