For Many Students, Environment Is a Key Issue
Thursday, November 29, 2007; 9:12 AM
If former Vice President Al Gore wanted to know if his message about the dangers of global warming was getting through to the youngest voters in the nation, he might be encouraged by the findings of a survey of college students conducted by American University students.
About 51 percent of the students surveyed said where a candidate stands on the environment would be very important to their vote. An additional 37 percent said it would be somewhat important to their vote.
Students said they saw the environment as an issue that directly affected many others.
"All of industry is based on the environment," said Alex Giasson, 22, a senior at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. "All our natural resources, food, water, building materials ... all rely on having a strong and self-sustaining environment."
Giasson added he would be more likely to vote for a candidate if the candidate "took a stronger stand to enact programs to conserve our natural resources."
When asked what issue the country faces today is most important, 8 percent of students surveyed listed the environment or global warming. Kamil Faridi, a senior at Duke University, credited Gore for the increased awareness of environmental issues.
"I think that environmental issues are really important, and they have gotten a lot of publicity recently, especially global warming due to Al Gore and his movie," he said. "There is a lot of interest in these issues, and I hope there are more policies to reflect this public concern."