Why environmental quality indices?

  • Thomas L. Kimball
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 1)


Science and technology in general, and professionalism in particular, are under attack in our great nation. The average American citizen is confused and confounded by purported scientific rationales that mix philosophy, politics, and opportunism with the analysis of factual research data. That confusion turns to disgust, and then rejection, when the public listens to professionals trained in our best institutions of higher learning and with similar long-term experience who come forth with diametrically opposed conclusions and recommendations from an analysis of environmental research data. Unfortunately, there appears to be a growing conviction among the American populace that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to get the unvarnished truth from the scientific community. As a consequence, professionalism is being downgraded in direct proportion to the inability of the public to guess which scientist has the right answer. Nowhere is there a better example of this phenomenon and dilemma than in an analysis of the current environmental—ecological revolution. In February, 1969, the National Wildlife Federation commissioned the Gallup Organization to survey public opinion on environmental degradation.1 Gallup found that the majority of Americans were either somewhat or deeply concerned about the deteriorating quality of living brought about by the fouling of our own nests.


Environmental Category Gallup Organization Environmental Quality Index Objective Environmental Quality Score Relative Importance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    The Gallup Organization, Inc., The U.S. Public Considers Its Environment (conducted for the National Wildlife Federation). Princeton, New Jersey, 1969.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    National Wildlife Federation, National Environmental Quality Index, National Wildlife, Aug.-Sept, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    National Wildlife Federation, 1970 National Environmental Quality Index, National Wildlife, Oct.-Nov., 1970.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    National Wildlife Federation, 1971 National Environmental Quality Index, National Wildlife, Oct.-Nov., 1971.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    National Wildlife Federation, 1971 EQ Index Reference Guide, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Kimball
    • 1
  1. 1.National Wildlife FederationNW WashingtonUSA

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