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Monday, December 6, 2021
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How Do Republicans Feel About Climate Change

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Senator Jim Inhofe Republican Of Oklahoma

Incoming chairman of the Senate committee on the environment and public works

Inhofe is the poster boy for Republican climate change denialism, not only for his stridency on the issue but because he is the once and future leader of the key Senate committee on environmental policy. Inhofe will be able to lead the committee for two years before running up against term limits . This time around, Inhofes committee is expected to focus on transportation and infrastructure bills.

But it seems likely that Inhofe will devote some energy to blocking the regulation of carbon emissions. We think this because on 12 November he told the Washington Post: As we enter a new Congress, I will do everything in my power to rein in and shed light on the EPAs unchecked regulations.


Inhofe has climate change the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, has said God, not humans, controls the weather, and has denied climate change in many other ways.

Economic Consequences Of Mitigation Policies

According to some observers, implementing some policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may increase the cost of American-made goods and services relative to those goods and services produced elsewhere, thus costing consumers and companies alike in the short term. In Climate Insights 2020: Policies and Politics, we saw that very few Americans believe that such undesirable economic side effects result from mitigation efforts. Here, we report how partisans perceive these economic consequences.

Interestingly, majorities of Democrats and of Republicans believe that mitigation policies do not exert ill economic effects, whether at the national level, state level, or their personal levels. Among Democrats, huge majorities believe that the United States doing things to reduce future global warming would not hurt the national economy, their state economy, the number of available jobs, or their own personal finances and job prospects. These sentiments were expressed by majorities of Republicans as well. The partisan gap, averaged over these six measures of economic impacts, was 21 percentage points.


Senator Lisa Murkowski Republican Of Alaska

Likely incoming chairwoman of the Senate committee on energy and natural resources

Murkowski has said that climate change is real, but she also plays the other side, boosting oil and gas interests in her home state and challenging the EPAs authority to curb emissions. It doesnt make sense to argue about how much global warming is caused by man whether its 5% or 50%, she said in April. The best approach is to have a no-regrets policy.


Even Republicans Are Aware That Climate Change Is Happening

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture quieted another series of dire warnings about climate change, its worth noting how Republicans and Democrats really feel about the subject, how businesses think about it and whats driving their assessment. Moreover, theres a solution that even conservatives will appreciate.

The recent controversy occurred when the USDA was accused of burying another series of concerns about how climate change will hurt farmers. Additionally, there were orders to trim all science advisory boards and moves to cut money for agricultural research which show policymakers are dismissing scientific evidence, to the countrys peril.

Dont Forget: Theres Hope

How partisans take different views on climate change


All of the scientists HuffPost spoke to said that the key to stopping dread and starting to take action on climate change is knowing there is hope. The worst can still be averted.

Leiserowitz noted that the U.S. is already well into the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Good news wind and solar are cheaper than fossil fuels in most parts of the world today, he said. This is where the future is going. The question is, will we make that transition fast enough?

For Rivera-Collazo, hope comes from seeing front-line communities not just sitting back and crying, but taking it into their own hands to clean and replenish local coastlines. They are doing things. That for me is a source of hope, she said. People are not sitting back and waiting for somebody to come save them.

Bullard, who is 74, locates his hope in young people beginning to flex their political muscle, voting and getting into policy positions, and particularly youth who are demanding transformative change rather than incremental baby steps.


And Caldas, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, had a message for the not-so-young: The youth fighting so hard … At one moment or another, their parents generation is going to wake up to the fact that their kids are fighting for a mess they are making, and they should get engaged.

Figure 24 Proportion Of Each Group Who Thought The Us Government Should Do More About Global Warming

The US government should do more to deal with global warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats and Independents have consistently believed that the federal government should do more about global warming. In 2020, 92% of Democrats, 64% of Independents, and 38% of Republicans favor more federal action. The partisan gap is 54 percentage points in 2020.

Governments in other countries should do more to deal with global warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have believed that governments in other countries should do more about global warming. In 2020, 87% of Democrats, 54% of Republicans, and 67% of Independents believe this, with a partisan gap of 33 percentage points.


Actually Republicans Do Believe In Climate Change

Dr. Van Boven and Dr. Sherman are social psychologists.

  • July 28, 2018

It is widely believed that most Republicans are skeptical about human-caused climate change. But is this belief correct?

In 2014 and 2016, we conducted two national surveys of more than 2,000 respondents on the issue of climate change. We found that most Republicans agreed that climate change is happening, threatens humans and is caused by human activity and that reducing carbon emissions would mitigate the problem.


To be sure, Democrats agreed more strongly than Republicans did that climate change is a concerning reality. And among climate skeptics there were more Republicans than Democrats. Nevertheless, most Republicans were in basic agreement with most Democrats and independents on this issue.

