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Environmental Politics in the American West
 

Environmental Politics in the American West

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This EcoWest presentation examines public opinion on environmental issues and funding for conservation. Learn more at EcoWest.org

This EcoWest presentation examines public opinion on environmental issues and funding for conservation. Learn more at EcoWest.org

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  • Narrative: In this deck of slides, we focus on two major topics: public opinion on environmental issues and funding for conservation.
  • Narrative: First, let’s take a look at some polling on environmental issues, both nationally and in the West. Most of the slides that follow are based on longstanding surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization. Some other polls examine the views of Westerners in particular, but they haven’t been around for very long so they don’t say much about long-term trends.
  • Narrative: Here are some of the key points on public opinion.
  • Narrative: Many of the questions that Gallup asks concern the overall state of the environment.
  • Narrative: Before we delve intopublic opinion on environmental issues, it’s important to remember that the environment usually ranks very low on the public’s agenda. When Gallup asks Americans “what’s the most important problem facing the nation,” only one or two percent of people will say it’s the environment or energy issues. This graphic shows the public’s ranking for June 2012.Source: GallupURL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/155162/Satisfaction-Slips-Slightly.aspxNotes: Responses with less than 1 percent excluded
  • Narrative: Although few Americans rate the environment as the nation’s top priority, a majority has consistently said that they worry about the quality of the environment. Over the past decade, more than a third of Americans surveyed said they were worried a “great deal,” and about a third have said they worry a “fair amount.” This pattern hasn’t changed much over the past decade.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes: No data for 2009
  • Narrative: Nationally, fewer than 10 percent of Americans believe that the overall quality of the environment is excellent. A higher percentage rate the quality as good, but combining these two categories still accounts for less than 50 percent. Public opinion on this question has also remained relatively stable since 2001.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: Obama’s election could help explain why there was a shift in the public’s outlook between March 2008 and March 2009. When asked to rate the trajectory of environmental quality, more Americans still think things are getting worse, but that gap narrowed substantially after Obama took office and has remained relatively constant since then.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: A similar patterns exists if you look at the public’s judgment of the president’s performance on environmental issues. The share of Americans saying the president was doing a “good job” surged around 50 percentage points after Obama took office, to about 80 , but it has since fallen to about 50 percent and remained relatively constant. Throughout the Bush administration, the public’s rating of the president generally declined.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: Most Americans say they’re concerned about environmental issues, but fewer than one in five consider themselves active participants in the environment movement. About 40 percent consider themselves sympathetic but not active. The percentage of people saying they were “unsympathetic” to the environmental movement has risen slightly in recent years, to about 10 percent, while the fraction describing themselves as neutral has climbed to about 30 percent. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes: No data for 2009
  • Narrative: Some increasing hostility toward the environmental movement is also seen in this graphic. The percentage of people saying the movement has definitely or probably done more harm than good has risen since 1992. But, overall, a plurality of Americans say the movement has probably done more good than harm. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: When asked about balancing environmental and economic priorities, an increasing percentage of people say that economic growth should be given a priority. In some polls during the 1980s and 1990s, twice as many people said the environment was more important, but starting about 10 years ago, that gap narrowed and eventually reversed. Gallup also asked this question right after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and registered a jump in the share of Americans favoring environmental protection, but that spike appears to have been temporary.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: When pollsters ask people to weigh environmental protections against developing U.S. energy supplies, slightly more Americans now favor energy production. A decade ago, the situation was reversed. Note that all of these poll results were done in March, except in 2010, when another survey was conducted in May of that year. Environmental protection trumped energy concerns in that poll, probably because the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was in progress at the time. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: About half of Americans think that the government is doing too little to protect the environment, but in 1992, the figure was almost 70 percent. Over the past few years, there’s been some increasing polarization on this question: the percentages of people saying the government is doing too little and doing too much has been increasing, while the share of Americans saying things are about right has been declining. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: The previous slides showed results from national polls conducted by Gallup. In this graphic, we focus on five Rocky Mountain states. When residents of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and New Mexico were asked in 2011 about balancing the environment and economy, the vast majority of respondents argued for maintaining environmental regulations. This poll from Colorado College generally found strong support for environmental protection, especially for public lands.Source: Conservation in the West: A Survey of the Attitudes of Voters in Five Western StatesURL:http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/Conservation_West_Survey/ConservationWestSurvey_02_20_11ev1.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: In these five Western states, some of them quite conservative,nearly 50 percent of respondents feel that environmental laws are tough enough but should be better enforced. Only 10 percent of people surveyed thought that environmental laws need to be relaxed.Source: Conservation in the West: A Survey of the Attitudes of Voters in Five Western StatesURL: http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/Conservation_West_Survey/ConservationWestSurvey_02_20_11ev1.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Let’s focus on some specific environmental problems.
