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Poll shows IBJ Daily readers keenly interested in the environment

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A solid majority of subscribers to IBJ Daily believes climate change is a serious problem, thinks carbon emissions should be regulated, and wants Indianapolis to pursue mass transit on a broad scale, according to a poll conducted in July by IBJ.

By smaller margins, readers of the e-mail newsletter also said they’d be willing to pay higher gasoline taxes to fund public transportation and think recycling should be mandatory.

They support building nuclear power plants in Indiana—although only about a quarter of the respondents favored storing nuclear waste in the state—and back government subsidies to construct wind farms. And they’re split about whether “Cash for Clunkers,” the federal program designed to spur car sales and get low-mileage vehicles off the road, was a good environmental and economic policy.

IBJ, working with Walker Information Inc., an Indianapolis firm specializing in surveying employee sentiment, conducted the poll July 10-20 to determine reader attitudes about environmental issues. The survey, which was e-mailed to all 32,000 IBJ Daily subscribers, received more than 1,800 responses, leaving a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

“People’s concern about the environment, their communities and public health are both mainstream and pretty widespread,” said Tim Maloney, senior policy director for the Hoosier Environmental Council, when told about the findings. “So I’m not surprised by the results.”

Many IBJ Daily readers said they’ve made changes in their lives to become “greener.” Some 77 percent said they now pay bills online rather than through the mail. They’ve also switched to fluorescent light bulbs (74 percent) and reusable shopping bags (60 percent). Fifty-one percent are eating more locally grown foods and 46 percent said they’re driving less now than they were last year.

 

Natalie Stucky, an attorney who lives on the north side, collects rain in a barrel and landscapes with native plants to minimize her environmental footprint.(IBJ Photo/Robin Jerstad)

Only 6 percent said they have made no changes.

Many readers said they’re also recycling more, cutting their use of electricity, bicycling to work, driving hybrid cars, drinking from refillable water bottles rather than throwaway plastic, planting their own gardens, or doing something else to lessen their carbon footprint.

Natalie Stucky, a north-side attorney, said she composts, tends an organic garden, landscapes with native plants, and is trying to use a rain barrel to save water. She uses her air-conditioning only when it’s so hot she can’t sleep, recycles everything she can, buys used clothing, books, CDs and DVDs, won’t accept bags at stores unless she can’t carry her purchases without them, and tries to work from home at least one day a week.

“And anything else I can think of that might help,” Stucky said.

Regarding mass transit, 41 percent strongly agreed and 37 percent agreed that the city should pursue a system of bus, light rail and other options on a broad scale.

“Indianapolis cannot be a legitimate ‘city’ with no real commitment to providing cost-effective public transportation,” said Carl Hayes, a lawyer who lives on the northeast side. “Large cities provide transit both to limit automobile traffic and as a viable means of transporting any person [regardless of wealth] from Point A to Point B. Indianapolis, heretofore, has not been committed to either of those priorities.”

But Matt Nettleton of Fishers, who works in sales, said, “If the market was demanding mass transit, we would already have it. I also believe it is not the role of government to pick winners and losers in the market.”

IBJ.COM EXTRA
For full poll results, click here.

Of the respondents who favored mass transit, 15 percent strongly supported and 36 percent supported paying more in gas taxes to fund the program.

On recycling, about a third of respondents agreed recycling should be mandatory, though not as many are willing to pay extra.

Kären Haley, director of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s Office of Sustainability, said the survey findings confirm what she’s seen at various public forums—and what the city is working toward.

“It tells me that we’re working on the right things and we’re looking in the right direction, from the Office of Sustainability’s point of view,” she said. “We’re working to get recycling for all of Marion County residents. And obviously with the Transit Task Force [which is due to issue its report shortly] the mayor is really seriously looking at how we can get mass transit here. It all speaks favorably to things we’re working on, knowing there’s public support for it.”

The poll also found:

• 29 percent think Indiana’s air quality has gotten better in the last 20 years, 34 percent say it’s the same, and 37 percent say it’s worse.

• 36 percent say the state’s water quality is better, 27 percent say it’s the same, and 37 percent think it’s worse.

• 82 percent say their workplace recycles.

• 38 percent say “greenness” is a primary consideration in the purchases they make.



The age of the respondents didn’t appear to make a substantial difference in the answers. Overall, older readers tended to be more reluctant to pay more, whether for green technology or gas taxes to fund additional mass transit. But at the same time, 15 percent of both 25- to 29-year-olds and those over 65 said they’d pony up an additional 50 cents a gallon for gas if it meant an improved public transportation system.

Readers of business newspapers generally are thought to be more conservative than the overall population, but the Hoosier Environmental Council’s Maloney said the environment transcends politics.

“I don’t think the conservative side of Hoosiers is averse to environmental protection,” Maloney said. “For a lot of us that work in the field, we don’t see protecting public health and the environment as a liberal or conservative cause. It’s about people and community. Concerns for those things are across the political spectrum.”•

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  • We're working on fixing the link embedded in the. In the meantime, here is a direct link:

    http://www.ibj.com/ibj-daily-reader-green-poll-results/PARAMS/article/6997

  • Your link in this conversation to the full poll results is broken. Please fix this so we can all see the results.

    Thanks
  • Your link in this conversation to the full poll results is broken. Please fix this so we can all see the results.

    Thanks

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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