This raises a question: If Democrats and Republicans agree about climate change, why do they disagree about climate policy?

As we and our colleague Phillip Ehret argue this month in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, our research suggests the problem is not so much that Republicans are skeptical about climate change, but that Republicans are skeptical of Democrats and that Democrats are skeptical of Republicans. This tribalism leads to political fights over differences between the parties that either do not exist or are vastly exaggerated.

Figure 22 Proportion Of Each Group Who Thought Global Warming Will Be A Very Or Somewhat Serious Problem For The United States


Serious problem for the United States. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have consistently believed that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the United States in the future. In 2020, nearly all Democrats surveyed believe that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States, while 54% of Republicans, and 79% of Independents believe the same. The partisan gap is now 44 percentage points.

Serious problem for the world. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have consistently believed that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the world in the future. In 2020, 97% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans, and 81% of Independents hold this view, with a partisan gap of 37 percentage points .

Are Republicans Coming Out Of The Closet On Climate Change

Bruce Westerman, a Republican congressman from Arkansas, has a plan to help save the planet one he thinks may also help save his party.


His proposal, which calls for planting a trillion trees to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, was warmly received last month when House Republicans gathered to discuss their policy agenda heading into the 2020 elections.

After years of denying that the planet was growing hotter because of human activity, an increasing number of Republicans say they need to acknowledge the problem and offer solutions if they have any hope of retaking the House.

In poll after poll, large numbers of young and suburban Republican voters are registering their desire for climate action and say the issue is a priority. And their concern about climate change is spreading to older GOP supporters, too.

Almost 7 in 10 Republican adults under 45 said that human activity is causing the climate to change, according to a poll last summer by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Republicans cant win the majority back without winning suburban districts, and you cant win suburban districts with a retro position on climate change, said former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis, a Republican who is pushing his party to craft a climate plan.

The already well-worn buzzword innovation will be their rallying cry, and natural gas, despite its carbon emissions, will be embraced.

Climate Change Critics Lack A Consistent Message

Those who have criticized climate change are all over the place. You have those who say were going through global cooling, or that theres nothing going on different with the weather at all, or that any changes occurring are natural, not human-made, or its the fault of other countries.

With such an inconsistent message, its no wonder that the AP-NORC poll showed only nine percent of Americans are climate deniers. While 19 percent say they are unsure, the remaining 70+ percent not only recognize the climate is changing, but most of them also trust the science that says human activity is contributing greatly to this. If climate change becomes an election issue in 2020, it doesnt look so good for the GOP and Donald Trump.

Senator John Barrasso Republican Of Wyoming

Recently re-elected as chairman of GOP policy committee

Barrasso, a medical doctor who graduated from Georgetown and Yale, runs the committee in charge of summarizing and analyzing major GOP legislation. Last week he called the recently announced US-China deal irresponsible and expensive.

To me, this is an agreement thats terrible for the United States and terrific for the Chinese government and for the politicians there, because it allows China to continue to raise their emissions over the next 16 years, Barrasso said.

All of us want to make energy as clean as we can as fast as we can, he said. We want to do it in ways that dont raise the energy costs for American families and impact their jobs, income, ability to provide for their families. Those are the issues we need to be focusing on.

Republicans In Congress Are Out Of Step With The American Public On Climate

    A majority of Americans understand that climate change is a problem. A recent poll found that about six in 10 adults in the United States say the effects of global warming are already happening and a slightly greater proportion believe human activities are to blame for the Earths rise in temperature. Another study found that 65% of Americans believe that climate change is an emergency.

    Americans concern about climate translates into approval for action: 83% favor tax breaks for utilities that develop renewable power and 62% favor taxing companies for their greenhouse gas emissions. Such opinions are not just held among Democratic voters. A poll just before the 2020 election showed more than three-quarters of Republican voters favor government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Its not just the American people that are concerned about the climate and favor action. The American Petroleum Institute , a trade association that represents Americas oil and gas industry, announced in March 2021 a slate of actions that it favors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including a price on carbon. SeverallargeEuropeanoil and gas companies have set goals of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. U.S.-based companies generally havent taken this step, but several have come out in favor of a price on carbon emissions.

    Conservatives And Climate Change

    Top Republican Finally Acknowledges Human

    Jim Manzi&Peter Wehner

    Summer 2015

    The political debate over climate change has long resembled a contest to see which party can discredit itself more. Liberals have seized upon outlandishly improbable climate scenarios to urge drastic and immediate action. Former vice president Al Gore, a leading liberal voice on the subject, has compared global warming to “an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc.” “Our food systems, our cities, our people and our very way of life developed within a stable range of climatic conditions on Earth,” Gore has written. “Without immediate and decisive action, these favorable conditions on Earth could become a memory if we continue to make the climate crisis worse day after day after day.”

