Americans really care about their own back yard.
Despite sharply increased awareness about the dangers that global warming and other threats pose to the global environment, Americans are predominantly concerned with local and national environmental issues, according to a new University of Missouri study.
The surveys core result is that people care about their communities and express the desire to see government action taken toward local and national issues, said David Konisky, a policy research scholar with the Institute of Public Policy. People are hesitant to support efforts concerning global issues even though they believe that environmental quality is poorer at the global level than at the local and national level. This is surprising given the media attention that global warming has recently received and reflects the division of opinion about the severity of climate change.
Of the 1,000 people surveyed, a strong majority expressed general concern about the environment, with the top three issues demanding government action being community drinking water, reducing pollution of U.S. rivers and lakes, and improving urban air quality by reducing pollution like smog. Global warming ranked a distant eighth.
Americans are clearly most concerned about pollution issues that might affect their personal health, or the health of their families, Konisky said.
The poll also reinforced the ideological divide in American politics, with Democrats more likely to favor government action, and Republicans less likely to welcome the intrusion.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.