Why You're Not Seeing Many Earth Day Parades This Year
In the 43 years since Earth Day was first observed, the number of Americans who view conscious environmentalism as "very important" has dropped by almost a quarter, according to a new poll.
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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