We hear a lot in Michigan about how environmental quality has improved over the past few decades. And, no doubt, there have been improvements. We no longer read stories about tragedies like Love Canal or lakes and rivers catching fire because of the pollution.
On the other hand, that truth is sometimes tossed out as part of a rationale for loosening environmental regulations to benefit business and industry. This is typically a conservative position. Anything and everything goes if it gets in the way of business.
A poll reported today in the Washington Post finds that two times as many Americans believe the environment will get worse over the next decade than think it will get better.
“Americans’ views of the environment divide along party lines, according to the poll. More than seven in 10 Democrats and independents say human activity has had a “mostly negative” effect on the environment over the past decade; only a bare majority of Republicans agree. Democrats and independents are also more apt to say the environment has gotten worse over the past decade and are more downbeat about its prospects.”
The story went on to say that some big corporations are pledging to do better.
“Coca-Cola pledged to develop plans to protect the water sources for its 200 bottling plants worldwide, while Dow Chemical said it will assess the economic value it gets from the ecosystems connected to its new bioplastics plant in Brazil.”
Is this real good – or window dressing? Will it be better or worse?