  • Narrative: Which environmental issues generate the most worry among Americans? This graphic shows that the level of concern for various problems has remained relatively constant over the past decade or so. Air and water pollution consistently rank at the top of the list, while extinction of species and global warming register less anxiety. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: This graphic shows what percent of Americans say they worry a “great deal” about a specific environmental issue. Generally, the lines tend to move together, although there are exceptions, such as the jump in concern about the water supply registered between 2001 and 2002. It’s not clear why this happened. Compared to pollution, the issues of global warming and the extinction of plant and animal species tend to cause less anxiety among Americans.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: Here’s another look at the data, from 2008, when Gallup asked respondents about all of these issues in the same poll. Pollution and contamination issues worried a majority of Americans a great deal, but some issues that the environmental movement concentrates on, such as global warming and the extinction of plant and animal species, registered less concern, while some issues that the environmental movement has shifted away from, such as the ozone layer and acid rain, still cause plenty of worry among some Americans.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: According to Californians, air pollution is the most important environmental issue facing the state. Source: Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaStatewide Survey: California and the Environment (2011)URL: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_711MBS.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: A similar pattern exists in the West, where air and water quality concerns were the most frequently volunteered environmental problems. Source: Conservation in the West: A Survey of the Attitudes of Voters in Five Western StatesURL: http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/Conservation_West_Survey/ConservationWestSurvey_02_20_11ev1.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: This survey of voters in five Western states—Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana—also revealed that non-pollution issues also rank high in the region. More than 80 percent of Westerners describe poorly planned growth and development and the loss of family farms and ranches as “serious” or “extremely serious” problems. As with the national surveys, global warming and climate change are seen as less troubling than other environmental issues, yet more than half of the Westerners surveyed still described these as serious or extremely serious problems. Source: Conservation in the West: A Survey of the Attitudes of Voters in Five Western StatesURL:http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/Conservation_West_Survey/ConservationWestSurvey_02_20_11ev1.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Now let’s take a closer look at climate change, an issue that looms large for the American West.
  • Narrative: Over the past two decades, Americans’ understandingof global warming has increased. In 1992, only about half the country said they understood a great deal or a fair amount about the issue, but by 2011, that number had risen to about 80 percent. Gallup only asked this question a couple times in the 1990s.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: About half of Americans believe that global warming has already begun, but over the past five years, that percentage has declined by about 10 points. At the same time, the percentage of people who think global warming will never happen has increased from about 10 percent to nearly 20 percent. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: A majority of Americans now believe that global warming is primarily due to human activities, but that gap has narrowed somewhat over the past decade. In 2010, almost as many people said it was due to natural causes.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: While climate change has become a top-priority for many environmental groups, land managers, and government agencies, most Americans do not think that global warming will affect them or their way of life. Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: Today, about 40 percent of Americans think that the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated and that number has been growing over the past few years. Still, about 30 percent of people think that the seriousness of the problem is being downplayed and around a quarter say the media’s portrayal is generally correct.Source: Gallup URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspxNotes:
  • Narrative: Divisions in public opinion on climate change are particularly striking when the data is broken down by party identification. Since 1997, Republicans have grown increasingly likely to believe thatmedia coverage of global warming is exaggerated. The same trend exists for independents and, to a lesser extent, Democrats, but this question has not been asked since 2009. Source: Gallup, “Increased Number Think Global Warming is ‘Exaggerated’” (March 2009)URL:http://www.gallup.com/poll/116590/increased-number-think-global-warming-exaggerated.aspx#1Notes:
  • Narrative: Looking at the West, many residents also see the global warming threat as exaggerated, but about half of respondents believe that we should be taking action to mitigate the effects.Source: Conservation in the West: A Survey of the Attitudes of Voters in Five Western StatesURL: http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/Conservation_West_Survey/ConservationWestSurvey_02_20_11ev1.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: There are still plenty of climate change skeptics, but a majority of respondents in the West support the US EPA requiring reductions in carbon emissions from sources like power plants, cars, and factories in an effort to reduce global warming. Evenin Wyoming, a state known for its coal resources, a majority of voters agreed with that policy. It’ll be interesting to see if these results hold up in future polls.Source: Conservation in the West: A Survey of the Attitudes of Voters in Five Western StatesURL: http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/Conservation_West_Survey/ConservationWestSurvey_02_20_11ev1.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: What elements of climate change cause the most worry? At least in California, the threat of wildfires, increased air pollution, and more severe droughts top Californians’ concerns about the impacts of climate change. Source: Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaStatewide Survey: California and the Environment (2011)URL: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_711MBS.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Now let’s move on to another important element of environmental politics: funding for conservation.
