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Americans Care About the Environment

December 5, 2011

EcoAmerican has produced an excellent independent survey of Americans’ environmental values.  Here are top things upon which Americans can agree (click to expand):

I really like how much oceans matter to the general public.  I think it goes to show that oceans hold a special place in the human mind, and well, that the ocean community is doing its job well.

You may wonder about the ‘climate change’ consensus.  The report goes on to details that fewer people (53%) believe it is man-made.

The survey data also reveal a fascinating finding:

Politics produce polar differences in perspectives on climate and environmental issues that dramatically dwarf differences in age, income, education, race, gender or other demographic factors. For instance, only 24% of “strong” Republicans favor protecting the environment at the expense of the economy, while 63% of “strong” Democrats favor the environment.

That said, there is far greater value-variability among Republicans than Democrats.  I find this interesting.  As an independent that usually votes Democrat, I tend think Democrats are more diverse in their views and Republicans more unified (e.g. economy, religion, guns and abortion).  But here not at all.

And what role does education play?  Here’s more:

The second most significant factor in Americans’ beliefs and concerns about eco-climate issues is education. Whereas politics typically produces 40-point gaps, education extremes (high school or less vs. postgraduate work) produce 20-point gaps.

Here’s the methodology if you’re interested:

The target population consists of non-institutionalized adults age 18 and over residing in the United States. To sample the population, Knowledge Networks recruited individuals from its KnowledgePanel, a probability-based random selection protocol designed to accurately represent all US adults. The survey included an oversampling of individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 with annual household incomes of $35,000 or more.

Survey Completion and Sample Sizes: The sample included 1,889 respondents. A total of 1,260 completed the survey, for a 67% completion rate. Of those, 1,221 or 97% were eligible respondents.

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