Table 7-17
Public assessment of potential environmental problems: 1993–2010
(Percent)
 
Potential problem/opinion 1993 1994 2000 2010
 
Pollution of America's lakes, rivers, and streams        
Extremely/very dangerous 66 61 66 69
Somewhat dangerous 27 29 23 24
Not very/not dangerous 4 5 5 4
Don't know 3 5 7 2
         
Air pollution caused by industry        
Extremely/very dangerous 61 53 62 63
Somewhat dangerous 30 37 29 31
Not very/not dangerous 4 5 2 4
Don't know 4 5 6 2
         
Pesticides and chemicals used in farming        
Extremely/very dangerous 37 33 45 52
Somewhat dangerous 48 49 39 37
Not very/not dangerous 11 13 8 8
Don't know 4 5 7 3
         
Rise in temperature caused by climate changea        
Extremely/very dangerous 41 35 40 48
Somewhat dangerous 34 35 33 27
Not very/not dangerous 14 16 11 18
Don't know 12 14 15 6
         
Nuclear power stations        
Extremely/very dangerous 40 41 NA 45
Somewhat dangerous 34 35 NA 30
Not very/not dangerous 16 15 NA 19
Don't know 9 9 NA 7
         
Air pollution caused by cars        
Extremely/very dangerous 48 43 45 43
Somewhat dangerous 38 42 41 46
Not very/not dangerous 7 9 6 8
Don't know 7 7 8 3
         
Modifying the genes of certain crops        
Extremely/very dangerous NA NA 21 25
Somewhat dangerous NA NA 32 33
Not very/not dangerous NA NA 25 26
Don't know NA NA 22 16
 

NA = not available, question not asked

a Wording was changed from "the greenhouse effect" to "climate change" in 2010.

NOTES: Responses to In general, do you think that [potential problem] is extremely dangerous for the environment, very dangerous, somewhat dangerous, not very dangerous, or not dangerous at all for the environment? Table includes all years for which data collected. Detail may not add to total because of rounding.

SOURCE: University of Chicago, National Opinion Research Center, General Social Survey (1993–2010).

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012