  • Narrative: Here are some of the key points.
  • Narrative: Our look at conservation funding begins with the federal budget. Much of the West is federal land, so the resources allocated to government agencies and their spending priorities can have major impacts on the region’s residents and natural resources.
  • Narrative: First, let’s examine the overall federal budget. As with public opinion, the environment ranks near the bottom when it comes to federal spending priorities. This pie chart shows where your federal tax dollars are spent, using data from 2011. More than half the budget is consumed by Social Security, Defense, and Medicare. Environmental protection and natural resources receive about 1 percent of the federal budget. There are a few other environmental programs in the other slices, such as clean energy development and conservation of farmland, but their share of the pie is also tiny.Source: Third WayURL: http://www.thirdway.org/taxreceiptNotes:
  • Narrative: This chart shows the top federal programs related to the environment. You can see that the big federal agencies, such as the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and Forest Service account for the vast majority of federal spending. Energy-related programs also rank high.Source: Third WayURL: http://www.thirdway.org/taxreceiptNotes:
  • Narrative:Let’s take a closer look at some of those agencies. The EPA saw its budget jump in 2010 thanks to the federal stimulus package. The EPA breaks down its spending according to five categories and the allocation has remained relatively steady over the past decade, with water-related programs accounting for the biggest chunk.Source: EPAURL: http://www.epa.gov/planandbudget/budget.htmlNotes:
  • Narrative: Here’s how the Forest Service spent its money over the past 10 years. The blue bar is for wildland fire management, but sometimes bad fire years have forced the agency to rely on supplemental and emergency appropriations from Congress. Aside from fires, the next biggest category of spending is for running the national forest system, shown in green.Source:US Forest ServiceURL: http://www.fs.fed.us/aboutus/budget/
  • Narrative: The Department of Interior, home to a number of key environmental agencies, has also had a relatively constant budget over the past decade, aside from a jump in 2009. Source: Department of InteriorURL: http://www.doi.gov/budget/ http://www.doi.gov/budget/budget_general/bgindex.html
  • Narrative: Here are the budget trends for some of those Interior Department agencies. All of them experienced a temporary spike in funding in 2009.Source: Department of InteriorURL: http://www.doi.gov/budget/ http://www.doi.gov/budget/budget_general/bgindex.htmlNotes: Figures are for “actual” budgets reported by Interior, except 2003, which is for “enacted” (DOI does not provide “actual” figures for that year)
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at the National Park Service’s spending priorities. The great majority of the agency’s funding is devoted to the day-to-day operation of national parks, monuments, recreation areas, and historic sites. Over the past decade, construction has accounted for the second biggest share of spending.Source: National Park ServiceURL: http://home.nps.gov/applications/budget2/documents/NPS_10-YearBudgetHistory.pdf http://home.nps.gov/applications/budget2/tables.htm
  • Narrative: Like other environmental agencies, the BLM has seen its budget remain fairly constant over the past decade, except for 2009. The vast majority of its spending is focused on management of the vast federal domain in the West.Source: Bureau of Land ManagementURL: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/division_of_budget.htmlNotes: Figures are for “actual” budgets reported by Interior, except 2003, which is for “enacted” (DOI does not provide “actual” figures for that year). Reduction of $14 million in permanent operating fund in 2009 excluded.
  • Narrative: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spends about half of its budget on resource management, which includes national wildlife refuges and endangered species. The agency also spends money on sport fishing, migratory birds, and aid for wildlife programs managed by states and tribes.Source: Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://www.fws.gov/budget/Notes: Other category is a negative total in 2012 due to a credit.
