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Connecting the Economy-Energy-Environment Dots

Pew polling on Americans' top priorities for the Obama Administration.

by Anna Fahey

At first glance, the latest poll numbers from Pew Research Center on Americans' top priorities for the new president might appear worrisome to climate policy advocates.

Global warming is in last place in the top 20 and the environment in general slipped down in the list since last year. Andrew Revkin over at NYT's Dot Earth blog goes so far as to say "America and President Obama are completely out of sync on human-caused global warming." (There are some startling new numbers from Rasmusen on that question...)

But I'm convinced that's not the point. The fact is, solutions that will address the top two concerns -- the economy and jobs -- as well as several other top 10 concerns -- energy, terrorism, helping the poor -- are all wrapped up in the best solutions for combating climate change

The fossil fuel roller coaster has long whiplashed family budgets, and our economy remains shackled to its adrenaline-boosting unpredictability. Any economic recovery we muster in coming months will sputter if we fail to reduce our fossil fuel dependence. As soon as the economy rebounds, oil prices are sure to shoot up again, negating the economic gains that we've made.

Our job now -- and Obama's -- is to encourage fellow lawmakers and citizens to connect the dots and stop seeing the economy, energy policy, and the environment as even vaguely separate issues anymore.


This piece originally appeared on The Sightline Institute's blog, The Daily Score.

Image credit: Pew Priorities 2009

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Joe Romm has a nice piece over at Climate Progress on the media's role in miseducating the public on climate change, key to that lousy poll result -

"Must-read study: How the press bungles its coverage of climate economics — “The media’s decision to play the stenographer role helped opponents of climate action stifle progress.”

Posted by: Patrick Mazza on 26 Jan 09

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