Equilibrium Institute- Delivering Core Intelligence

Apathy is not consent, it's the demand for Empowerment  

Nature of the Study

A pragmatic qualitative conceptual and theoretical framework with naturalistic phenomenological field methods including case study strategies are used in the proposed study to explore the research questions.  The overall research design also could be expressed this way, concurrent emergent participatory transformative design.  Social science theory, qualitative and empirical theory, and advocacy worldview, describe the approach used (Creswell, 2003).

Based on the methods proposed and relatively un-researched original area of inquiry tied to a specific sample at a particular location and point in time, an extensive bibliography is not purposeful (Rudestam & Newton, 2015 pg.81) except to help provide the context of the need for research, resulting questions, and to address validity concerns for any instrumentation used and to substantiate methods choices.  However, the literature review sources used throughout the research project are presented. 

A qualitative design is proposed mainly because of logistical and time considerations for initial research.  Also the research question is empirically exploring subjective perspectives on toxins.  Uncovering participant beliefs about environmental contaminants is critical to developing a comprehensive threat assessment or arguments for policy or policy reform in an understudied area.  Given the complex nature of the toxic problem overall, there is a possibility that an anonymous survey process will solicit useful information to add to the discourse on the topic and better inform future research.

Researchers Approach

     Qualitative inquiries study how people and groups construct meaning, [and] qualitative inquiry can illuminate system and systemic issues and potential solutions (Patton, 2015 pg. 5,8).  Empirically designed open ended and semi-structured or structured questions will be posed to collect data and the interviews themselves will be conducted online in confidential encrypted and password protected environments where anonymity is built in.   Interview surveys may also be completed by subjects in their own homes as directed.  Survey Monkey and Dedoose.com are being considered as data collection/management tools in addition to hand coding on Excel or MSword.  Those website structures will be evaluated to ensure they adhere with conventions acceptable in the scientific community, prior to use along with a partner agreements, which outlines and clarifies the security of data and responsibility to destroy the data immediately upon my request, if in fact the instrument is verified to be capable or rendering valid data.  If it is not found capable to produce valid data, the data collect instrument will not be used and reliance on the mailing and direct emailing and zip code focus will survive as primary procedures in the data collection and the online process will be cancelled.       

Since the inquiry aims to produce recommendations on changes in physical systems managing environmental contaminates and personal lifestyle choices, paper based interviews in the form of open, semi-structured, and closed ended survey questions will be used.   On top of the estimated 30+ case studies of individuals, not including theoretical research design source materials, over 50 academic scholarly peer reviewed sources and 150 expert credible sources will be reviewed in an immersion process and content analyzed (Borkan, 1999) in an effort to identify themes (Strauss and Corbin, 1998) or anomalies through crystallization process (Wagner, Warren & Moseley, 2010) to add description on the phenomenon under review relevant to the advocacy of improving public safety through Public Policy and Administration efforts.   The analysis will be subject to committee review regarding agreement on coherent themes and resulting emergent item measures used in operational definitions, or resulting statements.  For the quantitative questions including demographics, Likert-type scales will be used.  In phase one, creative synthesis of literature led to research question following qualitative content analysis, peer review, and Walden Universities research committee reviews.  In phase two, questionnaire results will analyze factors to identify themes and unique substantive deviations.  Narrative summaries will be given in results which will include some basic computations in addition to descriptive narratives.  

A pragmatic conceptual framework approach with post- positivist influences is taken in the research design in an effort to achieve results which are reliable and valid.  Methods are used in an attempt to limit contamination of the research and achieve greater objectivity in design, collection and analysis stages.  Thus, some closed questions with quantitative scales are introduced to accomplish an internal reliability safeguard and to measure other variables which may add value to support or otherwise contradict the observations to ensure the level of validity is adequate to support whatever observations may be made.  Holistic and creative synthesis are held to be relevant reporting strategies due to the complex and compounding variables including social and time based contexts which led to the problem under this phenomenology study.  In addition to reporting on a series of case studies, the resulting analysis is anticipated to enable the production of an auto-ethnography (the study of one’s own culture) based section which helps observe in an auto-ethnography narrative fashion,

a collection of behaviors and patterns of belief around standards for deciding what can be, how one feels about it, and standards for deciding how to go about doing it (Patton, 2015 pg.100, [whatever it turns out to be]. 

