Gallup: Americans favor economy over environment

Since 1984, research firm Gallup has been asking Americans whether they think priority should be given to the economy over environmental protection or vice versa. For the first time this year, the trend crossed over in favor of the economy, as you can see on this graph:

Writing for Gallup, Frank Newport comments:

The reason for this shift in priorities almost certainly has to do with the current economic recession. The findings reflect many recent Gallup results showing how primary the economy is in Americans’ minds, and help document the fact of life that in times of economic stress, the public can be persuaded to put off or ignore environmental concerns if need be in order to rejuvenate the economy.

From the Bubbleconomics perspective, this trend is not surprising. People tend to act in the short-term to preserve their personal bubbles, which depend in turn on maintaining the Big Bubble. This tendency is understandable from the human perspective, but in the long term might be leading the world into an environmental catastrophe.

AB — 20 March 2009

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