Despite all evidence to the contrary, it turns out that Americans do like nature. At least, Take Part reports, they like spending money on getting away from whatever nature they’re normally near and hanging out for a while in some other part of nature. An outdoors industry association says [PDF] that we spend about $646 billion every year on apparel, equipment, accessories, food, transportation, lodging, and so forth in order to get out there and breathe some relatively fresh air. That’s more than individuals spend on gas every year.
Given the source, you can take that comparison with a grain of salt. But it does seem that people like nature, at least the kind they can pay to do activities in. Sure, these outdoor recreators might be doing some not-so-green activities, like driving their gas-powered ATVs around. But we’re assuming that looking at the trees or desert or whatever is part of the pleasure. So maybe we should think about keeping the great outdoors great and, uh, outdoors, instead of puny, shriveled up, and probably necessarily kept under a glass dome.