  • Narrative: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is another major source of federal funding for Western conservation, but over the past few decades Congress has diverted more than half of the fund—$17 billion—to non-conservation purposes. Initially, the LWCF was funded through sales of surplus federal real property, motorboat fuel taxes, and fees for recreation use of federal lands. But today, most LWCF funding comes from the royalties that energy companies pay when they drill offshore on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This graph shows that about $900 million is deposited into the LWCF every year, but money that isn’t appropriated by Congress remains in the U.S. Treasury and can be spent on other federal programs. Since 1980, Congress has diverted as much as 85 percent of the LWCF. Source: Department of InteriorURL: http://www.doi.gov/budget/budget_general/bgindex.htmlNotes:
  • Narrative: Let’s take a look at another important source for conservation funding: open space bonds and other ballot measures that are put to voters in state and local elections.
  • Narrative: Since 1988, American voters have approved nearly 1,800 ballot measures that have generated more than $57 billion for conservation. Funding peaked in 2008 when some $8 billion was approved. The average funding per conservation measure approved has varied considerably from year to year.Source: Trust for Public LandURL: https://www.quickbase.com/db/bbqna2qct?a=dbpage&pageID=10Notes:
  • Narrative: Conservation measures generally do well at the polls, in part because backers tend to avoid placing them on ballots when the chances of passage are low, such as during a recession. The green line in this graphic shows the percentage of conservation-related ballot measures that passed each year. On average 74 percent are approved, but in some years the rate has approached 90 percent. The number of measures tends to be lower in off-year elections and peaked in 2004. In recent years, with the economy in the doldrums, fewer measures have been placed on ballots.Source: Trust for Public LandURL: https://www.quickbase.com/db/bbqna2qct?a=dbpage&pageID=10Notes:
  • Narrative: Finally, let’s turn to environmental philanthropy. Foundations and other donors are critical sources of funding for conservation groups, but there is only limited data available on spending patterns in the philanthropic sector.
  • Narrative: Our best source of information comes from the Environmental Grantmakers Association. EGA has conducted two studies in recent years of the funding priorities of its members, which include the major foundations. However, only some of this data is available to the public. This graphic shows the breakdown in funding by issue area for 2007. Source: Environmental Grantmakers AssociationURL: http://ega.org/sites/default/files/pubs/summaries/Executive%20Summary%20TTF%20v3%20small.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Here’s the same data for 2009. Climate and energy issues jumped to the top of funding priorities.Source: Environmental Grantmakers AssociationURL: http://ega.org/sites/default/files/pubs/summaries/Executive%20Summary%20TTF%20v3%20small.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: You can see that even more clearly by looking at the change in funding from 2007 to 2009. There was a big shift from terrestrial, coastal, marine and biodiversity issues to climate and energy.Source: Environmental Grantmakers AssociationURL: http://ega.org/sites/default/files/pubs/summaries/Executive%20Summary%20TTF%20v3%20small.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: The previous slide showed the change in absolute dollars from 2007 to 2009. Here we see the percentage change. Some of the biggest percentage declines were in population and environmental justice; the greatest percentage increases were for international trade and finance, energy, and climate. You can see that funding priorities change a lot from year to year, unlike federal budgets, which tend to be fairly steady over time. Source: Environmental Grantmakers AssociationURL: http://ega.org/sites/default/files/pubs/summaries/Executive%20Summary%20TTF%20v3%20small.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Here are some of the key points on public opinion.

