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Entender cmo los estadounidenses ven el medio ambiente

"\"\\\"\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\nEach year, the Gallup organization conducts a poll on America's view of

environmental issues. Gallup's polling is typically very high quality and its polling data is always
illuminating. Taken together, the survey results provide a high-resolution picture of how Americans
see the environment. It is a complicated picture that sometimes raises more questions than answers.
This year's survey found that Americans care about the quality of the environment but focus more on
immediate environmental insults than on issues like climate, which they consider a long-term threat.
Many Americans think that reports of the danger posed by the climate crisis are exaggerated,
although some think the dangers are understated. Nevertheless, most do not see a climate crisis and
consider most other policy issues more urgent than climate change. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThe era of
bipartisan environmentalism is long dead, with Democrats now far more supportive of environmental
protection than Republicans. However, a generational shift is underway, with young people more
supportive of environmental protection than old people. Finally, the decline in environmentalism that
occurred during the Great Recession has been reversed as Americans again oppose economic
development that threatens environmental quality. Here's my take on the survey's major
findings:\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nAmericans Think the Environment Is Getting Worse\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThe first
finding is that we are actually not sure if the environment's quality is getting better or worse: 50%
think it is getting worse, 42% think it is getting better. Back in 2008, 68% thought the environment
was getting worse and 26% thought it was getting better. The next year, with newly-elected and stillhopeful Barack Obama installed as President, the number of people who thought the environment
was getting worse dropped by 17% and the number of people who thought it was getting better
increased by 15%. In 2007, before Obama was elected, only 9% of all Democrats thought the
environment was getting better, but by 2009 that had grown to 39%. While the views of Democrats
shifted dramatically, the percentage of Republican environmental optimists remained in the 40%
range for most of the past decade. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThis means that some of the response to this
question recorded perceptions of the government's environmental performance. In my view, this
question does not provide a clear read on people's perceptions of the nation's overall environmental
quality because it is measuring a management dynamic: Is the situation getting better or worseh
People are telling the pollsters whether they believe that government is making the situation better
or worse.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nMore Americans Give Environmental Quality High Marks than Low
Marks\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nEven though the environment may be getting worse, most people think America's
environmental quality is still pretty good. A second question posed by Gallup may provide a better
read on Americans' perceptions of environmental quality. This question asks respondents to
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"rate the overall quality of the environment in this country today\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". Since Gallup
first asked this question in 2001, around 40% of the country rated the environment as excellent or
good, and around 10% rated environmental quality as poor. Republicans gave higher marks to the
environment with positive responses over the years ranging from 54% to 66%. Democrats' positive
assessments of the environment range from 24% to 35%. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nWhile Gallup seems to
interpret these data as evidence of a partisan divide on the environment, I wonder if it also reflects
differences in objective environmental conditions. Is the air, water and land cleaner in the places
that Republicans live than in the places where Democrats liveh While the question asks respondents
to focus on the country as a whole, it is difficult to know if they actually do that and don't simply
report on their own experiences. It would be interesting to compare this question to one that asks a
respondent to \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"rate the overall quality of the environment around here\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". I'm not
sure how anyone can judge the environmental quality of an entire country and so it is unclear what
perception the question taps into.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nAmericans Prioritize a Clean Environment Over
Economic Growth\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nA third Gallup question that provides interesting results is one that I
have long taken issue with because it requires respondents to trade off environmental quality

