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Environmental Movement Continues to Have Public Support

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The environmental protection movement is one of the top supported social movements in the United States, according to a recent poll review.

The environmental protection movement is one of the top supported social movements in the United States, according to a recent poll review.

“Many social movements find it difficult to survive once their goals are adopted by government,” wrote Riley Dunlap, professor of environmental psychology, in a review of poll data for the Gallup Organization. “A key element in the continued success of the environmental movement is that it has always enjoyed considerable public support.”

While 83 percent of Americans agree with the goals of the environmental movement, 15 percent express disagreement.

A majority (55 percent) responded they are sympathetic to the movement, while 16 percent said they are active participants in environmental protection. And 5 percent are unsympathetic, according to the poll review.

Household participation in environmental protection varies “depending on the behaviors in question.”

“Simple household behaviors are most common, closely followed by shopping behaviors,” wrote Dunlap.

Most households (90 percent) recycle and 83 percent use less water and energy.

“Many Americans say they have avoided environmentally harmful products or bought environmentally beneficial products–an indication of the appeal of ‘green consumerism,'” wrote Dunlap.

Those actively participating in “green consumerism” contact businesses to complain about products or policies harmful to the environment (13 percent). They also buy and sell stocks on how environmentally protective the company has been (9 percent).

Environmental protection currently ranks third in public support among other social movements. Civil rights has the most public support followed by women’s rights, according to the poll review.