Environmental Politics in the American West Environmental Politics in the American West Presentation Transcript

  • Environmental politics inthe American West 1/20/13
  • EcoWest missionInform and advance conservation in the AmericanWest by analyzing, visualizing, and sharing dataon environmental trends. 1/20/13
  • EcoWest decks This is one of six presentations that illustrate key environmental metrics. Libraries for each topic contain additional slides. Issue Sample metrics Water Per capita water consumption, price of water, trends in transfers Biodiversity Number of endangered species, government funding for species protection Wildfires Size and number of wildfires, suppression costs Land Area protected by land trusts, location of proposed wilderness areas Climate Temperature and precipitation projections Politics Conservation funding, public opinion Download presentations and libraries at ecowest.org 1/20/13
  • Table of contents 1. Public opinion • State of the environment • Specific issues and policies • Climate change 2. Conservation funding • Federal budget and agencies • Ballot measures • Philanthropy 1/20/13
  • PUBLIC OPINION 1/20/13
  • Key points: public opinion • The environment doesn’t rank high on the public’s agenda, but a majority of Americans remain concerned about a wide variety of environmental problems • The public agrees with many of the environmental movement’s policy goals, but only about a fifth of Americans identify themselves as active participants • The Great Recession has shifted public opinion away from environmental concerns over the past few years • Air and water pollution tend to be the most worrisome environmental issues • Disasters, such as the BP oil spill, can cause spikes of interest in environmental issues • Who’s in the White House can influence perceptions of environmental quality: the 2008 election caused more Americans to say things are improving • Americans remain split on global warming, especially along party lines, with a significant percentage saying the threat is exaggerated and will not affect their lives 1/20/13
  • STATE OF THEENVIRONMENT 1/20/13
  • What’s the most important problem facing the U.S.? Economy in general Unemployment/Jobs Dissatisfaction with government Federal budget deficit/Federal debtPoor healthcare/hospitals; High cost of healthcare Lack of money Education/Poor education/Access to educationEthics/moral/religious/family decline; Dishonesty Immigration/Illegal aliens Care for the elderly/Medicare Corporate corruption Energy/Lack of energy sources Environment/Pollution Foreign aid/Focus overseas Fuel/Oil prices Gap between rich and poor International issues, problems Judicial system/Courts/Laws Lack of military defense Lack of respect for each other 1% each Poverty/ Hunger/Homelessness Taxes The media Unifying the country Wage issues Wars/War (nonspecific)/Fear of war Welfare 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Percent Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Public concern about the environment How much do you personally worry about the quality of the environment? 100 No opinion 90 Not at all 80 Only a little 70 Fair amountPercent 60 Great deal 50 Great deal + fair amount 40 30 20 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Environmental quality How would you rate the overall quality of the environment in this country today? 100 90 80 70Percent 60 Excellent 50 Good 40 Only fair 30 20 Poor 10 No opinion 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Trajectory of environmental quality Right now, do you think the quality of the environment in the country as a whole is getting better or worse? 80 Obama elected 70 60Percent 50 40 30 Getting better Getting worse Same 20 No opinion 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • President’s performance on environment protection Do you think the President is doing a good job or a poor job in protecting the nation’s environment? Obama 90 elected 80 70Percent 60 50 40 30 20 Good job Poor job 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Participation in environmental movement Do you think of yourself as an active participant in the environmental movement; sympathetic towards the movement, but not active; neutral; or unsympathetic? 60 50Percent 40 Sympathetic, b ut not active Neutral 30 Active 20 participant Unsympathetic 10 No opinion 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Public’s opinion of the environmental movement All things considered, do you think the environmental movement in this nation has done more good than harm, or more harm than good? Definitely more good than harm Probably more good than harm 50 Probably more harm than good Definitely more harm than good No opinion 45 40 35Percent 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Environment vs. economy Do you think that protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth, or do you think economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent? 80 Gulf oil 70 spill 60Percent 50 40 30 20 Protection of the environment should be given priority 10 Economic growth should be given priority 0 1990 1993 2003 1987 1984 2000 2011 1986 1989 1995 2005 2012 1997 1998 2008 1991 2001 2007 2010 1985 1994 2004 1988 1996 1999 2006 2009 1992 2002 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Environment vs. energy supply Do you think protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies—such as oil, gas and coal—which the United States produces, or do you think the development of U.S. energy supplies should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent? Gulf oil 70 spill 60Percent 50 40 30 Protection of the environmental should be given priority. Development of U.S. energy supplies should be given priority. 20 Both/equally Neither/other 10 No opinion 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Government’s role in environmental protection Do you think the government is doing too much or too little to protect the environment? 80 Too much 70 Too little About the right 60 amount No opinionPercent 50 40 30 20 10 0 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Environment versus economy in the West As part of efforts to improve their state economy and generate jobs as quickly as possible, some people have proposed reducing protections on land, air and water that apply to major industries, including construction and agriculture. Would you prefer your state to reduce these protections or maintain them? 100 90 80Percent 70 60 50 Maintain Reduce 40 30 20 10 0 Colorado Utah Wyoming Montana New Mexico Source: State of the Rockies Project 1/20/13
