How do you like the soup we’re in?

The latest Gallup Environment poll shows strong public support for maintaining protection for key environmental benefits while relatively weaker support for dealing with the threat of global warming to all we hold dear:

“At least three in four Americans surveyed say they worry a great deal or a fair amount about contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, pollution of drinking water, and the maintenance of the nation's supply of fresh water for household needs,” the poll reports.

Gallop adds that “Air pollution is nearly as high a concern for Americans, with 72 percent worried a great deal or a fair amount about it. A little more than 6 in 10 worry about the related problems of extinction of plant and animal species and the loss of tropical rain forests. Slightly fewer worry about urban sprawl and loss of open spaces, while barely half, 51 percent, worry about global warming.”

This puts an environmental twist on the old Kreplach Joke:

The Kreplach Joke

So, there's a little boy who's completely freaked out by kreplach – a chicken soup with meat-filled dumplings. Every time kreplach is put in front of him, he takes one look and shrieks,


The kid’s parents love kreplach so it presents a problem.

His mother is concerned and goes to consult the shrink, who advises her that the child has a typical case of fear of the unknown. Show him exactly what goes into the kreplach, explain slowly and clearly that it's nothing to be afraid of, and he'll be fine. After all, he likes the components, so why should he be scared of the final product?

So one day, one of the boy's parents takes him into the kitchen, puts him on a high stool, and, with lots of smiles and calm reassurances, begins to deconstruct the dreaded dumpling. First the parent rolls out a piece of dough. Holds it up.

"Just like a pancake, You love pancakes."

"I like pancakes," said the little boy.

Then the parent chops up meat and gathers it into a ball.

"Just like a meatball!"

"I like meatballs," says the little boy, and smiles.

The parent then places the meat on the dough and folds the dough over. Holds it up:

"Just like a little hat."

"I love those little hats," the kid says, comfortably.

The parent cooks it up: just like a dumpling. “I like dumplings!” the boy says.

The parent now pours some chicken broth into a bowl, who responds eagerly. “Soup, I love soup.”

The parent then combines all the things that the boy loves into a single bowl and presents it to him for dinner.

Kid takes one look at it and screams,


According to Gallup, the public loves all the things that global warming threatens – clean lakes, clean drinking water, clean air, keeping plants and animals from extinction, preserving open space and liveable communities – but if you ask them whether they are worried about global warming, the answer is “not so much!”

On the other hand, when Gallup reports that “barely half (the public), 51 percent, worry about global warming,” it means that at least half the public knows we’re in the soup!