The geography of American environmentalism

Allan Mazur, Eric W. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act are administered largely at the state level, with more or less enthusiasm, depending on the state. Here we examine the spatial distributions of four indicators of environmentalism: organizational membership, public opinion, Congressional representation and state-level environmental policy. Public support for environmental protection is strongest in the nation's northeast quadrant and the West Coast. The Dakotas, the intermountain West and the Deep South have the least concern. Level of environmentalism is largely explained by state levels of electricity consumption and education and inversely by political conservatism. Cultural traditions also apparently explain some of the variation across regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • America
  • Culture
  • Environmentalism
  • Geography
  • States
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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