On 40th Earth Day, Image of Green Movement Still Positive
Gallup's latest environmental poll reveals some interesting trends as of the 40th Earth Day Celebration. According to the survey, only 19% of Americans are active participants in the environmental movement. 42% are sympathetic. There has been a decline since 2000 of the % who believe that the movement has done more good than harm, 62% today vs 75% in 2000.
Posted April 22, 2010
Nineteen percent of Americans say they are an active participant in the
environmental movement, while 42% are sympathetic, but not active. The
combined active/sympathetic group has declined some since Gallup first
measured this in 2000, but, at 61%, it remains high. Currently, 28% are
neutral and 10% are unsympathetic.
Current U.S. attitudes about the impact of the environmental movement
show a similar level of support for it. Sixty-two percent of Americans
— down from 75% in 2000 — say the movement has definitely or probably
done more good than harm. Just over a third of the public tends to
believe the opposite — that movement has done more harm than good.
On both questions, Americans who are most supportive of the
environmental movement or its impact are the young (aged 18 to 34),
those with college degrees, Democrats and self-described liberals. While
men and women are equally likely to believe the movement has done more
good than harm, women are more likely to personally associate themselves
In recent years Gallup's annual environment survey has documented
increased political polarization over environmental issues, particularly
regarding global warming. In line with Republicans'
and conservatives' increasing skepticism about the seriousness of
global warming, these groups are now significantly less likely than
Democrats, moderates, and liberals to be sympathetic toward the movement
or to say it is doing more good than harm.
Gallup Scholar for the Environment, Dr. Riley Dunlap, provides an
in-depth review of these trends on Gallup.com in a special
guest commentary on this 40th observation of Earth Day.