Hand coding systems will be developed to evaluate collected data.  Meta-analysis may also be used in broad searches at Law Libraries and other research databases to gather observational facts on the problems under research or explain the phenomenon or develop operational definitions.  A narrative section will feature select case quotes highlighting the conclusions.  Additional coding for emerging themes will be developed for items where themes are observed occurring between contrasted case study respondents or between leading researchers works being analyzed for recommended solutions to problems identified or for the drafting of deduced or induce scientific statements.  Conceptual values will be assigned and verified with research committee to assure the themes assigned match the data collected in close proximity within the conventional use of the English language to preserve meaning.  In instances meaning cannot be determined, that information will not be referenced or calculated in the study.  Also, a clear audits trail will be established for procedures consistent with consent, confidentiality, and anonymity of participating subjects to protect validity and competency.

Reliability Trustworthy Issues:

Qualitative studies typically are regarded to produce results specific to the researched group and are not generalizable due to mathematical limitations in the design.  However, since the problem is specific to the values of the researched group and the purposive sample method has an advocacy component, what is more important in the internal validity and the trustworthiness of the information produced.  Since steps to control bias are taken from the beginning concerning problem formulation, survey design, and many steps of validity controls, the issue of trustworthiness should be considered addressed.  Since analysis in qualitative studies relies heavily on the analysts expertise experience in the subject and with methods applied and subjectivity and ability to be objective, perhaps the greatest threat to the inquiry is that it is a higher risk for not producing substantive contributions to the field since the results are somewhat unpredictable by the very design of emergent naturalistic qualitative studies- especially in early research stages where the questions being posed are critical to the direction of inquiry.  To protect this interest, the inclusion of sweeping meta-analysis using secondary data and the use of extensive literature reviews over large periods of time have helped prepare the researcher as an expert in the field.  Likewise, the trade-off regarding the objectivity used to initiate the inquiry, lends evidence of an objective scientific approach where the evident data will be the driving force, not the opinion of a researcher, or poorly formulated conclusions drawn from error prone designs which are common in both quantitative and qualitative designs. 

Possible Types and Sources of Data

Sample Population – Single Subject Case Studies  

 A qualitative design was adopted leading to the use of purposive sampling of 18 year olds and over U.S. English literate population that has internet access and respondents within specific CA zip codes subject to bulk mail solicitation to conduct case studies to get more insights about the phenomenon of Environmental Contamination.  The design of a questionnaire include one focus group and the review of a research committee to refine the questions prior to Walden Universities IRB review and approval.  The study is not considered a mixed methods project because technically only qualitative analysis will result.  The design is non-probability, meaning it lacks generalizability, but can serve as an indicator and pre-cursor for future research.  

It was decided that since the internet narrows the pool of participants drastically, that including populations most intimately connected to the research problem and types of data being collected that populations potentially more familiar with the topic (either by work i.e. Military Personnel, Medical Doctors, Biologists, Chemists, Handlers of Toxins, or people living in residences near known toxic sites) would be a good population to sample for several reasons.  One, they have more clear experience or knowledge with the questions in the survey, and secondly since questions are formulated to be familiar and to have likely present content which has impacted their lives in the past, it may increase their interest in participating and or perhaps inspire them further regarding broader participation in solutions after participation, although this will not be measured or tracked to preserve and control for anonymity and limit bias inherent with advocacy styled approaches generally. 

In addition to the primary survey data collected, a synthesis of recent (last five years) scholarly abstracts, peer reviewed academic articles, academic books, and select quantitative indicator only data from Government and popular culture are used in illustrative samples where it adds to the understanding of the phenomenon under study framed here as the exploration of attitudes concerning environmental contamination, policy, and global security.  

Conclusions: TBD

Additional Questions:

Tentative hypothesis for further research.

  • Correlations between cancer and environmental pollutants or known carcinogens are related to activation of NF-kB.  




Anand,P, Kunnumakara, A., Sundaram, C., Harikumar, K. Tharakan, S., Lai, O., Sung, B.,  and Aggarwall, B. (2008). Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes. Pharmaceutical Research, 25(9). DOI 10.1007/s11095-008-9661-9.

Bogner, M.  (2003) p.9.  Error is behavior, A.P.A. Washington D.C.:Psychological science agenda.