  • Strength of environmental laws: the West What is your feeling about the current status of environmental laws? Laws strong enough, but should be better enforced Laws, enforcement should be left as they are Laws strong enough Laws too strict, need to be relaxed 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percent Source: State of the Rockies Project 1/20/13
  • SPECIFIC ISSUES 1/20/13
  • What environmental issues are most worrisome? How much do you personally worry about the following environmental issues? 100 90Percent saying “great deal” or “fair amount” 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs Pollution of drinking water Nations supply of freshwater for household needs Air pollution Extinction of plant and animal species Global warming Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • What environmental issues are most worrisome? How much do you personally worry about the following environmental issues? 80 Pollution of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs 70 Air pollutionPercent saying “great deal” 60 Global warming Pollution of drinking water 50 Extinction of plant and animal species 40 Maintenance of the nations supply of fresh water for household needs 30 Loss of tropical rainforests Contamination of soil and water 20 by toxic waste Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • What environmental issues are most worrisome? Pollution of drinking water Contamination of soil and water by toxic waste Pollution of lakes, rivers, and reservoirsMaintenance of freshwater supply for household needs Loss of natural habitat for wildlife Air pollution Loss of tropical rainforests Damage to the ozone layer Extinction of plant and animal species Global warming Urban sprawl and loss of open space Acid rain 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Percent Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Most important environmental issue: CA What is the most important environmental issue facing California? Dont know Other Regulation/environmentalists Jobs/economy/budget Pollution in general Loss of forests/wildfires Landfills/waste/recycling Global warming/climate change Gas prices Energy, oil drilling Water supply, drought Water pollution Air pollution 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Source: Public Policy Institute of California 1/20/13
  • Worry over environmental issues: the West What areas are most frequently expressed as environmental concerns? Air/air pollution/clean air Water/water pollution clean water Water supplies/drought Wildlife Pollution (general) Oil/gas drilling Federal government Energy issues/general Public lands/drilling/development on them Renewable energy/alternative fuels 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Percent Source: State of the Rockies Project 1/20/13
  • Seriousness of environmental problems: the West What is the seriousness of the following environmental problems? Poorly-planned growth and development Loss of family farms and ranches Pollution of rivers, lakes and streams Air pollution and smogFunding cuts for state parks, natural area protection, and water quality Loss of habitat for fish and wildlife Inadequate water supplies Toxins and pesticides in food and drinking water Extremely Serious Serious Loss of natural areas The impact of mining The impact of oil and gas and drilling Lack of access to public lands Global warming Cliamte change Lack of access to lands and rivers for hunting and fishing 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Source: State of the Rockies Project 1/20/13
  • CLIMATE CHANGE 1/20/13
  • Understanding of global warming Thinking about the issue of global warming, how well do you feel you understand this issue? 100 90 80 70Percent 60 No opinion 50 Not at all 40 Only a little Fair amont 30 Great deal 20 Great deal + 10 fair amount 0 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Anticipating the effects of global warming Which of the following statements reflects your view of when the effects of global warming will begin to happen? 70 60 50 Already begunPercent Within a few years 40 Within your lifetime 30 Not within lifetime, but affect future 20 Will never happen No opinion 10 0 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Causes of global warming Do you believe increases in the Earths temperature over the last century are due more to the effects of pollution from human activities or natural changes in the environment that are not due to human activities? 70 60 50Percent 40 30 Human activities Natural causes 20 No opinion 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Will global warming pose a serious threat? Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime? 80 Yes No 70 No opinion 60Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Is global warming exaggerated in the news? Thinking about what is said in the news, in your view is the seriousness of global warming generally exaggerated, generally correct, or is it generally underestimated? 60 Generally exaggerated Generally underestimated 50 Generally correct No opinionPercent 40 30 20 10 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Is the global warming threat exaggerated? Percentage saying news of global warming is exaggerated, by party identification 70 60 50Percent 40 Republicans Independents 30 Democrats 20 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Source: Gallup 1/20/13