against economic growth. Since I think that economic growth requires and even depends on
environmental quality, I find the question misleading. Despite the false premise, people have
typically believed that protecting the environment should be given a higher priority than economic
growth. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThroughout the 1980s and 1990s, well over 60% of the American public
favored protecting the environment even if it harmed the economy, and less than 30% favored
economic growth that might damage the environment. The gap between these numbers closed
during the George W. Bush administration, and during the Great Recession the focus on growth at
all costs grew, reaching a peak in 2009 when 54% favored growth over the environment and only
36% favored environment over economic growth. During the past two years, the traditional pattern
has resumed, and in 2014, 50% prioritized environmental protection over economic growth and only
40% favored economic growth over environmental protection. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nGallup's analysts
consider the evolution of hyper-partisan politics as the driver of these trends. Before the George W.
Bush presidency, both Republicans and Democrats prioritized environmental protection over
economic growth. In 2000, 60% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats prioritized environmental
protection over economic growth. By 2011, the 60% of Republicans who were environmental
advocates declined to 19%, recovering to 32% this year. Similarly, Democrats favoring growth at the
cost of environmental damage peaked at 44% in 2009, but over the past several years has declined
to 27%. The number of Democrats prioritizing the environment over economic growth grew from
55% in 2013 to 66% in 2014. Clearly, we are seeing a result that combines objective economic
conditions with partisan politics. The shock of job loss and economic insecurity dominated our
politics from 2008 until 2011, and only in the past several years have we seen the political impact of
the Great Recession begin to fade.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThere is also a generational factor at play: Those
under 30 favor environmental protection over economic growth by 60% to 30%. In contrast, those
over 65 years old favor economic growth over environmental protection by 50% to 39%. Since there
is no evidence that someone ages out of environmentalism, it is likely that environmentalism will
become a stronger force in American politics in the next several decades.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nAmericans
Know that Humans Have Caused the Climate to Change, but Don't Consider Climate an Important
Public Policy Issue\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nSince March of 2001, Gallup has asked respondents if increases in
the planet's temperature are more attributable to human or natural causes. Until 2007, about 60% of
the public blamed climate change on people, and about a third blamed nature. At the height of the
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"climate denial movement\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" in 2010, nature was cited by 46% and humans had
slipped to 50%. In the 2013 and 2014 polls, 57% of the public again blamed humans for climate
change, with about 40% citing nature. There is a partisan divide to this issue, with 79% of
Democrats observing that people were the main cause of global warming, compared to 41% of all
Republicans. \\\\\\\\nRegardless of the cause of climate change, the American public doesn't think it's
an important policy issue. When asked the amount they worry about about a series of policy issues,
only 24% said they worried a great deal about climate change and 51% reported little worry. Of
fifteen issues surveyed, ranging from the economy to crime, climate ranked 14th. While most
Americans (65%) believe that the planet is getting warmer, only 36% consider it a serious threat to
their way of life. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nMoreover, many Americans say that media reports exaggerate the
seriousness of global warming. In the 2014 Gallup environment poll, 42% observed that media
reports of climate change were exaggerated, 33% said that the seriousness of the issue was
underestimated, and 23% thought that reports were generally correct. While it is not clear if this is a
commentary on the news media or on the issue itself, it reinforces the impression that Americans are
not too worried about climate change. The poll reports that 60% of Americans know that most
scientists believe that climate change is underway and, as indicated earlier, Americans understand
that humans have made the planet warmer over the past century. They just don't worry about it very
much.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nAmericans Care More about Environmental Issues They Consider Immediate
Threats\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nWhen you look at these individual questions one at a time, the overall
impression may be that the public is just confused, but there is a compelling logic here. Let's think of
all of these survey questions as elements of a multiple indicator measure of American

environmentalism. Here's what the poll tells us: People know that the planet is under threat, and
they are willing to address the most urgent threats -- especially if they directly experience them. In
sistemas de administracion ambiental that respect, climate change is a tough issue. It is caused
everywhere and its impacts are subtle and largely in the future. Drinking water in Charleston, West
Virginia, air pollution in Paris, or toxics in Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal can be seen, smelled and felt.
Americans understand those issues. They understand the threat posed by climate change, but they
consider the threats posed by poisoned land, air and water to be a higher
priority.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nAmericans think that it is government's job to keep the environment clean
enough to protect their health and the health of their loved ones. Some think that government is
doing a good job in delivering that protection; some do not. But they believe that many other public
policy issues are more urgent. They understand and want to see action on environmental issues. It
may well be that Americans have judged that government is making sufficient and steady progress in
protecting the environment. In that sense, the issue works like crime or education. These issues
have great latent potential, but only become a high priority when government is perceived as not
doing enough. \\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThe internet brings Americans constant images of pollution in other
countries, and they may judge their own situation to be better. As I read the recent Gallup poll, I see
a multi-dimensional and complex picture of environmental attitudes. It is a mistake to think that
most Americans, especially young Americans, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"don't get it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" or don't care about
the planet. They do.\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\nThis Blogger's Books and Other Items from...\\\\\\\\n \\\\\\\"\\\"\"