Carson, R. (1962). Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin. NY.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Davenport, D. (2002). The New Diplomacy. Policy Review. Stanford, CA. Dec 2002. pg 24. Retrieved from http://www.hoover.org/research/new-diplomacy May 9, 2016.

Douglas, N. (2000). Enemies of Critical thinking: lessons from social psychology research. Reading Psychology 21::129-144

Kaufman & Franz (1996). Biosphere 2000. Iowa: Kenhall/Hunt Publishing Co.  

Kurokawa, K. 2012. Fukashima in a Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Nation Diet of Japan: Japan. 

Levy, B. S., & Sidel, V. W. (2012). Terrorism and public health: A balanced approach to strengthening systems and protecting people. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford Press.

Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods (4th edition). Thousand Oaks:   SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Zeoli, A, Pizarro, J., Grady, S. Melde, C., (2012). Homicide as an infectious disease: using public health methods to investigate the diffusion of homicide. Justice Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2012.732199

Research Bibliography/ References

Abate, F. (1998 p. 599 ). Oxford dictionary. New York: D.K. and Oxford.

Balch, J. (1990).  Prescriptions for nutritional healing,  New York: Avery.

Beversluis, J. (1993). A sourcebook for the Community of Religions. Chicago: The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions

Bogner, M.  (2003) p.9.  Error is behavior, A.P.A. Washington D.C.:Psychological science agenda.

Bolby, J (1969) Attachment and loss New York: Basic Books.

Brody, Jane. (1998, June 20th). New York Times. p. A17-18

Burke, W., (2011). Organization change theory and practice. Los Angeles: Sage.

Caldicott, H. (1994 p.22). Nuclear madness. New York: Norton.

Carson, R. (1962 pg. 6). Silent spring. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Chavez, Cesar (   ) Documentary No Grapes. United Farm Workers

Cohen, T. (2006). Making Ends Meet. Berkeley: Independent undergraduate student researcher.

Coleman, A.  (2001) p.187 &721.  A dictionary of psychology, New York: Oxford.  

Congressional Research Service, (1990). Environmental Concerns Periodical. Summer/Fall.  (original citation being reviewed currently to locate a more current figure of polluted waterways.)

Cousins, Norman. (1983). The Healing Heart. Ny: W.W. Norton & Company

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Cusac, Anne-Marie (1998) Nuclear Spoons. The Progressive Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.progressive.org Oct.  1998

Der Ryn ,S. V. & Cowan, S. (1996). Ecological Design. Washington, D.C.: Earth Island Press

Doren, Charles Van.  A History of Knowledge (1991). NY: Ballantine Books

Douglass, F. (1849). See http://www.phillyburbs.com/BHM/Douglass/index.shtml 

Douglas, N. (2000). Enemies of Critical thinking: lessons from social psychology research. Reading Psychology 21::129-144

Engler, B. (1999).  Personality theories. New York: Houghton Mifflin  

Fuller, B.  (1938) p.2-21.  History of philosophy. New York: Holt.

Furst, S. & Cable, D., (2008). Employee resistance to organizational change: managerial influence tactics and leader-member exchange. Journal of Applied Psychology. 93(2), 453–462. APA DOI:10.1037/0021-9010.93.2.453

Gordon, J. (1996). Manifesto for a new medicine.  New York: Addison Wesley.

Guthrie, E. (1969) The structure of intellect. New York: Knopf

Hall, C. & Lindzey, G., (1957) pg.287. Theories of personality.  New York: John Riley and Sons.

Harrelson, Woody. (2001). Organic living tour. Presentation. San Francisco State’s MC Kenneth Theatre

Herman, M. (2002). 11 September: legitimizing intelligence? International Relations 16:227 DOI 10.1177/0047117802016002004

Hull & Clark (1943). Principles of behavior. New York Appleton-Century

Jackson, R. (2000) Contingency Theory (draft form). CA: Evolve Multimedia Publishing. www.specialagenttraining.cfsites.org retrieved 2012.

Jacobus, L.  (1998). A world of ideas, Boston: Bedford Books   

James,W.  (1890). The principles of psychology, New York: Holt.  

Kaufman & Franz (1996). Biosphere 2000. Iowa: Kenhall/Hunt Publishing Co.  

Kearns & Dave (Producers). (1986). In Remembrance of Martin. Video documentary.