    Many more Republicans are uncomfortable making accusations of corruption and conspiracy against so much of the scientific community, but they too have struggled to sustain an untenable position. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, House speaker John Boehner, presidential candidates Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio, and rising star Senator Joni Ernst have all adopted the new talking point on the issue: “I’m not a scientist.” This is an attempt to invoke ignorance in order to avoid embarrassment.

    WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE

    CONFRONTING WORST CASES

    THE ENERGY INNOVATION EXAMPLE

    TECHNOLOGY, NOT TAXES

    Jim Manzi is a software entrepreneur and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

    Many More Republicans Now Believe In Climate Change

    President Barack Obama bids farewell to Pope Francis following a private audience at the Vatican, March 27, 2014.

    The number of conservative voters who believe in climate change has almost doubled in the past two years, according to a new poll that attributes the rise in part to a lessening hostility toward the issue by Republican leaders.

    Forty-seven percent of conservatives now say the climate is changing, a leap of 19 points since the midterm elections of 2014, according to the survey released yesterday by Yale and George Mason universities. The poll did not ask respondents whether climate change is caused by people.

    The jump accounts for the single biggest change among all voting groups, and it could symbolize a softening among conservatives on an issue that has sharply divided the political parties, according to Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

    A number of things might have affected peoples attitudes, including Pope Francis encyclical calling for climate action, a record-warm winter and media coverage around the international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report.

    Leiserowitz also attributes the rise in conservative belief to a reduction of attacks against climate science and policy in Congress and on the campaign trail.

    Read the full article here:http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/many-more-republicans-now-believe-in-climate-change/

    Amid Extreme Weather A Shift Among Republicans On Climate Change

    WASHINGTON After a decade of disputing the existence of climate change, many leading Republicans are shifting their posture amid deadly heat waves, devastating drought and ferocious wildfires that have bludgeoned their districts and unnerved their constituents back home.

    Members of Congress who long insisted that the climate is changing due to natural cycles have notably adjusted that view, with many now acknowledging the solid science that emissions from burning oil, gas and coal have raised Earths temperature.

    But their growing acceptance of the reality of climate change has not translated into support for the one strategy that scientists said in a major United Nations report this week is imperative to avert an even more harrowing future: stop burning fossil fuels.

    Instead, Republicans want to spend billions to prepare communities to cope with extreme weather, but are trying to block efforts by Democrats to cut the emissions that are fueling the disasters in the first place.

    Dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate said in recent interviews that quickly switching to wind, solar and other clean energy will damage an economy that has been underpinned by fossil fuels for more than a century.

    Im not doing anything to raise the cost of living for American families, said Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, where climate-fueled disasters have cost the state more than $100 billion over the past decade according to estimates from the federal government.

    Climate Agreement Is Long

    The survey results underscore almost two decades of often unappreciated accord among Americans on various aspects of climate change.

    In more than 20 years of surveys by Stanford Universitys Political Psychology Research Group, large majorities of Americans have said global warming is a significant threat and merits government attention. The researchers found that the majority of Americans favor a range of government policies to reduce emissions and oppose policy approaches that seem unlikely to be effective. 

    A majority of Republicans are actually on what I call the green side of the issue, a huge majority of Democrats are, and a large proportion of Independents, said Jon Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who has long conducted survey research on attitudes toward climate change.

    At the University of Washington in Seattle, Ann Bostrom, a professor of environmental policy, has polled Americans on climate change since the 1990s. Her results show substantial areas of harmony, similar to the Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos survey.

    Theres strong agreement among people across political ideologies in investing in research into renewable energy, according to her research.

    Congressman Luke Messer Republican Of Indiana

    Elected as Republican policy committee chairman

    In a 2013 editorial, Messer referred to climate change as a social issue. Unfortunately, the president seems to be focused on everything but creating jobs, Messer wrote. He hardly mentioned the economy in his inaugural address, instead choosing to lecture on a series of social issues including the threat of global climate change.

    Across The Country Most Republicans Dont Think Humans Are Causing Climate Change

    Percentage of Republicans in each congressional district who say that global warming is caused mostly by human activities

    30%

    70

    National average:31%

    Fewer than a third of registered Republicans nationwide say that climate change is caused mostly by human activities, while nearly half say its mostly due to natural changes in the environment, according to the study, which looked at eight years of opinion data and mapped the results by congressional district.

    Being skeptical about global warming has become part of Republican or conservative identity, said Riley E. Dunlap, a professor of environmental sociology at Oklahoma State University who was not involved in the study.

    Republicans in the New York City area are about twice as likely to agree that human activities are driving global warming as their counterparts in Montana. But even in New York, barely 50 percent attribute the cause to humans.