  • Views of global warming: the West What are your views of global warming? Is immediate action required? Concern greatly exagerrated Enough evidence, take some action Global warming serious, need immediate action Dont know enough, need more research 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Percent Source: State of the Rockies Project 1/20/13
  • Support for regulating carbon emissions Do you support the EPA regulation of carbon emissions? 80 70 60Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 Colorado New Mexico Utah Montana Wyoming Source: State of the Rockies Project 1/20/13
  • Concern over climate change impact: CA What do you perceive as the most threatening impacts of climate change in California? 90 80 70 60Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 Wildfires that are more Increased air pollution Droughts that are more Increased flooding severe severe Source: Public Policy Institute of California 1/20/13
  • CONSERVATION FUNDING 1/20/13
  • Key points: conservation funding 1) Federal funding – In real terms, the budgets of major environmental agencies have been fairly steady over the past decade – The distribution among different programs also tends to remain relatively constant 2) Ballot measures – Open-space bonds and other conservation measures usually pass at the polls but considerably fewer have been put to voters during the economic downturn 3) Philanthropic – The distribution of funding by issue area changes significantly from year to year – Energy and climate-related funding saw big increases 1/20/13
  • FEDERAL BUDGET 1/20/13
  • How your federal tax dollars are spent Medicaid Low-income 8% assistance 9% Net interest Unemployment payments compensation 7% 5% Medicare 13% Veterans Affairs 3% Education 3% Law enforcement/homeland security 2% Transportation 2% Health (not Defense Medicare/Medicaid) 20% 2% Management of federal employees and buildings 1% Social Security Environmental protection 21% and natural resources 1% All others 3% Source: Third Way 1/20/13
  • Top federal programs related to the environment Electric reliability organizations Ocean oil drilling regulation and natural resource leases Energy efficient housing Lead hazard control and healthy homesBureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Natural Resources Conservation Service Efficient vehicle development Mine Safety and Health Administration U.S. Terroritories oversight Coal mine oversight and cleanup U.S. Geological Survey Dams, powerplants and reservoirs Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Energy research, statisics and analysis Clean energy U.S. Forest Service U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Protection Agency $0 $5 $10 $15 Billions Source: Third Way 1/20/13
  • EPA budget by major category 12 10 8Billions (2012 dollars) Chemicals and pollution Enforcing environmental laws 6 Climate change and air quality Cleaning up communities Protecting water 4 2 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
  • Forest Service: wildfires consume largest slice 10 9 8 7 6Billions (Dollars) 5 Supplemental/Emergency/Reserve Other Appropriations 4 Land Acquisition: LWCF State and Private Forestry 3 Forest and Rangeland Research Capital Improvement and 2 Maintenance Mandatory Appropriations National Forest System 1 Wildland Fire Management 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source: U.S. Forest Service 1/20/13
  • Department of Interior budgets: 2003-2013 25 Other Offices of the Solicitor and Inspector General 20 Minerals Management Service/Ocean Energy Management Insular Affairs Office of Special Trustee for American Indians 15 Office of Surface MiningBillions (2012 dollars) Geological Survey Bureau of Reclamation 10 Bureau of Land Management Department Wide Programs Fish and Wildlife Service 5 Departmental Management Bureau of Indian Affairs National Park Service 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source: Department of Interior 1/20/13
  • Funding for key agencies in Department of Interior 4.5 4 3.5 3Billions (2012 dollars) 2.5 National Park Service Fish and Wildlife Service Bureau of Land Management 2 Bureau of Reclamation Geological Survey 1.5 1 0.5 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source: Department of Interior 1/20/13
  • National Park Service 4.5 4 Land and Water Conservation Fund Contract Authority Miscellaneous Trust Funds (Includes 3.5 Donations) Outer Continental Shelf Oil Lease Revenues 3 Spectrum Relocation Activities Other Permanent AppropriationsBillions (2012 dollars) 2.5 Recreation Fee Permanent Appropriations 2 Land Acquisition and State Assistance Construction 1.5 Historic Preservation Fund Urban Park and Recreation Fund 1 National Recreation and Preservation 0.5 Park Partnership Project Grants Operation of the National Park System 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: National Park Service 1/20/13
  • US Bureau of Land Management Construction and access 1,600 Permanent operating funds Range improvements 1,400 Land acquisition Oregon and California grant lands 1,200 Management of lands/resourcesMillions (2012 dollars) 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source: Bureau of Land Management 1/20/13