King, M. (1963). Why we can’t wait, letter from Birmingham jail. New York: Harper & Row. See Stanford University MLK Papers Project http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/ 

Kripalani, K.  (1988).   All men are brothers.  New York: Continuum.

Knowles, M.S.  (1975).  Self-Directed learning, New York: Association Press.  

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Lappe, M . (1991). Diet for a Small Planet New York: Ballantine.

Leroux, J. (2001). Course lecture Theories of Personality. SFSU, CA

Lewin, K. (1935). A dynamic theory of personality. New York: Mcgraw Hill. 

Lovelock, J.E.  (1979). Gaia.  New York: Oxford University Press.  

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Merriam S. & Caffarella R. (1999), Learning in adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Murray, E., & Richardson, P. (2003). Fast forward: A new framework for rapid organizational change. Ivey Business Journal, 67(6), 1–5.

Nichols, J. M.D. (1952). A concept of totality , Texas Bankers Record 68 Annual Convention, Texas Bankers Association of Galveston.

Newman, I., Ridenour, C. S., Newman, C., & DeMarco, G. M. P. (2003). A typology of research purposes and its relationship to mixed methods. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp. 167-188). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Oreg, S., & Berson, Y. (2009). Leader’s characteristics and behaviors and employees resistance to organizational change. Academy of Management Proceedings, 1–6.

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Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods (4th edition). Thousand Oaks:   SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Porter, Lauren (2003). The Science of Attachment. Mothering Magazine

Potter, V. R.  (1971).  BioEthics bridge to the future.  New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.

Preece, P. (2007). Infants exposed to fetal teratogens: long-terms outcome of infants exposed to neuroactive compounds in utero. Adoption and Fostering v(3)(1).

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Rice, P. (2001). Human Development  p.  215,163, 31 New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Robbins, J. (1991). Diet for a New America. New York: Ballantine.

Rosenbach, E. (2008). The incisive fight: recommendations for improving counterterrorism intelligence. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 618:33. DOI:10.1177/0002716208316947

Schultz, D.  (1996). A history of psychology, p.217, 289 Orlando: Harcourt Brace.  

Schuman, J. (2010). Teratogen screening: state of the art. Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology v (2)(3) p115-121.

Sharp, G. (1990).  The Role of Power in Nonviolent Struggle. MA: Einstein Institute, ISSN1052-1054

Skinner, B.F. (1953) p.19 . Science and human behavior.

Shultz, D. (1996) A Modern History of Psychology 

Shwartze, (5-2-02). Stanford Report. P.1

Slutkin, G. 2013. Violence as a Contagious Disease. Retrieved 07/19/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207245/

Smyth, J., Mendez, J. Stern, M. (2012). The effects of item saliency and question design on measurements error in a self administered survey.  Field Methods 24:3 DOI 10.1177/1525822x11419478

Steiner, J. (n.d.) Improving homeland security at the state level. Studies in Intelligence Vol. 53, No. 3 (Extracts, September 2009.  Retrieved online 10/17/12 from www.cia.gov

Sue, Sue, Sue. (2000 pg. 14). Abnormal behavior. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

The Surgeon Generals report on Nutrition and Health, Pub #88-50210, Washington, D.C. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, (1988). earthsave.org   & www.foodrevolution.org

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WhiteFeather,W.  (1993), Environmental Education Session. Tucson.

Zeoli, A, Pizarro, J., Grady, S. Melde, C., (2012). Homicide as an infectious disease: using public health methods to investigate the diffusion of homicide. Justice Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2012.732199

Also inspired by:. Non-profits- GreenPeace, Earthsave Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, Toxic Links, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Worldwatch Institute, Project Censor, Population Institute, Planned Parenthood, United Nations Population Fund, Friends Of the Earth International., Natural Step Foundation (Sweden), National Institute of Health and countless watchdogs and whistleblowers.

Mentions: Grossman, K., Philips, P., Mendez, C., Beversluis, J. Ravitch, D., Kripalani, K., Gandhi ,M., Brown, L., Zinn, H., Lawerence,C.T, McHenry, K., Suzuki, S., Smoker, P., McConnell, J., Brody, J., MLK, JFK, Peterson R., Caplan, R. Berthold-Bond, A, and Jackson, D.



