One of the things I dislike the most about the green movement is the fact that so many people discount it. Case in point: This week a new study came out from The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Pew surveyed more than 1,500 Americans via telephone, asking them about their biggest concerns for the coming year. The results of the survey, Public’s Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism were upsetting if you’re a greenie.
The top concerns, of course, were the economy and jobs, taking the number one and two slots with 83 and 81 percent rating these issues as “top priorities.” The third concern — cited by 80 percent of respondents — was terrorism. Really? Terrorism? You, out in Kansas? That’s what you care about? And you, too, down in Mississippi? When you look at how many people terrorism has actually affected here in the States, it sort of boggles the mind, no? Shows how well our media does at scaring people with its coverage of airport shenanigans. People trying to open plane doors in midflight. (And yes, I do consider the underwear bomber a truly terrible and scary event, but I don’t think it’s as significant to my daily life as deficit reduction or health care, which rank seventh and eighth, respectively.)
There were 21 categories. Which do you think ranked last? That’s right: global warming. The environment was sixth from the end. It would be depressing except for the fact that slowly, other entities are stepping up and confirming that global warming is something to be wary of. That it is real, and that we should be doing something about it. The best example is one that even the skeptics have to take pause at. Back in 2007 the Environmental Defense Fund along with investors asked The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ask public companies to disclose their “climate-related ‘material’ effects on business operations.” So whether they would be affected by clean air legislation, for example. The SEC actually did it. This week, it went one step further asking companies to disclose any serious risks that global warming might have on their business and revenues. (There’s even a video linked to the SEC’s press release.) How freakin’ awesome is that? The New York Times does a wonderful job of explaining the disclosure regulation. I won’t belabor the issue, but when the SEC comes out and says something like this, it can’t be long before more people start believing that it’s real and something that can and will actually affect our lives.
Another big win for the environment and health: Wisconsin this week voted to ban Bisphenol-A (BPA) from children’s bottles and cups. It’s the third state to do so, and there are about ten other states considering similar legislation. So while the FDA flounders about, at least the states are doing something that matters.
Next week I’m going to get back to my original Favorite Things Friday, pointing out some of the best sites and stuff found on the Web. In the meantime, have a great weekend!
What do you think about global warming? Is it real? Are you frustrated by the U.S. government’s inability to legislate change? Do you live in another country? How well is your government protecting its citizens. I would really love to hear a non-U.S.-based opinion!