Fighting Words

Former Utne Editor in Chief David Schimke on conflict, compassion, partisanship, and peace

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Pro-Guns, Pro-Life, Pro-Environment

8/18/2011 4:45:16 PM

Tags: climate change, global warming, progressivism, undecided voters, Republicans, environment, Fighting Words, Daily Climate, David Schimke

global-warming-banksy 

We live in a country where a stunning number of TV meteorologists still aggressively deny the existence of climate change, so I couldn’t help but be both surprised and a bit encouraged by the results of a national poll conducted last November. It seems that Republicans who dare to take a “green position” on climate—which essentially means admitting that something needs to be done to keep the earth’s temperature from rising—could end up wooing undecided voters without alienating their core constituency.

According to The Daily Climate, Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment called 1,000 randomly selected participants and asked them to evaluate a hypothetical Senate candidate based on a number of issues and found that “taking a green position on climate won votes . . . and taking a not-green position [which includes sticking with coal and oil as the nation’s dominant energy sources] lost votes.”

Based on a detailed breakdown of the data, researchers concluded that while Democrats could strengthen their base by focusing on climate, Republicans hoping to woo Independents and disappointed Dems had more to gain at the moment, especially if their opponents stay silent on the subject. “On taxes and the economy, the Republicans are singing one note,” Bruce Cain, professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Daily Climate. “The only way to win is by shining the light on the differences.”

This analysis squares with the findings of another Stanford poll released a year ago, which found that “three out of four Americans believe that ‘the Earth has been gradually warming due primarily or at least partly as the result of human activity and want the government to institute regulations to stop it.’ ”

Whether or not taking a pro-green position on the stump would actually result in actual legislation after the polls close is another question altogether, of course, but it will be interesting to see if data like this changes the conversational climate come primary time.

Source: The Daily Climate 

Image by paul nine-o, licensed under Creative Commons. 



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Post a comment below.

 

steve eatenson
8/28/2011 11:57:21 AM
Rather than focus on whether or not human activity is causing climate change or whether it is a naturally occuring cycle, let's focus on eliminating pollution. That is an area we can all agree on and guess what, eliminate the causes of pollution and you will placate everyone who thinks global warming is man made. Let's not focus on abortion or no abortion. Let's focus on the overpopulation problem that is causing pollution, hunger, jobless problems, crime. Rather than focus on guns or no guns, let's focus on reducing violent crimes of all kinds. Viewed in this way, we don't run into all the time and money wasting argument we have recently seen in Congress.

William W Haywood_1
8/19/2011 6:16:39 PM
There is going to come a time, very soon, when belief will not be necessary to see the effects of humanity on mother earth. Belief, whether it be in god, or in global warming, is not based on facts but is based on gullible people putting their trust in someone or some agency that they consider to be an authority. Authority always uses belief to placate those who only seem capable of taking a pundits word for it. Belief is false information and it will eventually cause a major collapse of any edifice built upon its foundations of sand. Science is as capable of deciding the facts as the method that is used.



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