Public Opinion on Environmental Policy in the United States

David P. Daniels, Jon A. Krosnick, Michael P. Tichy and Trevor Tompson

in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199744671
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
 Public Opinion on Environmental Policy in the United States

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This article considers survey questions that have been used to measure environmental attitudes and beliefs, along with evidence addressing the question of whether these items are best thought of as unidimensional or multidimensional. It begins by outlining the main theme: employing different measures of environmental attitudes and beliefs leads to strikingly different conclusions about Americans' commitment to environmental protection. It assesses evidence on the measures' trends over time and the measures' correlations with social and political variables. Taken together, this evidence leads to the conclusion that each measure has integrity and would be best examined on its own, rather than combined with other measures into indexes seeking to describe higher-order constructs. The article then considers evidence on how such environmental attitudes and beliefs may have impacted environmental policy via candidate choice, dynamic representation, and ballot propositions. Finally, it highlights directions for future research on public opinion and environmental policy.

Keywords: environmental research; environmental attitudes; environmental protection; public opinion surveys

Article.  10337 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

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