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Community & Culture

Americans More Self-Centered than Ever

More and more Americans are turning their focus inward and ignoring the plight of that which does not directly concern them, as seen in the most recent statistics released by Gallup from their polling in early March of this year.

Respondents were listed nine separate environmental problems and asked to respond whether they worry a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all.

Those worries at the top of the results included the contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs as well as drinking water, air pollution and the maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs.

At the bottom of the list were those things which did not directly impact the lives of those questioned: loss of tropical rain forests, urban sprawl and loss of open spaces, and the big one at the very bottom of the list, global warming.

To contrast that, at least three in four Americans viewed the contamination of soil and water by toxic waste a big worry, while barely half, at 51%, viewed global warming as a worry.

And while the current list of concerns is very much focused on the individual, rather than the global, or at least communal whole, Americans are generally less worried than they were ten years ago, with percentage drops in all nine categories of worry since the same question was asked in 2001.

So well done America. Focus on yourself, and I’m sure everything will work out fine.

Source: Gallup
Image Source: Pimlico Badge




One comment
  1. Michael R.

    Global awareness and concern (presumed to be implicit in the concern, or lack of, for “global warming”) ebbs and flows. March 2001 was still well before 9/11 and the economic downturn then was much less severe.

    Now, post financial collapse, we are deep into a jobless recovery with many out of work, or with reduced work/income, furloughs, many others forced to move, rent or apply for federal assistance.

    AS for those who might still be able to respond to polls…

    People are more concerned about things close to home because that is where they are spending most of their time (and watching lots of TV).

    I believe also that this poll was taken before the Tonoku quake. Take another poll and ask aobut concern for nuclear energy, disaster preparedness and human loss and suffering…and I suspect you will see different results.

    we may need to reframe the questions.

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