Environmental Literacy
December 5, 2005 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Environmental Literacy in America (PDF) is a new a report from the NEETF on the poor state of environmental literacy in the US and the consequences of our growing nature-deficit disorder. Meanwhile, some students have uncovered a confidential brief on climate change (PDF) for the president, allegedly from the IPCC (but probably not.) [Via WorldChanging and Gristmill]
posted by homunculus (8 comments total)
meanwhile, the first trickle of what will become a flood of climate refugees has started.
posted by wilful at 7:22 PM on December 5, 2005

Yes, Americans should know that only 380 parts per million by volume is all the carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere or, if you prefer, less than .04 of one percent of it.

Is environmental knowledge any worse in the US than in other places? Are there any studies around?
posted by sien at 7:27 PM on December 5, 2005

I wonder how the US will react to global warming when Manhattan starts to see periodic floodings. Of course by then it'll be a wee bit late.
posted by clevershark at 7:30 PM on December 5, 2005

Yeah it's not actually a very useful .pdf (and environment educators are going to conclude that their job is done and they should all retire?) but still:

45 million Americans think the ocean is a source of fresh water;
120 million think spray cans still have CFCs in them even though CFCs were banned in 1978;
120 million people think disposable diapers are the leading problem with landfills when they actually represent about 1% of the problem;
130 million believe that hydropower is America's top energy source,

In the past 10 to 15 years the average number of miles per gallon of gasoline achieved by vehicles in America has decreased. Just one in seven, or 17% of adult Americans know this.

posted by wilful at 8:28 PM on December 5, 2005

This just in: 45 million US citizens are so spectacularly ill-informed that they should probably just be shot. I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks the oceans are fresh water is simply too stupid to live. No wonder we're all doomed.
posted by aramaic at 9:03 PM on December 5, 2005

Do 45 million people think that the oceans are fresh water, or that they are a source for fresh water. (I can't find the actual poll question). Perhaps people were simply thinking of desalination plants?
posted by kickingtheground at 9:54 PM on December 5, 2005

Oh, come now. People simply were not thinking. Don't make excuses for them.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:15 AM on December 6, 2005

If the US is ignorant of environmental issues you don't have to look much further than the White House to see why.
posted by londonmark at 1:08 AM on December 6, 2005

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