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.
New Caucus New Opportunity
Even broaching the topic with some political conservatives can be challenging, said U.S. Rep. John Curtis, a Republican from Utah.
He compared the reflexive reaction many conservatives have when it comes to climate change to how Democrats feel when they hear about former President Donald Trumps U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Their chest tightens, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
I think climate has been like that for Republicans, right? Just the word climate has all these agendas, the Green New Deal and Al Gore kind of associated with it, and I think thats turned them off.
Last week, Curtis launched the Conservative Climate Caucus – a group in Congress that already boasts a roster of more than 50 Republicans to try to educate colleagues and brainstorm ideas to deal with climate change.
Curtis said he envisions field trips to look at electric vehicle manufacturing or forest fire damage, a big worry in the western United States right now.
But hes not keen on virtually eliminating use of fossil fuels – something scientists say is crucial to limiting dangerous warming – instead preferring a switch to cleaner ones.
I think theres a role for fossil fuels, he said. If were able to export U.S. natural gas to China and it displaced coal, that would have dramatic impacts on worldwide carbon emissions.
Curtis acknowledged that among a certain set of conservative voters, winning heart and minds on climate change will take much more work.
Figure 9 Party Breakdown Of Opinions On Mitigation Policies On Which The Majorities Of Democrats And Of Republicans Disagree
On the other policies included in the survey, majorities of Democrats and of Republicans do not agree. Minorities of Republicans and majorities of Democrats favor carbon pricing policies and increased gasoline taxes. In general, majorities of Democrats and minorities of Republicans believe that federal stimulus packages should include provisions to invest in the development of new technologies and in maintenance to reduce future emissions.
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Same Problem Different Solution
Young conservatives like Smith and Diaz say the existence of climate change isnt up for debate.;Democrats proposed solutions to the climate;change;is where they begin to;diverge.;;
Republicans;say policies like the Green New Deal and the Biden Administrations climate plan are not effective or realistic methods to combat climate change.;
Theres a lot of enthusiasm to talk about it, Smith said. At the end of the day its really performative and it is pointless if the solutions theyre offering arent viable. They need to be ensuring that the United States makes the transition away from fossil fuels in a way that is fiscally viable for the American people.;
In line with Bidens climate plan, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a moderate Democrat,;signed an executive order in November 2020 creating the Climate Initiatives Task Force, aimed at making the state carbon neutral by 2050. But Smith called the task force;money down the;drain. He said the task force is funding research already conducted by other administrations and a;performative action.;
Its very much the case of John Bel kicking the can down the road. The task force is saying theyre going to show us the results in five years, Smith said. But itll be too late at that point.;
The House GOP recently;formed;a Republican-led group on climate change.;;
You think the guys driving a Lamborghini are getting hurt? he;said. Noits the person taking the bus.;
Senator Roy Blunt Republican Of Missouri
Recently re-elected as vice-chairman of the Senate Republican conference
Blunt has acknowledged that climate change exists and said we have a social responsibility to help the environment. He also has said, however, that the human role in climate change is unclear. understands that any energy policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gases should be carefully considered in the context of Americas already fragile economy, a spokesman for Blunt told the Springfield News-Leader in 2011. The worst outcome is that we pass policies so onerous that we drive jobs overseas to countries where they dont care as much about what comes out of their smokestacks as we do.
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Why Republicans Still Dont Care About Climate Change
Mary Nichols has been part of the struggle to prevent catastrophic climate change for about as long as anyone in American life. For years, shes directed Californias pathbreaking efforts to reduce carbon emissions as the chair of the California Air Resources Boarda position she held first in the 1970s before taking it up again in 2007. Nichols has also served at the federal level, working as the chief regulator for air pollution at the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. And yet even Nichols has never seen anything that crystallizes the dangers of climate change more clearly than the historic outbreak of wildfires scorching California and other western states this year.
Yes, absolutely, she told me earlier this week, when I asked her whether this years fires are the most tangible danger to California that shes seen from climate change. Its not suddenly going to reverse itself to years when theres no fire season, or its not going to happen until October. The changes are going to be real, and they are going to be long-lasting.
What we have now is the absolute environmental demonstration or evidence of just how dramatic the impact of climate change is going to be. This is not going to stop, Browner told me. There is going to be something next year, and the year after, if we dont get on it.
Fundamental Beliefs And Attitudes
For 14 out of 21 survey questions posed to American respondents about fundamental beliefs and attitudes regarding global warming, majorities of Democrats and Republicans alike hold green opinions in 2020.
For example, 94% of Democrats believe global warming has been happening, as do 67% of Republicans. 94% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans think warming will continue in the future if nothing is done to address it. 94% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans believe that if warming has been happening, human actions have been responsible for causing it.
Majorities of Democrats and of Republicans also agree about the likely effects of global warming98% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans believe global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the US if nothing is done to address it. Some 97% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans believe that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the world if nothing is done to address it.
However, the partisans diverge on whether specific temperature changes have been or will be bad. Whereas 88% of Democrats believe that the warming that has happened over the past 100 years was bad, only 40% of Republicans believe that. And whereas 84% of Democrats believe that a 5-degree Fahrenheit increase in world temperature over the next 75 years would be bad, only 50% of Republicans agree.
Only 25 Per Cent Of Republicans Believe Climate Change Is A Very Serious Problem
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The Monmouth University survey revealing a growing number of Americans acknowledge climate change is happening, and that most of them believe its becoming an issue.
Almost two-thirds of Republicans, 64 per cent, believe global warming exists. That number has increased from 49 per cent three years ago.
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.
