Too Often Is Heard a Discouraging Word
Americans are discouraged by environmental problems and are losing interest in them, according to a new review of public opinion surveys. In 1989, 51 percent of Americans worried a great deal about the ozone hole and 35 percent about global warming. In 1997, those figures fell to 40 percent and 24 percent. Water pollution is the biggest environmental worry for Americans, but concern in this area still fell from 72 percent in 1989 to 61 percent in 1997. According to John Immerwahr of Villanova University, who led the review, the falling numbers reflect not apathy but frustration and a belief that solutions to problems won’t be found. The review was conducted for the American Geophysical Union by the nonprofit group Public Agenda.