The tides have shifted among conservative voters, as new research suggests that half of Republicans heading to the polls this year believe that global warming is a threat. The survey, issued by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities, noted that twice as many conservatives believe that climate change is real compared to two years ago, highlighting a major leap in public opinion. As the urgency of a changing climate becomes increasingly prevalent, more and more people are taking a part in finding solutions through jobs and lifestyle changes. It’s now up to leaders to show their citizens that they are paying attention, and putting the concerns of communities – especially those at the forefront of climate impacts – at the heart of their political agendas.
— Yale Climate Program (@YaleClimateComm) April 27, 2016
- Campaign to follow: Break Free
- Climate change is a non-partisan issue. Last March, Florida mayors from across party lines called for debate moderators to step in and address climate change during the televised Republican debate. In vulnerable places like Florida, which faces the highest risk of flooding in the country, people realize that their communities are at the forefront of the climate crisis, regardless of their political allegiances.
- The renewable transition is revolutionizing the American economy. Renewable jobs have skyrocketed and there are now twice as many solar workers as coal miners in the US, while clean air benefits from wind power were responsible for $7.3 billion in savings on health costs in 2015 alone. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people camped outside Tesla Motors dealerships, the innovative automotive company known for its electric cars, to purchase their latest more affordable model, and even more are being waitlisted.
- People want governments to do their part in solving the climate crisis. Although there are still divides over people’s perceptions of climate science across party lines, this fundamental change in opinion shows climate action is increasingly mainstream. According to this poll, most people are in favour of climate-friendly policies, including increased funding for renewables, reducing CO2 emissions, and tax programs such as rebates on energy efficiency, or a carbon tax.
- Half of U.S. Conservatives Say Climate Change Is Real (Bloomberg)
- Many More Republicans Now Believe in Climate Change (Scientific American)
- Climate Change Action Emerges As Winning Wedge Issue In 2016 (ThinkProgress)
Tools & Resources
- Report: Politics and Global Warming, Spring 2016 (Yale/George Mason)
- PR: AWEA: Wind Energy Reduces Health Costs By $7.3 Billion In 2015 (AWEA)
- PR: US wind power jobs hit record, up 20 percent in 2016 (AWEA)
- Report: National Solar Jobs Census (Solar Foundation)
- Commentary: Can the Republican Party solve its science denial problem? (Guardian)
- Article: Republicans Are Warming Up to Renewable Energy (Bloomberg)
- Article: Renewable Energy Stumbles Toward the Future (New York Times)
- “I think if these trends continue, Republicans will find themselves out of step with voters who believe climate change is real […] I think Republicans should be trying to find areas of agreement with pro-environmental voters and seek to emphasize those areas rather than focus on the different views about whether or not climate change is real or the role mankind plays or doesn’t play in it.” – Sen. Lindsey (R – S.C.)
- “From rising sea levels to ocean acidification, it is evident that South Florida is at the frontline of climate change […] We need to prepare for sea level rise and advocate for clean energy solutions that can compete in a free market.” – Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R – Fla.)
Related Tree Alerts
- Mayors call for climate to make TV waves during presidential debates in Florida
- White House weighs in on health risks of climate change
- Clean energy, transportation drive green job growth
- RT @RADiFranco Despite what the GOP primaries might have you believe, many more Republicans now believe in #climatechange.
- RT @ClimateComms Many more Republicans now accept reality of climate change – Poll shows a big leap from two years ago