Changes in United States' Citizens' Interest in Sustainability (2004-2014)

"In the most intensive study to date (338 terms and phrases) using carefully selected internet queries to study public interest, we investigated searches for sustainability. Previous studies demonstrated falling interest in environmental issues, but interest in sustainability was stable from 2004 – 2010. Terms crossed sustainable living, public policy, media sources, green technology, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable communities. Overall, interest in sustainability had meager growth since 2004. Interest in sustainable agriculture and sustainable living grew modestly, but most other areas showed mildly reduced public interest. We recommend that term usage in environmental initiatives emphasize connections to sustainability to possibly improve success. Finally, we raise concern that flat-lined public interest in sustainability is not good news. Our use of an extensive list of sustainability-related terms did not counter previous findings. However, it provided a better understanding of how subareas changed; so we recommend that future studies using internet queries use large lists of terms and phrases."
sustainability, public opinion, conservation, environment, environmentalism, analytics