Exhibit A:

Annotated Bibliography for materials selected for greater analysis/ recommendations and definitions formation.  Note this is an evolving document.

Piyapong J, and Tsunemi Watanabe (2014). Evaluating determinants of environmental risk perception for risk management in contaminated sites. Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014,11,6291-6313;doi10.3390/ijerph110606291.

Methods and findings assessment: Qualitative design.  The sample size is too small to generalize.  Criteria to support sample selection was inadequate representation.  Researcher suggests

high risk perception may be correlated with situations that have poor communication and higher public anxiety.  The hypothesis that confusion and fear lead to higher interpretations in risk, may be valid, but it not ethical to test on human subjects. Fight or flight theory may already have concluded this observation. Researcher suggests collaborative communication is recommended between groups to improve reception, this observations is reduced to an observation in social science theory regarding influence models of peer to peer enhanced outcomes and is also not a novel finding, but supports earlier findings.  Levels of interest vary depending of perceived impact, this is again a confirmation of existing theory regarding selective attention.  Author recommends tailoring environmental risk communications based on publics risk perception.  Here, on this point I disagree.  The communication should be tailored not on perceived risk, but actual risk.  Therefore, materials for high risk populations based on GIS data of known gas exposure would differ from materials given to low risk residents based on factual relevance- not perceptions.  Researchers identification of lay cognitive models is a falsehood invention, not supported by empirical evidence.  Experience informing risk perception is hardly novel.  Researcher acknowledges people may make gut decisions rather than scientific based ones in judging risks. This observation supports earlier research in the field.  They added useful threat risk perception definition however which showed some deductive analysis as resulted in once original contribution, that I am aware of.     

Statement of value:  Helps show how laypeople in one culture in the far-east perceived environmental contamination risks.  This could be useful for recommendations of testing to see if this applies to U.S. culture in terms of learning if risk is also found to be determined in similar manners here in the U.S.  Since moderterate to low impacted communities showed not to be largely motivated by benefits of risk activities when making judgments 

This study is critical because it contributes a framework for threat definitions which can contribute to draft recommendations.




Attitudinal gaps: How experts and lay audiences form policy attitudes toward controversial science

  1. Leona Yi-Fan Su1,*,
  2. Michael A. Cacciatore2,
  3. Dominique Brossard3,
  4. Elizabeth A. Corley4,
  5. Dietram A. Scheufele5 and
  6. Michael A. Xenos6

+ Author Affiliations

<>1.<>2.<>3.<>4.<>5.<>6.*Corresponding author. Email: su28@wisc.edu


Input from scientific experts and lay audiences plays an important role in the realization of scientific advances and scientific policymaking. This study examines factors influencing expert and public attitudes toward the regulation of academic and commercial nanotechnology. Compared to scientific experts, lay publics are more likely to support the regulation of academic nanotechnology, with value predispositions playing a critical role in impacting such opinions. Among lay audiences, liberals and respondents reporting higher levels of religiosity were more likely to support regulation of both academic and commercial nanotechnology research, while those who paid greater attention to the media were more supportive of regulations for commercial research. Across the two groups, perceptions of risks relative to benefits consistently predicted attitudes toward regulation. Importantly, scientists rely less upon their value predispositions when forming regulatory attitudes, instead basing such attitudes on perceptions of regulatory impacts on scientific progress. The regulatory implications of these findings are discussed.


Differences in Public Perceptions and Leaders’ Perceptions on Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale Development

  1. Jessica Crowe1
  2. Tony Silva1
  3. Ryan G. Ceresola1
  4. Amanda Buday1
  5. Charles Leonard1
<>1.Jessica Crowe, Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University, Faner Hall-MC 4524, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA. Email: Jessica.Crowe@siu.edu


New technologies and rising energy prices have resulted in many energy companies investing significant amounts of capital in rural America. Much of the recent focus of energy companies has been on the development of shale oil and natural gas. We examine the differences in levels of support and opposition to shale oil and gas development, building on the literatures of the growth-machine coalition, polluter-industrial complex, and environmental justice. Specifically, we examine different frames of shale development held by government leaders and the public who reside above the New Albany shale play in Southern Illinois and Northwest Kentucky. Using a combination of interview, survey, and participant observation data, we find that government officials emphasize economic growth and many support shale development. While most government leaders claimed that there was not a major division in their communities about shale development, we found the public to be split, with a large countercoalition to shale development in existence.

