In Depth: Topics A to Z

Environment

Trend: Should Protection of the Environment Be Given Priority, at the Risk of Curbing Economic Growth, or Should Economic Growth Be Given Priority, Even if the Environment Suffers?

Trend: Thinking About What Is Said in the News, in Your View Is the Seriousness of Global Warming Generally Exaggerated, Generally Correct, or Is It Generally Underestimated?

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of problems facing the country. For each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all? How much do you personally worry about the quality of the environment?

Trend, Presidents Obama and Bush: Do you think [...] is doing a good job or a poor job in handling each of the following issues as president? How about protecting the nation's environment?

Trend: Do you think the U.S. government is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount in terms of protecting the environment?

How would you rate the overall quality of the environment in this country today -- as excellent, good, only fair, or poor?

Trend: Right now, do you think the quality of the environment in the country as a whole is getting better or getting worse?

Trend: Do you consider yourself an environmentalist, or not?

Trend: Combined questions -- Do you consider yourself an environmentalist? Would you say you are a strong environmentalist?

Trend: With which of these statements do you most agree -- protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth or economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent?

Trend: With which one of these statements about the environment and energy production do you most agree -- [ROTATED: protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies -- such as oil, gas, and coal -- which the United States produces (or) development of U.S. energy supplies -- such as oil, gas, and coal -- should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent]?

I'm going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all. First, how much do you personally worry about ... ?

I'm going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all. First, how much do you personally worry about ... ?

I'm going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all. First, how much do you personally worry about ... ?

Next, thinking about the issue of global warming, how well do you feel you understand this issue? Would you say -- very well, fairly well, not very well, or not at all?

Trend: Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of global warming will begin to happen -- they have already begun to happen, they will start happening within a few years, they will start happening within your lifetime, they will not happen within your lifetime, but they will affect future generations, (or) they will never happen?

Trend: Thinking about what is said in the news, in your view is the seriousness of global warming -- generally exaggerated, generally correct, or is it generally underestimated?

Trend: Just your impression, which one of the following statements do you think is most accurate -- most scientists believe that global warming is occurring, most scientists believe that global warming is NOT occurring, or most scientists are unsure about whether global warming is occurring or not?

Trend: And from what you have heard or read, do you believe increases in the Earth’s temperature over the last century are due more to -- the effects of pollution from human activities (or) natural changes in the environment that are not due to human activities?

Trend: Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime?

Next, I’d like you to think about the weather in your local area this winter season compared to past winters. Have temperatures in your local area been -- colder than usual this winter, about the same, (or) warmer than usual this winter? (If warmer:) Do you think temperatures are warmer mainly due to global warming (or to) normal year-to-year variation in temperatures?

As you may know, scientists recently reported that 2015 was the Earth's warmest year on record. Had you heard about these reports before now, or not?

Just your best guess, do you generally believe these reports are accurate or not accurate?

Assuming these reports are accurate, do you think the record temperatures in 2015 were mainly due to human-caused climate change or natural changes in the Earth's temperatures?

Next, I am going to read you a list of possible threats to the vital interests of the United States in the next 10 years. For each one, please tell me if you see this as a critical threat, an important but not critical threat, or not an important threat at all. Global warming or climate change

Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the quality of the environment in the nation?

Trend: Thinking about the environmental movement, do you think of yourself as -- an active participant in the environmental movement, sympathetic towards the movement, but not active, neutral, or unsympathetic towards the environmental movement?

Next, I am going to read some specific proposals. For each one, please say whether you generally favor or oppose it.

Next, I am going to read some specific proposals. For each one, please say whether you generally favor or oppose it.

Trend: Is your local area experiencing a drought -- that is, a serious shortage of rainfall -- this year, or not?

(Asked of those experiencing drought) Do you think the drought is mainly due to global warming or to normal year-to-year variation in rainfall?

Which comes closer to your view -- it is possible to take specific actions that will slow down the effects of global warming or the effects of global warming are part of a natural process that can't be altered?


Do you think the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska should or should not be opened up for oil exploration?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2011 Mar 3-6

49

45

6

2008 Mar 6-9

43

52

6

2005 Mar 7-10

42

53

5

2002 Mar 18-20

35

56

9

All things considered, do you think the environmental movement in this nation has done more good than harm, or more harm than good? Would you say it has done -- definitely more good than harm, probably more good than harm, probably more harm than good, or definitely more harm than good?

Definitely
more good
than harm

Probably
more good
than harm

Probably
more harm
than good

Definitely
more harm
than good

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Mar 4-7

22

40

23

13

3

2007 Mar 11-14

22

44

21

10

3

2005 Mar 7-10

22

47

19

9

3

2000 Apr 3-9

33

42

12

9

4

1992 Jan 5-Mar 31

33

43

11

3

11

Do you believe that new environmental and energy laws designed to reduce global warming will -- [ROTATED: definitely hurt the economy, probably hurt the economy, have no effect either way on the economy, probably help the economy, (or) definitely help the economy]?

