Americans remain pessimistic about the state of the environment and want prompt action taken to improve its health, according to the second annual ''America's Report Card on the Environment''-a national public opinion survey conducted by the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University in collaboration with the Associated Press.
''The public's overall pessimism and general desire for action has remained constant during the past year,'' said Woods Institute senior fellow Jon A. Krosnick, the Frederic O. Glover Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford, who designed the 2006 and 2007 surveys. ''However, Americans have significantly more negative views of business and of President Bush's handling of the environment than they did a year ago.''
The 2007 report card was based on a telephone survey of a representative national sample of 1,001 American adults, who were interviewed from Sept. 21 to Sept. 23.
Pessimism and global warming
The survey found that 52 percent of Americans expect the world's natural environment to be in worse shape in 10 years than it is now, compared to 55 percent in 2006-a statistically insignificant difference, Krosnick said. An additional 8 percent said the environment is in ''poor'' or ''very poor'' shape and will not improve-about the same as the 5 percent reported in 2006.
''We refer to this group of 60 percent [52 percent plus 8 percent] of Americans as 'pessimists,''' he said. ''These pessimists closely resemble the entire U.S. population in terms of gender, race, level of education and whether they live in urban, suburban or rural settings, although white people are now significantly less likely to be pessimists than people of other races.''
As in 2006, partisan loyalties are related to pessimism: 72 percent of Democrats are pessimists versus 36 percent of Republicans. In 2006, those numbers were 67 percent of Democrats and 48 percent o
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