THIS WEEK, we’re continuing with our guided tour through the United America photo gallery Images of America as our way to celebrate these mid-summer weeks surrounding the Fourth of July. Millions of Americans are traveling, now, exploring our nation’s great diversity—including our National Parks and other natural wonders.
It’s a perfect time to consider the values that unite us.
But, examine carefully this chart of United America 10 Core Values. Then, look at today’s featured image from the Images of America photo gallery—one of the photos captured by NASA of our big blue planet.
Today’s question: What’s not an American core value? A concern about the health of our environment.
Despite the impassioned appeal of Pope Francis’s new letter on the environment, recent polling is showing relatively few worries about the health of our natural world.
But we’re not united in this complacency. Many young children are terrified about the Earth’s future, according to a recent poll of American kids ages 6 to 11. A third worry that the planet won’t even exist by the time they grow up. A clear majority (56%) fear the Earth will be devastated by the time they grow up.
The poll, commissioned by Habitat Heroes, also found that minority kids are the most worried: 75% of Black children and 65% of Hispanic children worry that the Earth will have deteriorated by the time they grow up.
So, we’ve certainly done a good job terrifying our children about the world they will inherit.
At the same time, American adults’ worries about the environment are near record lows, according to a new Gallup survey. Concerns about drinking water, air quality, rain forests, and global warming were the highest in from late 1980s to the early 2000s. Worries hit historic lows around 2010 and 2011, blipped up slightly, and then fell back in 2015. Today, 50% of Americans rate the overall quality of the environment as excellent or good—the highest since 2001.
Want more fuel for a discussion about our environmental attitudes? In April, I devoted a week-long series to ideas for getting our kids to spend more time in the natural world—one sure-fire way to raise concerns for our planet’s well-being.
Start a conversation …
The United America photo gallery Images of America was developed so you can freely share these inspiring images with friends. This method has been used successfully with groups nationwide to spark spirited and constructive discussions about what unites us as Americans. Then, to fully understand the 10 core values, get the book United America. So, come on! Start your own discussion …
- Images of America: Black Lives Matter
- Images of America: Should “we” protect this child?
- Images of America: Where are these people going?
- Images of America: Are we still a Melting Pot? Were we ever?
- Images of America: Feeling good on the Fourth? We all are.
- Images of America: What’s not an American core value? (Hint: It’s our home.)
- Images of America: What moves you outdoors?
- Images of America: What does the Statue of Liberty symbolize?
- Images of America: Freedom from fear? What worries us now?
- Images of America: Do you recognize the ‘WE’? Do you recognize Atticus Finch?