Skip to comments.Americans Firm in Prioritizing Economy Over Environment
Posted on 03/18/2010 2:17:14 AM PDT by reaganaut1
For only the second time in more than two decades and the second straight year, Americans are more likely to say economic growth should take precedence over environmental protection when the two objectives conflict (53%) than to say the reverse (38%).
Just under half of Democrats (49%) now believe "protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth." This is the lowest percentage of Democrats on record favoring the environment on this question, although not materially different from the 50% recorded in 2009. At 22%, the percentage of Republicans favoring the environment also marks a new low.
The negative U.S. economic climate since 2008 is no doubt a significant factor behind Americans' heightened willingness to say environmental concerns should take a back seat to economic growth. Since 2001, shifts in the percentages of Americans favoring the economy over the environment have mostly conformed with the trend in negative public perceptions about the economy ("only fair" or "poor" ratings of current economic conditions).
Another factor could be Americans' increased optimism about the environment. With more Americans believing the environment is improving (now 41%, up from 25% in 2007), perhaps fewer are willing to risk supporting environmental measures that might have a negative economic impact.
(Excerpt) Read more at gallup.com ...