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service 3.5 Construction 3 North American wetlands conservation fund 2.5 Migratory bird conservation account State and tribal wildlife grantsBillions (2012 dollars) 2 Land acquisition 1.5 Cooperative endangered species conservation fund Federal aid in wildlife 1 restoration Sport fish restoration 0.5 Resource management 0 Other 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 -0.5 Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/13
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund 1200 1000 800 Receipts received FundMillions (Dollars) 600 appropriations 400 200 0 Source: Department of Interior 1/20/13
  • BALLOT MEASURES 1/20/13
  • Conservation funding from ballot measures $180 $10 Conservation funds approved Funds per measure $9 $160 $8 $140 $7 Billions (2012 dollars) Millions (2012 dollars) $120 $6 $100 $5 $80 $4 $60 $3 $40 $2 $20 $1 $- $- Source: Trust for Public Land 1/20/13
  • Conservation ballot measures: number and success 100.0% 250 Number of measures 90.0% Passage rate 80.0% 200 Number of Measures Passed 70.0% 60.0% 150Percent 50.0% 40.0% 100 30.0% 20.0% 50 10.0% 0.0% 0 Source: Trust for Public Land 1/20/13
  • PHILANTHROPY 1/20/13
  • EGA member funding by issue area: 2007 International Trade & Finance Population Material Consumption & Waste Management Indigenous Populations/Communities Toxics Transportation Environmental Health Environmental Justice Fresh Water/Inland Water Ecosystems Sustainable Communities Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Energy Climate/Atmosphere General/Multi-Issue Biodiversity & Species Preservation Coastal & Marine Ecosystem Terrestrial Ecosystems & Land-use 0 100 200 300 Millions (Dollars) Source: Environmental Grantmakers Association 1/20/13
  • EGA member funding by issue area: 2009 Population Material Consumption & Waste Management Indigenous Populations/Communities Toxics International Trade & Finance Environmental Justics Environmental Health Sustainable Communities Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Transportation Fresh Water/Inland Water Ecosystems Biodiversity & Species Preservation Undefined Coastal & Marine Ecosystem Terrestrial Ecosystems & Land-use Energy Climate/Atmosphere -50 50 150 250 Millions (Dollars) Source: Environmental Grantmakers Association 1/20/13
  • Change in funding: 2007 to 2009 Transportation Toxics Terrestrial Ecosystems & Land-use Sustainable Communities Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Population Material Consumption & Waste Management International Trade & Finance Indigenous Populations/Communities General/Multiple/Undefined Fresh Water/Inland Water Ecosystems Environmental Justice Environmental Health Energy Coastal & Marine Ecosystem Climate/Atmosphere Biodiversity & Species Preservation -100 -50 0 50 100 Millions (Dollars) Source: Environmental Grantmakers Association 1/20/13
  • Percent change in funding: 2007 to 2009 Transportation Toxics Terrestrial Ecosystems & Land-use Sustainable Communities Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Population Material Consumption & Waste Management International Trade & Finance Indigenous Populations/Communities General/Multiple/Undefined Fresh Water/Inland Water Ecosystems Environmental Justice Environmental Health Energy Coastal & Marine Ecosystem Climate/Atmosphere Biodiversity & Species Preservation-100 -50 0 50 100 150 Percent Source: Environmental Grantmakers Association 1/20/13
  • Conclusion • Environmental issues rank low on the public’s agenda, but Americans remain concerned about many environmental problems, especially pollution. • While Americans often agree with environmentalists’ policy goals, only about a fifth identify themselves as active participants in the movement. • Hostility toward environmentalists appears to be rising and the Great Recession has shifted public opinion away from environmental concerns over the past few years • Disasters, such as the BP oil spill, and presidential elections can cause big changes in public opinion on the environment but they may be short-lived. • Budgets for federal environmental agencies have remained relatively steady, but philanthropic funding priorities may vary greatly from year to year. • Open-space bonds and other conservation measures usually pass at the polls but considerably fewer have been put to voters during the economic downturn. 1/20/13
  • Download more slides and other libraries ecowest.org Contact us by e-mailing mitch@ceaconsulting.com 1/20/13
  • EcoWest advisors Jon Christensen, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Department of History at UCLA; former director of Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford. Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director for the Sierra Club, where he has worked for more than 35 years; member of the World Commission on Protected Areas; former Field Editor for High Country News. Robert Glennon, Regents’ Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona; author of Water Follies and Unquenchable. 1/20/13
  • EcoWest advisors Jonathan Hoekstra, head of WWF’s Conservation Science Program, lead author of The Atlas of Global Conservation, and former Senior Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Timothy Male, Vice President of Conservation Policy for Defenders of Wildlife, where he directs the Habitat and Highways, Conservation Planning, Federal Lands, Oregon Biodiversity Partnership, and Economics programs. Thomas Swetnam, Regents Professor of Dendrochronology, Director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, and a leading expert on wildfires and Western forests. 1/20/13
  • Contributors at California Environmental Associates Mitch Tobin Editor of EcoWest.org Communications Director at CEA Micah Day Associate at CEA Matthew Elliott Contact us by e-mailing Principal at CEA mitch@ceaconsulting.com Max Levine Associate at CEA Caroline Ott Research Associate at CEA Sarah Weldon Affiliated consultant at CEA 1/20/13