Even as more Americans say they’re informed, blame on humans hasn’t grown
More Americans believe increases in the Earth’s temperature over the last century are due to pollution from human activities (57%) than to naturally occurring changes in the environment (40%). The balance of views on this issue is essentially unchanged from 2013, but reflects broader agreement with the idea that mankind is responsible for global warming than was the case from 2010 through 2012, when barely half believed it. Agreement that human activities are responsible has yet to return, however, to the 61% level seen as recently as 2007.
Americans’ Outlook for U.S. Environmental Quality Steady
Half of Americans think the quality of the environment in the U.S. is getting worse, a view that has remained stable for the past five years. Americans were more pessimistic about the environmental outlook before Barack Obama became president in 2009.
Interesting to see that after the Credit Crunch of 2008, during the recession, that American belief in the human causes of Global Warming actually decreased. It seems that when faced with economic hardship that attitudes towards Global Warming turn negative. Americans didn’t make the connection between economic survival and the environment when faced with economic hardship. It looks like environmental issues are still viewed as an economic luxury, in times of economic growth, rather than an economic necessity at all times. The utility derived from the environment is only something that occurs for those who have economic stability first. Politicians should note that the only time to make successful environmental policy is during the economic booms which lead to environmental problems.