What's the Latest Development?
Released today to coincide with Earth Day, a new Huffington Post/YouGov poll finds that far fewer Americans are concerned about the environment in 2013 than they were 43 years ago when Earth Day was first established. Thirty-nine percent of Americans surveyed labeled caring for the environment as "very important," compared to 63 percent surveyed in 1971, a year after the first Earth Day was celebrated. Also, those in 2013 who said environmentalism was "not too important" totaled 16 percent, an 8-point jump from 1971. The results coincide with a Harris Interactive poll that described an overall decrease in American eco-awareness between 2009 and 2012.
What's the Big Idea?
Writer Husna Haq says it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that Americans have other things on their minds, including terrorism and, more importantly, a failing economy. That economy is the main reason why "among developed nations, the US is dead last in energy productivity, the level of economic output achieved from energy consumed." However, a revived Earth Day and corresponding national eco-awareness could begin if, as Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and National Grid president Tom King wrote in an opinion piece for Politico, "we...get smarter about our governing policies, and create cross-industry standards that support the environment, promote clean energy, and drive economic growth."
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