The Environment after 100 Days

People Seemed to be Feeling Positive on Earth Day

nyc-green-hog-lgA slight departure from stimulus talk today to discuss the President’s first 100 days in office, with regard to sustainability and the environment. Oh wait, actually the stimulus IS the first 100 days in office. And the money that went towards environmental initiatives from the stimulus (and the budget) will change the face of American progress for a long time. 

As reported in Grist:

“… the economic stimulus package, which contained $62.2 billion in direct spending on green initiatives and $20 billion in green tax incentives, including money for renewable energy, efficiency, improved energy transmission, smart-grid technology, low-income housing retrofits, rail transit, and green jobs training. The next big green moves came in the administration’s first budget, which included an additional $15 billion in investments in energy and efficiency projects, and increased funding for rail – on top of the $8 billion for Amtrak in the stimulus – in order to create a “world-class passenger rail system” across the country.”

And how are we as a nation feeling about this? Recently, I saw that a particular environmental skeptic used a Gallup poll that claims that Americans are less concerned with the environment over 19 other things as evidence of confusion over global warming. I was shocked that such a connection would be made by an established scholar. Just because people are less concerned about it, doesn’t necessarily imply confusion. Confusion about the severity of the problem, yes.

So I wonder what Professor Lomborn makes of the latest Gallup poll released on Earth Day that has Americans feeling good about Obama’s ability to protect the environment, which yes, includes cutting emissions. Eight in ten Americans believe that he will do a good job of protecting the environment. The poll has some interesting highlights. Approval ratings for Bush around this time during his first term were about the same as they are for Obama. But confidence in the ability of each leader to protect the environment varied drastically. As Gallup’s website states, “This suggests that the difference in public perceptions of the two presidents’ potential to protect the environment is not just an artifact of their overall standing in the public’s mind, but rather represent independent (and divergent) evaluations on the environmental issue.” Also, 65 percent of registered Republicans have faith in the president’s ability to protect the environment, as do 95 percent of Democrats and 75% of Independents.

So, I guess we have had a pretty good hundred days after all…


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