There's been loads of research on environmental problems, but scientists have yet to measure precisely how little Americans care about saving the environment. Here's a data point: Americans care less about the environment than if their dishes are spotless.
Recently, dishwashing detergent manufacturers voluntarily reduced the amount of phosphates in their products, after 17 states passed bans on the ingredient, which leaks out of people's suburban homes and causes algae blooms and those terrifying 'dead zones' in oceans and lakes. Consumer response to this positive move has been sad, if predictable, according to the New York Times. The customer review section of Cascade's website has lit up. For example:
My dishes were dirtier than before they were washed. It was horrible, and I won't buy it again.
This is impossible, unless your dishwasher is accidentally hooked up to an oil well. Shut up.
This is the worst product ever made for use as a dishwashing detergent!
Whoa… hold on. The worst product ever made? You know what cavemen used to wash the pieces of bark they used as dishes? Rocks, probably. Is the new, environmentally-friendly Cascade with Dawn Gel worse than rocks? Shut up.
Many others beg for the old, slightly-more-effective-but-fish-killing formula back. This is because after each meal they are mortified by how much Stouffer's Bacon and Mayonaise Explosion they shoved into their bodies and must scour their plates of their shame. Since when did dishes have to look like the floor of an Intel cleanroom?