It is likely that people are feeling sympathetic after seeing the images of the oil spill. We were shown many pictures of oil covered animals, a lot of dead animals and sea life, and an ocean which will likely have some long term problems. I wouldn’t say that people are thinking more green, but perhaps they are becoming more aware of the effects of oil and CO2 emissions on the environment. Whether it is inspiring someone to go green in their daily life is up for debate and is on a person to person basis.
For all the attention the spill got, it amounted to 5,000,000 barrels – just 6 hours of oil consumption in the US. Until Americans learn that burning the equivalent of that spill every 6 hours 24/7 results in both economic and environmental problems, it is unlikely that they will do anything any differently. They won’t likely learn that until the price forces them to the realization.
(But I definitely agree with courkent that individuals make their own decisions on the basis of everything they know. I’m just cynical about “the majority.”)
I really do not think that the oil spill has caused more Americans to want to recycle as much as it has provoked questioning of our government, and the carelessness of what continually goes on with cleaning up the spill. People have been recycling avidly for some time before the BP incident, but now know to look at what is happening to the entire environment–and to fight for the earth. Eyes are finally starting to be opened, when people realize that just putting their disposables into another bin before they magically disappear just isn’t enough.
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