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Americans’ attitudes toward the environment aren’t reflected in action

Americans have taken to recycling their bottles and cans, and lowering their thermostats to save energy, but far fewer adopt energy-saving measures that are difficult or expensive. That was the conclusion of a recent nation-wide telephone poll conducted by the AP and NBC Universal.  Respondents were asked how important to the environment various measures were, and whether they practiced them.  About 80% of those polled want to protect the environment, but they’ll do so only if the ease and cost of adopting a given behavior lets them.  Rates of recycling and lowering the thermostat were high.  Many 70%) recognized that insulating the home would help the environment and save them money, but only about half said they were likely to do so, citing cost and structural impediments.  Not surprisingly, people said their likelihood of car pooling (impractical if carpoolers don’t live or work near each other), using mass transit (often non-existent in rural areas), buying efficient appliances or a hybrid vehicle (can cost $4,000 – $7,000 more than a gasoline powerered car), are far lower.

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