A national public opinion survey conducted by the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University and the Associated Press has concluded that a majority of Americans continue to remain pessimistic about the environment and desire prompt action taken to improve its health.
Fifty-two percent of Americans expect the world's natural environment to be in worse shape in 10 years than it is now, compared to 55 percent in 2006-a statistically insignificant difference. An additional eight percent said the environment is in ''poor'' or ''very poor'' shape and will not improve-about the same as the five percent reported in 2006, the survey found.
The 2007 report card was based on a telephone survey of a representative national sample of 1,001 American adults, who were interviewed between September 21 and 23.
Pessimism about the health of the natural environment is strongly related to beliefs about global warming.
The 2007 report card revealed that 84 percent of Americans (compared to 86 percent in 2006) want President Bush, Congress, American businesses and/or the American public to do ''a great deal'' or ''a lot'' to help the environment during the next year.
This call to action remains bipartisan, with 92 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans calling for environmental improvements, compared to 94 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans last year.
As in 2006, the proportion of people wanting ''a great deal'' or ''a lot'' of effort did not vary according to age and race.
Only seven percent of Americans surveyed say that Bush did ''a great deal'' or ''a lot'' to help the environment during the past year (eight percent in 2006), and 67 percent want him to do ''a great deal'' or ''a lot'' in the coming year-slightly but significantly lower than last year's figure of 73 percent. This decrease was greatest among Republicans-from 58 percent in 2006 to 47 percent in 2007.
According to the survey, 70 percent of Americans also believe that Congress should do ''a great deal'' or ''a lot'' to help the environment during the next year-slightly but significantly less than the 75 percent figure in 2006. This decrease was most marked among Republicans-from 63 percent in 2006 to 49 percent in 2007.
Approval of the President's handling of the environmental issues remained as low as one year ago-20 percent in 2007 compared to 21 percent in 2006.
The 2007 survey was conducted by Krosnick and Trevor Tompson of the Associated Press, with support from the Woods Institute.