Is Environmentalism A Luxury Good?


treehugger survey graphic image

Walt Kelly's Pogo on Earth Day, 1971
The New York Times notes a new study, "Environmental Concern and the Business Cycle: The Chilling Effect of Recession, which concludes that the economy trumps the environment, and that climate skepticism increases with the unemployment rate.

[W]e find that an increase in a state's unemployment rate decreases Google searches for "global warming" and increases searches for "unemployment," and that the effect differs according to a state's political ideology. From national surveys, we find that an increase in a state's unemployment rate is associated with a decrease in the probability that residents think global warming is happening and reduced support for the U.S to target policies intended to mitigate global warming.

Yet others like Jeff Rubin suggest that the economic crisis was directly caused by our addiction to oil, and others see fixing the climate as a stimulus opportunity.

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