Are Americans Really Getting Less Green?
By Bryan Caplan
In 1990, according to an ABC News/Gallup survey series, 75 percent of
Americans said they considered themselves to be environmentalists, with
only 24 percent saying they did not. The numbers have been slowly
reversing over the last decade. As of 2008 (the most recent year the
question was asked), only 41 percent of Americans identified themselves
as environmentalists, with 58 percent now saying they do not. And
Gallup’s annual environmental survey also finds the public now favors
economic growth over environmental protection by a 53-38 margin. For
most of the last 25 years, even during previous recessions, the public
favored the environment over the economy by as much as a two-to-one
margin. In 1991, the beginning of a recession, the margin was 71-20 in
favor of environmental protection over the economy. Surveys also show
surging support for nuclear power and expanded oil and gas production
in the U.S.
Is he right? I’ll check the GSS sometime over the next few days, but I want to test the waters first.