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Another Poll Shows Environment to Be a Record-Low Priority

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the economic crisis had led record-high numbers of Americans to dismiss the threat of global warming.

Now Gallup has a new poll that confirms this trend and, for the first time in 25 years of polling, shows that most Americans would prioritize the economy at the expense of the environment.

Gallup-priorities-300x192.jpg
Gallup-priorities-300x192.jpg

Gallup (click to enlarge)

Since 1985, Gallup has asked people annually if they would prioritize the environment “even at the risk of curbing economic growth” or the economy “even if the environment suffers to some extent.” Last year, people selected the environment by a margin of 49 percent to 42 percent. This year, the numbers essentially flipped: 51 percent chose the economy and 42 percent chose the environment.

Never before had the majority of respondents prioritized the economy, though the numbers were close at the end of George W. Bush’s first term as president.

While last week’s poll showed a significant decrease in environmental concerns, the shift in this poll is far more dramatic, with a clear reversal of previous trends.

Not surprisingly, responses differed sharply with party identification. Noteworthy are the data among independents, 50 percent of whom choose the economy, to just 42 percent for the environment:

Party-ids-300x169.jpg
Party-ids-300x169.jpg

Gallup (click to enlarge)

In another clear reversal of previous trends, record numbers of people are following our Twitter feed. You can join them here.

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