    Since the election of Donald Trump as president, belief that climate change is human-caused has declined among registered Republican voters, according to another recent poll.

    Last month, more than a dozen federal agencies published a major scientific report showing that global warming is largely due to human greenhouse gas emissions.

    Congresswoman Cathy Mcmorris Rodgers Republican Of Washington

    Recently re-elected conference chairwoman

    McMorris Rodgers was a co-sponsor of the 2011 Energy Tax Prevention Act to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, a position in line with her staunchly anti-regulation record. As a member of the energy and power subcommittee, she was a key proponent of the 2011 law, saying, We support it. Were gonna get it passed. She also has said, of Nobel-winner Al Gores work to raise an alarm on the environment, We believe Al Gore deserves an F in science and an A in creative writing.

    Heres McMorris Rodgers opposing emissions regulations: That is not the right process. It is also not the right policy.

    Figure 4 Party Breakdown Of Beliefs About Effects And Observations Of Global Warming

    Majorities of Democrats and Republicans also diverge in their observations of the world around them. Majorities of Democrats and Republicans believe they have seen effects of global warming. But although majorities of Democrats believe that, during the last three years, global weather patterns have been more unstable , that global temperatures have been higher , and that weather patterns in the county where they live have been more unstable , only minorities of Republicans hold those views: 41%, 41%, and 26%, respectively.

    Majorities of Democrats and of Republicans endorse action to deal with global warming. Democrats are almost unanimously in favor of action by the US government, governments in other countries, US businesses, and average people. Sizable majorities of Republicans expressed these preferences as well. The partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans on these issues ranges from 27 to 50 percentage points and averages 36 percentage points.

    Biden: ‘when I Think Climate Change I Think Jobs’

    How partisans take different views on climate change

    Make no mistake: Access to cheap, abundant red meat is a certain type of American value. I learned about that in 2018, after The Washington Post published a recipe for a vegetarian alternative to hot dogs, and the internet exploded into a murderous, meat-defending rage.

    Working on a story at the time, I called up Bruce Kraig, a food historian who has written two books about hot dogs in America, to try to understand why. He tied the outrage directly to American culture. “Underlying the defense of hot dogs is the idea of American values,” he told me. “In this case, those values are xenophobia and American exceptionalism.”

    Kraig explained to me that widespread access to cheap red meat was one of the first things to set Americans apart from Europeans in post-Civil War America. “If a working-class factory worker in Liverpool, you going to eat as much meat,” Kraig said. “But working-class Americans could get it, and they knew that.”

    Access to cheap, abundant red meat is a certain type of American value.

    This fueled a national sense of superiority over Europeans, who Kraig said were actually pretty grossed out by Americans’ level of meat consumption at the time.

    Figure 20 Proportion Of Each Group Who Believed The Worlds Temperature Will Probably Go Up Over The Next 100 Years

    Future warming. Since 1997, majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have believed that the earth will probably be warmer in a century if nothing is done to prevent it. In 2020, 94% of Democrats, 72% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans believe that warming will probably continue in the future. No notable growth has occurred in the partisan gap since 2011.

    5°F warmer would be bad. Majorities of Democrats and of Independents have consistently believed that 5°F of global warming would be bad, but the proportion of Republicans expressing that belief has hovered around the midline, peaking at 59% in 1997 and dipping to its lowest points of 47% in 2010 and 2015. The partisan gap in 2020 is the biggest observed since 1997 at 34 percentage points.

    Congressman Fred Upton Republican Of Michigan

    To continue to chair the House energy and commerce committee

    Upton has used his post atop the energy committee, which he can hold for two more years, to attempt to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He authored the 2011 Energy Tax Prevention Act, which passed the House but did not pass the Senate, which was then controlled by the Democrats. Heres what the bill set out to achieve:

    To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.

    Heres video of Upton in 2011 admitting the climate is changing, but declining to accept that humans have played a role in it. I have said many times, and there was a report a couple of weeks ago that in fact you look at this last year, it was the warmest year in the last decade, I think was the numbers that came out, Upton says. I dont I accept that. I do not say that it is man-made.

    Senator John Cornyn Republican Of Texas

    Recently re-elected as Senate Republican whip

    Cornyns view on a possible human role in climate change is insinuated for a Republican and doubly so for a Republican from oil country. Which is adamantly not to say he favors emissions regulations.

    I am not one that denies that human beings have an impact on the environment, Cornyn said in a phone call with Texas reporters in May. But I am sure not willing to put the federal government in charge of trying to micromanage the environment for the United States of America, nor for us to drive up the price of energy for people on fixed income, like seniors and people of modest means, by putting restrictions in place that other nations are not.

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