Whenever I want to check in on the public pulse of a given meme, I run a Google Trends search: the nifty little app charts the volume of Google searches and news reference over time, for any set of phrases you give it.
Recently, I ran a query on how key environmental issues stack up against other hot topics in the news – namely, Iraq and American Idol. This comparison (shown below) proves that, as hyped, the climate crisis is finally becoming one of the Big Issues, though it’s still nowhere near as interesting to surfers as the country’s top TV show during its finals.
Our other looming environmental crisis, meanwhile, isn’t seeing anywhere close to the search volume as climate change. Although gas prices are on the rise and petroleum reserves are dangerously low, interest in peak oil seems to have waned since the post-Katrina gas shock.
…wonder where these lines will end up by the 2008 election?