Republicans are not a monolith on climate change
Republican lawmakers have been attacking the Biden Administration’s actions to address the climate crisis. However, not all Republicans align. The party is split and the recent mass power outages during a severe storm in Texas may drive a deeper wedge into the party as Republican lawmakers were seen as having failed their constituents. In Florida, the GOP recently released a $100M+ plan to address flooding caused by climate change, although nothing to halt or reverse climate change itself. Recent polls show the fissure among Republican voters is generational and there is a substantial chasm between Democrat and Republican voters when it comes to understanding the causes and risks of climate change.
- According to The Hill, in a recent poll conducted by The Conservation Coalition and the Conservative Energy Network, 68 percent percent of Republicans between the ages of 18 and 54 say climate change is important to their vote. The same poll also found that more than three-quarters of all Republican voters favor the government taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- According to the Pew Research Center, Democrats are more than three times as likely as Republicans to say dealing with climate change should be a top priority (78% vs. 21%).
- A 2020 Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos survey found that Republicans, Democrats, and independents do support increasing energy efficiency, modernizing the electric grid, investing in research to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and government help for cities and states to fight climate change.
- According to New York Times reporters Nadja Popovich And Livia Albeck-ripka, in a study titled “The spatial distribution of Republican and Democratic climate opinions at state and local scales” less than a third of registered Republicans nationwide said that climate change is caused mostly by human activities, and almost half claim it’s a natural phenomenon.
No matter what direction the political winds blow, the planet continues on its dangerous path of warming as humans continue to burn fossil fuels at an alarming rate. Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.
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Politics, money, and scorecards on climate change
- California Environmental Scorecard by the California League of Conservation Voters
- Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one by Yale Climate Connections, January 6, 2020
- 2020 Environmental Justice Scorecard by the California Environmental Justice Alliance
- How Much Does Climate Change Cost? Biden Expected to Raise Carbon’s Dollar Value by Inside Climate News, February 19, 2021