I’ve long believed that protecting the environment is a value held by most people regardless of political leanings, particularly in Minnesota. That hasn’t stopped the stereotypes though. But a few things this week seems to mock those stereotypes.
For example, the Star Tribune, long blasted by the right-wing as being too liberal, praised Governor Pawlenty’s greening (and neglected to credit Senator Scott Dibble’s long track record of working on energy efficiency). And going the other way, a self-identified Republican from Maple Grove is quoted in the New York Times from a follow up interview of a poll on global warming. He blasts Republicans for slashing funds for the environment, favoring business, and being “beholden to Big Oil.” What a world.
Actually, I recommend you look over the Times’s article, as there are some interesting poll findings. Americans are apparently more willing to pay additional money for cleaner electricity, but not more for gas (unless it reduces our use of foreign oil). Eighty percent of us think the condition of the world’s environment is “fair or poor,” but most of us are happy with it in the area we live in (which is one reason, I believe, that protecting the environment is not a bigger issue with politicians). However, 57 percent expect the environment to be worse for the next generation.
Many more interesting stats I’ll leave for you to discover, but I will point out my favorite. Of the 75 percent thinking that our weather is getting weirder, almost half blame global warming while 4 percent attribute it to the end of the earth being near and another 2 percent to space junk. Where’s my umbrella?