Defin-
itely
hurt

Prob-
ably
hurt

No
effect

Prob-
ably
help

Defin-
itely
help

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Mar 4-7

20

29

18

24

6

3

2009 Dec 11-13

19

23

17

27

9

5

As you may know, representatives from around the world are gathering for a United Nations conference on global climate change in Copenhagen. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. signing a binding global treaty at the Copenhagen meeting that would require the U.S. to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2009 Dec 11-13

55%

38

7

Which do you think should be a higher priority for the Obama administration right now -- [ROTATED: taking major steps to improve the U.S. economy (or) taking major steps to reduce global warming]?

Improve the
economy

Reduce
global warming

No opinion

2009 Dec 11-13 ^

85%

12

3

^ Asked of a half sample

Which worries you more -- [ROTATED: that the U.S. will NOT take the actions necessary to prevent the catastrophic effects of global warming because of fears those actions would harm the economy (or) that the U.S. WILL take actions to protect against global warming and those actions will cripple the U.S. economy]?

U.S. not take
action because of
fears of harming
economy

U.S. take action
and cripple
economy

No
opinion

2009 Dec 11-13 ^

38%

46

16

^ Asked of a half sample


When it comes to environmental protection, which of these do you think is happening under the Bush administration -- [ROTATED: the nation's environmental protection policies are being strengthened, the nation's environmental policies are being kept about the same, or the nation's environmental protection policies are being weakened]?

Strengthened

Kept about
the same

Weakened

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2008 Mar 6-9

6

52

39

3

2007 Mar 11-14

6

53

39

2

2006 Mar 13-16 ^

5

49

43

3

2005 Mar 7-10 ^

5

52

40

3

2004 Mar 8-11 ^

6

53

39

2

2003 Mar 3-5 ^

9

53

35

3

^ Asked of a half sample

All in all, which of the following best describes how you feel about the environmental problems facing the earth -- life on earth will continue without major environmental disruptions only if we take additional, immediate, and drastic action concerning the environment, we should take some additional actions concerning the environment, or, we should take just the same actions we have been taking on the environment?

Immediate,
drastic
action

Some
additional
actions

Same
action

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2008 Mar 6-9

34

52

13

1

2007 Mar 11-14

38

48

13

1

2003 Mar 3-5

23

56

20

1

2002 Mar 4-7

26

58

14

2

2001 Mar 5-7

27

56

15

2

1995 Apr 17-19

35

48

15

2

Thinking about your own shopping and living habits over the last five years, would you say you have made major changes, minor changes or no changes to help protect the environment?

Made
major changes

Made
minor changes

Made
no changes

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2008 Mar 6-9

28

55

17

*

2003 Mar 3-5 ^

23

61

15

1

2000 Apr 3-9

31

58

11

*

* Less than 0.5%

^ Asked of a half sample

(Asked of those who have made changes in habits to help protect the environment) What are some of the specific changes you have made in your shopping and living habits to help protect the environment? [OPEN-ENDED]

Mar 6-9, 2008

%

Recycle/Recycle more

39

Drive less/Consolidate trips/Carpool

17

Buy biodegradable products

14

Use less electricity/Conserve energy

10

Drive more fuel-efficient car/Maintain car

9

Buy/Use more "green" products

7

Use energy-saving light bulbs

7

Eat more organic/home-grown foods

5

Conserve water

5

Upgrade to energy-saving appliances in home

4

Don't litter

3

Make home more energy efficient -- install new windows, insulation, solar panels, etc.

2

Other

7

None/Nothing

2

No opinion

12

NOTE: Responses add to more than 100% due to multiple mentions

If efforts to address the effects of global warming are not increased, which comes closest to your view of what will happen in 50 years -- there will be extreme changes in climate and weather, with disastrous consequences in some parts of the world, there will be major changes in climate and weather, but most people and animals will be able to adapt, or there will be minor changes that will have little effect on the way people live?

Extreme
changes

Major
changes

Minor
changes

No
changes
(vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

28%

38

19

11

3

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Do you think the effects of global warming can be controlled if most people take steps such as driving less, recycling, and turning down their thermostat, or will more drastic measures be needed?

