Sealed Silicon Nanowire Arrays as Li-ion Anode Material Show Structural Stability Under Cycling
NOAA: US Averaged Warmer-than-Normal, Drier-than-Normal in March

Rasmussen Poll Finds 51% Say Major Lifestyle Changes Needed to Help Environment; 65% Say Americans Not Willing To the Changes

Most Americans see a need for major lifestyle cutbacks to help the environment, but even more don’t think that’s likely to happen, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Among the findings:

  • 51% of adults believe major lifestyle cutbacks are necessary in order to help the environment. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree, with 16% more undecided. The number of adults who see this need is up from 49% in July and 42% in May of last year.

  • 79% believe most Americans are more environmentally aware today than they were 25 years ago; 13% disagree.

  • 65% say American won’t make the major cutbacks required. 17% say Americans would, and 18% are not sure.

  • 40% say individuals are the ones chiefly responsible for making sure society is environmentally aware. One-in-four adults (26%) says the government bears this responsibility, while only 14% name the media. Another nine percent (9%) say special interest groups are most responsible for keeping the public informed on environmental issues.

  • While women feel strongly that Americans need to make lifestyle cutbacks to help the environment, men are evenly divided on the question.

  • Republicans and those not affiliated with either major political party are more likely than Democrats to say Americans are not willing to make major cutbacks.


Sean Prophet

These questions are missing a very important dimension. Short term vs. long term. Sacrifices may be needed in the short term, but sustainable living provides a higher quality of life in the long term.

As long as people subscribe to this false dichotomy, and feel they have to give up the modern lifestyle to "save the planet," there will be little popular support for the necessary policy changes.



I'm with you. Standard of living does not have to go down with improved environment. On the contrary it could go up. For example, losing excess weight by eating less junk food would be very possitive for over 50% of us. Better health, less chronic deseases, less health care cost, eating 50% less food, being able to fit in smaller vehicle, chairs and sofas , no need to pay for double seats in aircraft or buses or trains, much smaller clothes with less materials, smaller washers and dryers using less energy, less wear on carpets and floors and furniture, etc. In other words, 100 million over-weight often sick people use as much goods and services as 200+ million normal size people. It is equivalent to a 50% reduction in efficiency with nothing positive to gain.


Unfortunately land use planning over the last 50 or so years that have promoted single-use out of town developments - suburban sprawl in other words - make lifestyle changes difficult so this means people are 'locked-in' to lifestyles that prevent day to day tasks that encourage walking and so on. A good example is the irony of people driving 5 miles to the gym.


It's simple to make buildings and vehicles than use 3/4 less energy that the 'normal' alternatives. Does the guy who lives in a passivhaus and drives a plug in to work have a lower quality of life than someone who drives an SUV to and from a Mcmansion.

A true conservative should support living within your means (personally and nationally) saving some resources for future generations (they are already going to have to pay off the boomers debts) and improving national security through greater energy dependence.

Both sides of politics seem concentrate more on scoring points off each other than finding common ground.


Interesting to see how these stats change when/if EVs with their range extenders and society's main energy sources predominantly change-over, in say 20 -30 yrs, especially when we see (likely) that the size of vehicles does not change (perhaps for a slight dip in 2008 -2015), the miles travels stays similar or increases, and the proportion of space set aside to suburban living does not change - with the knowledge that some city downtowns and uptowns somewhat increase density. My point: technology improvement more than 'Lifestyle Change' (whatever that loaded, non-sensical term really means in dollars and cents) will be the savior, if the World can be saved. If it makes people feel better to think that by banding together in some sense of community fighting for a noble and just cause to save the planet by having 'earth hours' -or- cycling to work so that it takes you 45 mins instead of 15 and gets you wet and dirty and bitter -or- putting in fluorescents just so you don't feel guilty about leaving lights on all night, even though you hate the colour, buzz, and price -or- planting local fauna that looks hideous, devalues property, and creates animosity in the neighborhood --- then by all means consume that activist dogma. I prefer to promote change by getting education in the appropriate sciences; learning the scientific peer-reviewed truth away from mainstream media; acting with provable, real-time facts behind me; act with long-term goals that are actually psychologically and physiologically reasonable -and thus sustainable; and do nothing whose sole purpose is to inspire others to join a cause, commit civil disobedience, nor promote behavior that you can't comfortably keep up for the next 30 years. The world is littered with the emotionally poor and psychologically broken that thought they were fighting for the right cause by dissing everything that has been created in today's modern society - as if none of it had any value. The world is changed by those unassuming individuals who live happy content lives that somewhat contribute to their community and their own reasonably healthy lifestyles while making reasonable technological upgrades that likely have some net benefit for all. You want to make a difference - live the non-obtrusive/non-sensational life that makes other notice and respect you -- for they will try to legitimately learn a real 'sustainable' lesson from you.