Americans and Russians on International Security and Arms Control: WorldPublicOpinion.Org & Levada Center Poll   [open pdf - 124KB]

This 2007 survey, conducted from September 14-23 in the United States, and from September 14-24 in Russia surveys opinions of Russians and Americans on International Security and Arms Control. Among the survey topics are U.S.-Russian cooperation on nonproliferation related issues, the global influence of IAEA, perceptions of their country's nuclear arsenal, deterrence, nuclear postures, nuclear test bans, nuclear energy, weapons and space, satellites, biological weapons, disarmament, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Demographics of the survey respondents and an explanation of the survey methodology is provided at the conclusion of the report.


Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland




2007 Center for International Security Studies at Maryland. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.

Retrieved From:

Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland: http://www.cissm.umd.edu/



Media Type:





Book Review: EPA analyzed

by David Clarke

Pollution Control in the United States: Evaluating the System, by J. Clarence Davies and Jan Mazurek, Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, 1998, 319 pp.

Global warming no longer Americans’ top environmental concern, poll finds

By Juliet Eilperin and Peyton M. Craighill July 2, 2012

Climate change no longer ranks first on the list of what Americans see as the world’s biggest environmental problem, according to a new Washington Post-Stanford University poll.

Just 18 percent of those polled name it as their top environmental concern. That compares with 33 percent who said so in 2007, amid publicity about a major U.N. climate report and Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary about global warming. Today, 29 percent identify water and air pollution as the world’s most pressing environmental issue.

Still, Americans continue to see climate change as a threat, caused in part by human activity, and they think government and businesses should do more to address it. Nearly three-quarters say the Earth is warming, and just as many say they believe that temperatures will continue to rise if nothing is done, according to the poll.

The findings, along with follow-up interviews with some respondents, indicate that Washington’s decision to shelve action on climate policy means that the issue has receded — even though many people link recent dramatic weather events to global warming. And they may help explain why elected officials feel little pressure to impose curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.

“I really don’t give it a thought,” said Wendy Stewart, a 46-year-old bookkeeper in New York. Although she thinks warmer winters and summers are signs of climate change, she has noticed that political leaders don’t bring up the subject. “I’ve never heard them speak on global warming,” she said. “I’ve never heard them elaborate on it.”

Michael Joseph, 20, a student at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, said he sees extreme weather-related events such as the Colorado wildfires and the derecho storm that struck Washington on Friday as “having something to do with climate change.” But, like Stewart, he added, “I don’t really hear about it that much.”

The poll, conducted by phone between June 13 and 21, included 804 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Some who feel passionately about the issue say they have noticed that President Obama is no longer pushing a bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions and allow emitters to trade pollution credits, a system known as “cap and trade.” That proposal stalled in the Senate in 2010.

“I know that he has to pick his battles,” said Margaret Foshee, 52, of Arlington County, who works in a ski shop after spending much of her career as a nurse. Describing herself as “a big Obama supporter,” Foshee said she hopes the president will do more to address climate change if he wins a second term. “If you don’t take a stand on this, we’re all doomed. . . . We’ve got to do something even if no one else’s doing it. America should be a leader on a project like this.”

Seventy-eight percent of those polled say global warming will be a serious problem if left alone, with 55 percent saying the U.S. government should do “a great deal” or “quite a bit” about it. Sixty-one percent say the same of American businesses. Just 18 percent say the government is doing enough to solve the problem; 13 percent say businesses are taking sufficient action.

While concern about warming crosses party lines, the intensity is sharply different. More than half of Democrats say it will be “very serious” if no action is taken, compared with 23 percent of Republicans and more than a third of independents.

There are also partisan differences in how respondents see the roles of government and business. About three-quarters of Democrats say both government and business should do “a great deal” or “quite a bit” to address global warming. A quarter of Republicans say government should do that much, and 36 percent say so about business.

And although climate legislation has little chance of passage on Capitol Hill right now, it continues to enjoy public support. Seventy-seven percent say the government should limit the amount of carbon dioxide that businesses can emit. It is a rare instance in which majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents agree, albeit with varying intensity. 

There is a widespread belief that personal actions to help halt warming would not impose too much of an individual burden. Just 12 percent say taking such action would make their lives worse, about 43 percent say it would make their lives better, and an equal number say it wouldn’t make a difference.

