With Earth Day about a month away, Americans tell Gallup they worry the most about several water-related risks and issues among nine major environmental issues. They worry least about global warming and loss of open spaces.
But, this poll was conducted prior to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami-generated nuclear crisis.
The current levels of concerns about environmental issues are essentially unchanged from 2010.
But, there is a sign that Americans are less concerned today than they were 10 years ago.
So, what does this mean?
Americans ARE concerned about fresh water to drink and fresh air to breathe. As far as global warming is concerned = NOT SO MUCH as barely half of Americans really care about this.
Although the United States has experienced nothing like the mass drinking-water scare that is gripping Japan during its current nuclear crisis, Americans largely recognize the importance of clean water to their lives. All four environmental issues referring to “water” in this year’s Gallup Environment poll rank in the upper tier of environmental concerns, with air pollution a close fifth. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a slightly steeper drop-off in concern about several issues that aren’t directly related to daily survival, such as the loss of tropical rain forests and urban sprawl. What may surprise some, given the broad exposure the issue has received in recent years, is that global warming ranks lowest — consistent with other Gallup polling — with barely half of Americans concerned and 48% only a little or not at all concerned.