((that all being said, i doubt that the auto industry would have pushed electrical vehicle technology and the energy sector pushed renewables (incl. nuclear) as fast as needs to happen)) - meh. sometimes the 'path' needs to be nudged by outside sources.

Environmental Action by Passionate individuals -- truly the opiate (and most likely placebo) of the masses. Sad and pathetic creatures.


"improving national security through greater energy dependence. "

Huh?? National security improves via distributed energy eliminating new grids and central power stations. AND by not sending $475B to buy foreign oil annually. AND by not having to send troops to support foreign governments who control foreign oil.


I think Jer is closer to reality.

I realize that all the benefits that might accrue by a person losing weight may be just a metaphor, but a simplistic belief that the simple life will save us is all too common and just that, simple.

It’s like believing that since you can pick up the 50 pound calf today, all you have to do is heft it every day until it is a 2 ton bull.


The reason 65% say Americans won’t make the major cutbacks required is because they are realists.

Believing that the necessary sacrifices will pay off in kind, in the near future is just wishful thinking.

If you think people packed into cities is considered a reward, not a sacrifice, by most families, you have a tenuous grasp on reality.

Auto makers are trying to make cars people will buy, not the cars of the future, not the cars that cost more to own but reduce imports and not the cars we would like to see on the roads.

Today, Jan 1, 2010 thru March 2010, the Impala (made by Obama motors) is up 39% from last year, and outsold the Prius , 1.5% to 1.1%, in the US.

Light trucks were (are) 48.4% while cars are 51.6% of the US market.
After all this?
That's hideous.

Rising oil (gas) prices and cheaper batteries will shift the market, but don’t hold your breath.

But wait, don't think the administration can do it, unless you think you would like living in Cuba.


I think Jer is nuts.  Can you even buy a fluorescent lamp that buzzes today? You plant "flora", not "fauna"; if he's trying to plant squirrels, skunks, deer and the like, no wonder he's getting his neighbors upset!


Good spot sulleny, I meant independence!

Good spot too EP. Although your just susbscibing to the mainstream science dogma ;)


Toppa brings a dose of healthy skepticism to the mix in these discussions. He argues rightly that people will make choices in their own interest. Problem with the greens is an inability to grok this. And to use it to meet their purported goals.

Politicians know well that voters vote with their pocket books. So, if you want people to quit using fossil fuel - don't try to frighten them with tales of drowning polar bears and melting ice caps. Tell 'em how to save the $475B annual payments to foreign oil companies, and spread that money around home.

Watch 'em easily grok the idea of helping their interests by achieving energy independence. Oh yeah, it'll cut down on CO2 too.


Let us eat until we all reach a rounded shape 6 x 6 (feet) to justify huge vehicles to move a single couple around, let alone round children.

Sitting side by side may no longer be possible unless we widen the vehicles and roads. All public transport vehicles (including passenger aircraft) will have to be modified soon to accomodate the 60% (oversized) that can't fit into 22 to 24 inch standard seats.

Unchecked obesity (and all its secondary effects) will eventually have more adverse consequences on our standards of living than we realize.

Our addiction to junk foods runs deeper than our addiction to oil.


Harvey I agree with your direction. It's hard to say which of the two addictions actually cost people more. Certainly eating a poor diet of fast foods loaded with sugars and fats does contribute to diabetes in all ages. And eating a meat heavy diet does not help either.

Eating healthy balanced diets of whole grains, fruits and veggies is the best counter to packaged, franchised food sources. This will lower costs of health care too. This is NOT Gaia-related fairy dust. It's actually the application of a rare commodity - common sense.

The comments to this entry are closed.