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Re: [greenyes] Yale Poll Says Americans Concerned about the Environment

On Thu, 27 May 2004 08:26:40 -0500, you wrote:

>In a report released earlier this week by Yale, a national poll found that
>Americans are concerned about the environment and that their concern will
>influence their voting decisions this fall.
>According to the news release:
> "A survey of 1,000 adults nationwide shows Americans are seriously
>concerned about the country's environmental health and want more political
>action on the environment, particularly at the national and international
>levels. A wide majority of voters say a candidate's stance on the
>environment will be a factor in how they decide to vote in November. Voters
>- especially younger voters - want the candidates for president to talk more
>about their plans for the environment."
>The full news release and a link to the report can be found at

Polls being what they are, don't make too much out of this. In
Summer of 993 Newsweek ran two polls: In the first they asked "What
is the most important issue facing America today?" Not surprisingly,
considering the big issue in all the media at the time, people
answered, "Health Insurance" by a large majority.

Next the pollsters gave the same people a list of issues and asked
them to rate the importance of these in their personal lives. The top
two were "Education" and "Crime Prevention"; I forget the order. Then
they listed things like safe drinking water, national defense, and the
like. The 14th most important issue, according to the respondents,
was "Health Insurance".

Same survey group, both polls. In the first Health Insurance was #1,
in the 2nd it didn't even make the top 10. Y? When you turned on the
tube that year everyone was talking about the "Health Care Crisis".
The debate was raging back and forth between Republicans and Democrats
and it was often a lead story on the evening news. When you ask,
"What's the big issue of the day, they're going to answer, "Health
Insurance". But most people either have health insurance or are in
good health and don't (think they) need health insurance. The biggest
issues to most people actually were getting their kids a good
education and not getting mugged or burglarized, in no particular
order. Health insurance was pretty much a non-issue. When it came
time to "take names and kick butt" of politicians for not enacting
something they rolled over and went back to sleep instead.

So I wouldn't put too much truck in this Yale poll. The airwaves are
full of talk about the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow" and how Global
warming is going to destroy the planet. People driving their SUVs and
listening to the news or reading the newspaper in their
air-conditioned (and improperly insulated) houses are saying, "Gee,
that's terrible: Somebody oughta do something."

It's an opportunity to educate people. But don't expect miracles.
I'm on a journey in search of myself.
If I get back first, let me know that I'm
looking for myself and don't let me leave.

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