the most depressing climate change news yet
I care immensely about climate change, and as such, am always interested in hearing why people are willing to disregard it. The science is not up for debate. As far as TRC is concerned, there are only a few reasons anyone would say “Climate change is not real”:
- You are a scientist who works on climate issues and have seen evidence that leads you to conclude the scientific consensus is incorrect,
- You are ignorant of, not interested in, or benefit from ignoring the science and the consensus among climate scientists, which is about as strong as scientific consensus can get, or
- You are not paying attention or are paying attention to the wrong things.
Well, it turns out that the 3rd reason makes a pretty big impact. If I were to create a list of things that SHOULD NOT influence opinions on the science of climate change, I would put how Republicans in the national government vote on issues related to climate and environment right at the top of the list. If there is anything that can not change reality, it would a vote by a politician. But I would be wrong. How the GOP votes is a strong determing factor in how Americans view climate change.
The researchers behind the study created a “Climate Change Threat Index” to gauge how the public views the impact of climate change over a nine-year period, and they conclude that GOP votes on environmental legislation have a particularly outsized effect. “In an extremely partisan environment, Republican votes against environmental bills legitimate public opinion opposed to action on climate change,” the authors write. “When the Republicans increase voting support for environmental bills, it reduces partisanship and increases public support for actions to address climate change.”
Next time you think that congress doesn’t impact Americans, remember, when an anti-environmental Republican mood takes over Washington, we jeopardize the very health of our planet.