Study: Environmentalists Act Like They’ve Got A License To Pollute

REREUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
Font Size:

A recently released study suggests those less concerned with climate change practice more eco-friendly habits than those who are more alarmed about the issue.

In an April study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, University of Michigan psychology graduate student Michael Hall researched the behavioral differences between people who hold varying degrees of concern toward climate change. Hall, over the course of one year, examined 600 different Americans who “regularly reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures.”

The report divided subjects into three groups: “Highly Concerned,” “Cautiously Worried” and “Skeptical.” Additionally, the report measured how frequently subjects participated in “green” behavior: using public transportation, purchasing environmentally friendly products, using reusable shopping bags, and recycling.

Unsurprisingly, Americans in the “skeptical” category were most opposed to enacting government regulations to address climate change. Those in the “Highly Concerned” category were much more in favor of government intervention. A surprising find in the study, however, was these same skeptics were “most likely to report engaging in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors.” Hall and his colleagues found these behaviors to be consistent throughout the year.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for someone to be strongly supportive of environmental regulations but not live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, the phenomenon known as moral licensing is likely a factor. People will typically engage in “bad” behavior if they feel they have earned their good graces with another action. In regard to Hollywood actors and progressive politicians, the hypocritical lifestyles of climate alarmists have been well documented.

Famous climate alarmist Al Gore visited Washington, D.C., on April 24 to tell reporters oil companies should be investigated for polluting the world — he promptly left the event in a gas-powered Lincoln sedan. New York Democratic candidate for Congress Gareth Rhodes has made the environment a focal point of his campaign this election season — doing so while traversing his district in a 1999 Ford Winnebago. Hollywood millionaire Leonardo DiCaprio is able to attend climate change protests when he isn’t flying in personal jets or partying on 470-foot yachts.

Follow Jason on Twitter.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact