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‘Environmentalist’ Doesn’t Just Mean White and Wealthy

A new study refutes some common stereotypes of who cares most about the environment.
Marchers reflect in the sunglasses of Patrick, a member of the Latino advocacy group CASA de Maryland, during the 2017 climate march in Washington, D.C.
Marchers reflect in the sunglasses of Patrick, a member of the Latino advocacy group CASA de Maryland, during the 2017 climate march in Washington, D.C.Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Picture an environmentalist.

For many Americans, that prompts an image of someone who’s white, well-educated, and in the middle class. That’s what researchers found when they surveyed more than 1,200 U.S. adults of different ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Yet in that same survey, nonwhite participants on average reported higher levels of concern for the environment than whites.