In conjunction with Earth Day, a number of major survey results have been released on global warming, energy, and the environment. The latest is a survey from Gallup that chronicles American views on energy, and the trade-offs between the environment and the economy. Of note, is the now striking gap of more than twenty points between giving preference as a priority to the environment over energy supplies. Also, below, is charted American views on energy as a problem. Note the startling spike in urgency felt by the public in 2001.
As I detailed in a Science and Mediacolumn last year, the 2001 energy crisis is noteworthy since it is the only time since the 1979 Three Mile Island accident that public support for nuclear energy crested above 50%, as measured in non-industry sponsored surveys.