Can be
controlled
this way

More drastic
measures
needed

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

30%

58

11

Next, I'm going to read a list of steps individuals can take to reduce global warming. Please say for each if that is something you, personally, should or should not be doing. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Using only fluorescent light bulbs in your home

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

69%

27

1

3

B. Installing a solar panel to produce energy for your home

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

71%

27

1

1

C. Unplugging your TV, computer, or other electronic equipment when you are not using it

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

57%

39

1

2

D. Buying a hybrid car

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

62%

33

1

4

E. Supporting the construction of a nuclear energy plant within 20 miles of your home

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

34%

62

1

3

F. Spending several thousand dollars to make your home as energy efficient as possible

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

78%

19

2

1

G. Riding mass transit such as buses and subways whenever possible

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

Does not
apply (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

77%

18

5

1

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Now, I'm going to read a list of steps the government can take to reduce global warming. Please say for each if that is something the government should or should not be doing. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Imposing restrictions on U.S. industries and utilities that are so tough it would put some of them out of business

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

38%

58

3

B. Banning vehicles that do not average at least 30 miles per gallon

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

44%

55

2

C. Requiring a surcharge on the utility bills of home and business owners that exceed monthly limits on energy usage

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

46%

52

2

D. Setting strict land use policies to discourage suburban sprawl and encourage people to live in more densely populated areas

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

36%

60

3

E. Requiring government office buildings to use renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power, even if it results in higher taxes

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

60%

38

2

F. Starting a major research effort costing up to $30 billion per year to develop new sources of energy

Should be
doing

Should not
be doing

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

65

33

2

How much of a factor should the environmental record of a company be when you are deciding whether or not to buy one of its products? Should it be -- the most important factor, important, but not the most important factor, or should you not take this into account when deciding to buy products?

Most
important
factor

Important
factor

Should not
take into
account

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

13%

70

15

2

All in all, how good a job would you say you, personally, are doing in protecting the environment?

Excellent

Good

Only fair

Poor

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

7%

52

34

5

1

How much progress do you think has been made in dealing with environmental problems over the past twenty years? Would you say there has been a great deal of progress, only some progress, or hardly any progress at all?

Great deal
of progress

Only some
progress

Hardly any
progress at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2007 Mar 11-14

18

60

21

1

2002 Mar 4-7

27

60

12

1

2001 Mar 5-7 ^

25

65

8

2

2000 Apr 3-9 †

26

64

9

1

1999 Apr 13-14 †

36

55

8

1

1995 Apr 17-19 †

24

61

14

1

1991 Apr 11-14 †

18

61

19

1

1990 Apr 5-8 †

14

63

21

2

^ Asked of a half sample

† WORDING: How much progress have we made in dealing with environmental problems in the past few decades -- say since 1970? Would you say we have made a great deal of progress, only some progress, or hardly any progress at all?

How much optimism do you have that we will have our environmental problems well under control in twenty years -- that is, by about 2027 -- a great deal of optimism, only some optimism, or hardly any optimism at all?

Great deal
of optimism

Only some
optimism

Hardly any
optimism

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2007 Mar 11-14

15

57

26

1

2002 Mar 4-7 ^

17

61

21

1

2001 Mar 5-7

15

65

19

1

2000 Apr 3-9

18

60

21

1

1999 Apr 13-14

18

62

18

2

1991 Apr 11-14

19

60

18

2

1990 Apr 5-8

18

58

22

2

^ Asked of a half sample

Thinking about the increase in strength of hurricanes in recent years, do you think global warming has been a major cause, a minor cause, or not a cause of the increase in strength of hurricanes?

Major cause

Minor cause

Not a cause

No opinion

2006 Mar 13-16

35%

33

26

6

As I read the following list, please tell me how much you trust each of the following to protect the quality of our nation's environment -- a great deal, a moderate amount, a slight amount, or none at all? [RANDOM ORDER]

A. Federal environmental agencies like the EPA

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

22%

42

25

7

4

2000 Apr 3-9

27%

45

18

9

1

B. Large corporations

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

7%

17

31

44

1

2000 Apr 3-9

9%

28

33

29

1

C. State environmental agencies

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

16%

48

28

6

2

2000 Apr 3-9

21%

51

19

8

1

D. National environmental organizations

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

25%

42

22

8

3

2000 Apr 3-9

34%

44

17

7

1

E. The U.S. Congress

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

11%

34

39

14

2

2000 Apr 3-9

10%

38

31

20

1

F. Local environmental organizations

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

26%

43

22

6

3

2000 Apr 3-9

28%

46

19

6

1

G. Small businesses

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

15%

30

35

18

2

2000 Apr 3-9

13%

35

34

18

*

* Less than 0.5%

H. Local government agencies

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

11%

40

37

10

2

2000 Apr 3-9

12%

47

28

13

*

* Less than 0.5%

I. The Republican Party

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

9%

32

30

26

3

2000 Apr 3-9

10%

33

32

24

1

J. The Democratic Party

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Slight
amount

None
at all

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

15%

37

29

16

3

2000 Apr 3-9

15%

41

26

17

1

If the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge WERE NOT opened up for oil exploration, would you be -- very upset, somewhat upset, not too upset, or not at all upset?

If the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge WERE opened up for oil exploration, would you be -- very upset, somewhat upset, not too upset, or not at all upset?

[COMBINED RESPONSES]

Should,
upset if
does not

Should,
not upset
if does not

Should not,
not upset
if does

Should not,
upset
if does

No
opinion

2005 Mar 7-10

19%

23

8

45

5

2002 Mar 18-20

14%

21

13

43

9


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/environment.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
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