Low-Information Environmentalists

I spent more time today going over some of the Gallup Poll findings on the environment, and was startled by the sharp break in opinion seen in this first chart.  Could this mean that people are starting to grasp the facts of environmental progress?  Maybe, but that sharp break makes me suspicious.

Better 1

It’s quite unusual to see a sharp shift like this in just a single year—about any issue.  But especially this one, where it has long been fashionable to be pessimistic about environmental conditions in the United States, even though by most measures environmental quality in the U.S. has been dramatically improving for the last 50 years.

So . . . what happened in 2008 – 2009 to generate this shift?  This next chart shows that it really is a bad as you think:

Better 2

As you see here, all of the movement in a more optimistic direction came from Democrats and Independents.  Only a single fact changed: Barack Obama, the Lightworker, was elected president, and declared that the sea levels had stopped rising.  We’re saved!

Prediction: if the GOP wins the White House in 2016, the 2017 Gallup Poll will show a dramatic reversal in this trend.  It will be even larger if the nation has the good sense to elect another oil man, as it did in 2000.  (Heh.)

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