Americans' attitudes about environmental issues aren't simply polarized into pro- and anti-environment, but rather are spread across a diverse spectrum. A new study from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies finds that attitudes about environmental issues are influenced by a combination of experience, interaction with natural environments, and religious and political views about the responsibilities of humankind as a whole, and government in particular.
The study identifies the following nine segments of the American population who each have a distinct set of environmental attitudes:
"The broad labels of 'pro-environment' and 'anti-environment' don't really apply to the vast majority of Americans," said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. "This study offers new insight into the American public's perception of their environment, and how that perception is affected by a host of other factors including socioeconomic, political, and religious beliefs."