A Harris Poll conducted in August and released last week shows that U.S. residents hold significantly more pro-environmental views than they did in 2000. Nearly seventy-five percent of adults agree that "protecting the environment is so important that requirements and standards cannot be too high, and continuing environmental improvements must be made regardless of cost." Good news!
Though 58 percent say they are sympathetic to environmental issues, only 12 percent call themselves active environmentalists. 42 percent believe environmental groups are doing more than their share to help reduce environmental problems, while 71 percent believe large corporations are doing less than their share. Water and air pollution cause the most concern, followed by global warming, ozone depeltion, depletion of forest lands, the need to recycle more materials, and the importance of other nations adhering to U.S. environmental standards.
Since the poll was taken before hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it's likely that affinity for enviromental concerns is even stronger now. Leaders have so many ways to argue for a reversal of the Bush Administration's zeal to slacken standards with renewed awareness of links between environmental degredation and health, national security, and poverty. With luck, this opportunity will not go to waste. :: Harris Poll # 77