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Environmental Quality – Polls Versus Facts

Science Trumps Polls – Public Clueless About State of the Environment

How could this be?

The Star Ledger reports today that the most recent Monmouth University “Quality of Life Poll” of NJ residents shows a slight decline in assessment of quality of life:

TRENTON — New Jersey residents are less rosy about the condition of the state than they were earlier this year.

A Monmouth University poll released today shows 65 percent said in September they considered the Garden State an excellent or good place to live – down from 70 percent in April and 69 percent in July.

But the Star Ledger’s sole focus on that decline is virtually meaningless, given the 3.5% +/- margin of error.

But what I found absolutely astonishing – and completely ignored – was the poll’s finding that 72% of respondents said the quality of the environment was “excellent or good”:

How can 72% find the below list of actual environmental quality conditions “excellent or good”?

The environmental indicators that justify NJ’s stringent environmental and public health regulatory protections are uniformly dire.

No wonder, according to a recent Monmouth University/Gannett poll, 79% of NJ residents “ on a bipartisan and socio-economic basis“ oppose rollbacks on NJ’s environmental regulations as a solution to the state’s dual fiscal and economic crises.

(those specific poll findings directly contradict the policy of Gov. Christie’s Executive Order #2, which calls for rollbacks of NJ’s strict standards to minimum federal standards – a fact virtually never reported by the press or mentioned by environmental groups)

The fact that the public apparently is unaware of all this information shows that the press, government officials and environmental advocacy groups are doing a very poor job in providing accurate information to people.

What else could explain why 72% of residents polled rate the environment as “excellent/good” and why Christie continues to enjoy high favorable ratings, given  his environmental record?

[Update: Maybe it’s explained by the fact that 42% of NJ residents do NOT believe in evolution and 73% believe that the Bible is the actual literal word of God or inspired by God; while 49% believe in life on other planets – in other words, ignorance trumps evidence.

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  1. Jo Sippie-Gora
    October 24th, 2012 at 07:32 | #1

    I can’t figure it out either. If the lack of accurate information is responsible, then it began a very long time ago, before Carter. On the historical scale, our nation is so young (think “tweens”). Maybe it takes thousands, not hundreds, of years to achieve emotional maturity. Are we not the most-drugged nation as well?

  1. October 21st, 2012 at 08:48 | #1
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