Monday, September 14, 2015

Study shows environmentalism survived Great Recession

Environmental priorities in Wisconsin under Walker's 'chamber-of-commerce' rule have taken a beating, but an interesting study says that environmentalism did survive the Great Recession - - so food for thought:

Political interest in environmental issues persisted despite economic recession
"To our surprise, we found that interest in environmental issues is well and alive," said Robert Rohrschneider, the Sir Robert Worcester Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas. "People are just as concerned with ecological issues as they were in 2000 and even in 1993 when the movement was by all accounts quite vibrant." 
Rohrschneider co-edited a special issue of the Environmental Politics journal titled "Environmental concerns during a time of duress," in which researchers examined public opinion polling surrounding environmental issues. 
 "There's an infrastructure in place that actually sustains interest in these issues beyond ephemeral public attitudes, and that seems to help the environmental movement now," Rohrschneider said. 
Another factor that seems to have kept environmental issues on the front burner has been news stories and exposure to environmental problems, such as drought, climate change and melting glaciers, for example.
Russell Dalton, professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, is Rohrschneider's co-editor on the special issue, which is geared toward social scientists, policymakers and environmental advocates. 

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