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Its All In A Name: Global Warming Versus Climate Change
More people believe in climate change than in global warming, according to a University of Michigan study published in Public Opinion Quarterly. Wording matters, says Jonathon Schuldt, a Ph.D. candidate in the U-M Department of Psychology who co-authored the study with ISR researchers Sara Konrath and Norbert Schwarz.
For the research, Schuldt, Konrath and Schwarz conducted a question wording experiment in the American Life Panel, an online survey conducted by RAND, with a national sample of 2,267 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to report their level of certainty about whether global climate change is a serious problem.
The good news is that Americans may not be as polarized on the issue as previously thought. The extent of the partisan divide on this issue depends heavily on question wording, says Schwarz.. When the issue is framed as global warming, the partisan divide is nearly 42 percentage points. But when the frame is climate change, the partisan divide drops to about 26 percentage points.
Congressman John Boehner Republican Of Ohio
Speaker of the House
Boehner reliably pleads ignorance to punt on climate change. Listen, Im not qualified to debate the science over climate change, Boehner said in May. But I am astute enough to understand that every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs. That cant be the prescription for dealing with changes in our climate.
Boehner called the US-China deal the latest example of the presidents crusade against affordable, reliable energy that is already hurting jobs and squeezing middle-class families.
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Figure 10 Party Breakdown Of Opinions On Federal Stimulus Policies On Which The Majorities Of Democrats And Of Republicans Disagree
Majorities of Democrats and minorities of Republicans favor three policies put into place by President Obama that have been rolled back by President Trump: a mandate to power plants to cut carbon emissions from the electric sector by more than 30% relative to 2005 levels; a plan for the federal government to reduce its own emissions; and a mandate to increase fuel efficiency standards of all new cars and trucks made in the United States to get at least 55 miles per gallon by 2025.
Climate Deniers In The 117th Congress
According to new analysis from the Center for American Progress, there are still 139 elected officials in the 117th Congress, including 109 representatives and 30 senators, who refuse to acknowledge the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change. All 139 of these climate-denying elected officials have made recent statements casting doubt on the clear, established scientific consensus that the world is warmingand that human activity is to blame. These same 139 climate-denying members have received more than $61 million in lifetime contributions from the coal, oil, and gas industries.
Democrats And Republicans Divided On Climate Change
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, speaks as Senator Ed Markey, a… Democrat from Massachusetts, right, listens during a news conference announcing Green New Deal legislation in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
How serious an issue is climate change and what should be done about it? It is not surprising that Democrats and Republicans have different views about these questions as they do about so many issues today. But what is significant now is the depth of their differences on climate change and how much those differences have grown over time. In the April issue of AEIs Political Report, we examined partisans views in recent polls and trends.
When Quinnipiac University asked registered voters in December 2018 about the extreme weather events over the past few years, 90% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans said they were related to climate change. In a similar question asked by Economist/YouGov pollstersin March 2019, 76% of Democrats said the severity of recent weather events were the result of climate change, compared to 17% of Republicans. Seventy-four percent of Republicans said these kinds of events just happen from time to time.
And what about the Green New Deal? In the limited number of polls that we have at this point, most Americans are not very familiar with it. Among those who have an opinion, Democrats are more positive than Republicans.
Figure 11 Party Breakdown Of Opinions On Obama
Of the 24 policies, 17 are favored by a majority of Independents, including the 7 that are favored by majorities of Republicans and of Democrats.
Of the seven policies favored by a minority of Independents, two are also favored by minorities of Republicans and Democrats: tax breaks to encourage nuclear power plant construction and increased consumer taxes on electricity.
Four of the other five policies favored by a minority of Independents are: increasing consumer taxes on gasoline, helping companies prevent leaks and pollution from pipelines, spending stimulus money to advance manufacturing of all-electric cars, and installing charging stations for electric cars. For the proposed policy of helping companies make batteries that are smaller and last longer, 50% of Independents were in favor.
For two policies more Republicans than Democrats are in favor, by margins of 13 and 11 percentage points respectively.
Of the remaining 22 policies, more Democrats than Republicans are in favor by margins ranging from 18 to 58 percentage points and averaging 37 percentage points.
In sum, Democrats are generally more supportive of emissions reduction policies than Republicans, and Independents are generally in between those two groups. And although majorities of both Republicans and Democrats agree with one another about some policies, they disagreed on most.
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Young Republicans See Shift In Gop: ‘from Outright Denial To Climate Caucus’
Twenty-four-year-old Republican Danielle Butcher is watching with anticipation as GOP leaders move from outright denial to now having a climate caucus a move she sees as the first step in integrating climate action into formal party policy.
Butcher, the executive vice president of the American Conservation Coalition , spoke to The Hills Equilibrium on Tuesday, just a week after Rep. John Curtis ;launched the Conservative Climate Caucus and the same day that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
The partys progress is huge, when you apply the context, Butcher said.; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
This is an excellent first step, she continued. The first thing you have to do in achieving climate action is start talking about these problems.
To Butcher, integrating climate action into Republican politics speaks to her partys historic conservation core the GOP with a deep-seated, rural heritage, was responsible for creation of the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency under former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.
I also see this as us reclaiming our heritage, she said.
But with two-thirds of Americans indicating that the government should do more on climate change a stance that Butcher observed is especially true among young people” she said Republicans need to be talking about these issues and involving the younger generation in the discussions.
The GOP has notoriously struggled with young people, she added.
Climate Insights : Partisan Divide
A breakdown of survey results by party shows that although the views of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents differ, they also converge in ways that may be unexpected.
Report byBo MacInnis and Jon A. Krosnick75 minute read Oct. 13, 2020
Republicans Are Not A Monolith On Climate Change
Republican lawmakers have been attacking the Biden Administrations 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.
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 worlds governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.
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