Stanford University communications professor Jon Krosnick, whose team conducted the poll with The Post, said the survey shows that public support for action on climate change has remained level.

“There’s really no movement in recent years in support for the amount of government effort they want to see put into the problem,” Krosnick noted. “But clearly the salience of the issue has declined a bit, [so] the pressure the public puts on government will be less.”

Just under four in 10 polled say global warming is extremely or very important to them, the lowest percentage since 2006 and down from 52 percent in 2007. Just 10 percent say it is extremely important to them personally, down from 15 percent in 2011 and 18 percent in 2007. 

“The good news is that the public understands that the global warming problem is serious, and they overwhelmingly support serious solutions. The sad news is that, with reduced mainstream-media coverage and with big polluters and their allies in the media and in Congress falsely screaming hoax, the issue is not as high a priority,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. “But record-breaking temperatures, intense droughts and wildfires, and other climate-related disasters will hopefully be a wake-up call.”

Sen. James M. Inhofe (Okla.), a climate skeptic and the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement, “The irony, of course, is that the president who came into office promising to slow the rise of the oceans has presided over the complete collapse of the global warming movement.”

He added that environmentalists have not criticized Obama because “they’ve no doubt been assured that if he is reelected, he will have the ‘flexibility’ to institute the largest tax increase in American history through regulations because he could not do it through legislation.”

People’s knowledge about global warming has declined as well over the past five years. Today, 55 percent say they know a lot or a moderate amount about it, down from 68 percent.

While many Republican lawmakers and candidates — including the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney — question the connection between human activity and climate change, a majority of Americans say such a link exists. Thirty percent say climate change is caused by humans, and 47 percent say both human and natural factors contribute to it. Just 22 percent think climate change stems from natural causes alone.

Beth Abbadusky, 70, a retired office worker who lives near Moline, Ill., said she does not think humans are influencing the climate.

“I’m a Christian. I feel that we humans don’t have a lot of control over nature,” she said. “We just accept what’s going on.”

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Abbadusky added that while she favors Romney over Obama, their positions on the climate “would not be a factor” in her vote. Overall, she said of politicians and global warming: “They’re not talking much about it anymore.”

Trust in scientific opinion on global warming continues to be less than robust. About a quarter of the public trusts what scientists say about the issue “completely” or “a lot,” while 35 percent, trust scientists only a little or not at all. Thirty-eight percent trust scientific opinions a moderate amount. 

Part of this lack of trust could be due to how Americans see climate scientists’ motivations for their work. More than a third of them think that scientists who say climate change is real make their conclusions based on money and politics. Almost half say scientists who deny that climate change exists base their conclusions on their economic and political interests. 


(Editor’s Note: This article includes comments from Stanford professor Jon Krosnick, whose team conducted the poll with The Post. The Post, which had editorial control over the polling and the reporting, was not aware that Krosnick served on the board of Climate Central, an activist organization on climate issues. Krosnick has subsequently resigned that position.)

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.

Follow @eilperin

Peyton M. Craighill reports and conducts national and regional news polls, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.







Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Sep;59:129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.05.057. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.

Thongprakaisang S1, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J.

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Glyphosate is an active ingredient of the most widely used herbicide and it is believed to be less toxic than other pesticides. However, several recent studies showed its potential adverse health effects to humans as it may be an endocrine disruptor. This study focuses on the effects of pure glyphosate on estrogen receptors (ERs) mediated transcriptional activity and their expressions. Glyphosate exerted proliferative effects only in human hormone-dependent breast cancer, T47D cells, but not in hormone-independent breast cancer, MDA-MB231 cells, at 10⁻¹² to 10⁻⁶M in estrogen withdrawal condition. The proliferative concentrations of glyphosate that induced the activation of estrogen response element (ERE) transcription activity were 5-13 fold of control in T47D-KBluc cells and this activation was inhibited by an estrogen antagonist, ICI 182780, indicating that the estrogenic activity of glyphosate was mediated via ERs. Furthermore, glyphosate also altered both ERα and β expression. These results indicated that low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity. Glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used for soybean cultivation, and our results also found that there was an additive estrogenic effect between glyphosate and genistein, a phytoestrogen in soybeans. However, these additive effects of glyphosate contamination in soybeans need further animal study.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.