What is the world's greatest challenge in the coming decade?
Andrew Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center. He also acts as director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (formerly the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press) and the Pew Global Attitudes Project. He was President of The Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989. In 1989, he founded Princeton Survey Research Associates, an attitude and opinion research firm specializing in media, politics, and public policy studies. He served as founding director of surveys for the Times Mirror Center 1990-1992, and was named its Director in 1993. He is a past president of American Association of Public Opinion Research and the National Council on Public Polls. In 2005, he received the American Association of Public Opinion Research's highest honor, the Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. He is a frequent press commentator on the meaning and interpretation of opinion poll results and the co-author of four books, including, mostly recently, America Against the World (Times Books). He received an A.B. degree from Seton Hall University in 1964 and studied graduate sociology at Rutgers, the State University, from 1964 to 1966.
Question: What are the world's biggest challenges?
Andrew Kohut: I don’t know if we can only rely on the polls or the public opinion to determine these challenges; but certainly what comes up in these polls recently is how much more . . . how much greater concern there is for the environment. The environment is . . . We ask people, “What are your dominant concerns?” The environment now rivals, if not exceeds, concern about weapons of mass destruction, and concern about hunger and . . . and poverty in some places. I mean there’s a very crowded global agenda; but what’s bumping up these days is all around the world, people are being concerned that the environment is being despoiled.
Recorded on: 9/14/07
Kohut's polls show that our concern for the environment is finally catching up with worries over weapons, hunger and poverty.
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