Americans lose interest in green issues

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Americans are getting more and more apathetic about environmental matters, according to a Gallup poll.

While over in Europe every blade of grass gets a state-funded funeral, in the US there's not a lot about environmental destruction that bothers people, as long as they've got nice clean water.

Half of the respondents worried 'a great deal' about pollution of drinking water, and the next two biggest concerns were pollution of rivers and the availability of water for household needs.

But only a third were equally concerned about the loss of tropical rain forests, and just 31 percent were worried about the extinction of plant and animal species. Only 28 percent worried a great deal about global warming.

And people's interest is declining steadily, found Gallup. On every measure, fewer people worried than during the year before. And for six of the eight topics, concern was lower than at any time in the last twenty years.

"That could be due in part to Americans' belief that environmental conditions in the US are improving," says Gallup. "It also may reflect greater public concern about economic issues, which is usually associated with a drop in environmental concern."