A new poll conducted for the League of Conservation Voters found strong views among young voters, including young Republicans, regarding climate change denial. In short: young voters will not tolerate denying science or opposing action to slow climate change.
Suzanne Goldenberg at The Guardian reports:
The bipartisan poll conducted for the League of Conservation Voters found solid 80% support among under-35 voters for Barack Obama's climate change plan – and majority support even among those who oppose the president.
On the flip side the poll found three-quarters of voters, or 73%, would oppose members of Congress who stood in the way of Obama's climate action plan.
The findings could prove awkward for Republicans in Congress who have adopted climate contrarianism as a defining feature.
Some 55% of Republicans in the House of Representatives and 65% of those in the Senate reject the science behind climate change or oppose action on climate change, according to an analysis by the Centre for American Progress.
Embarrassingly, many members of Congress still do not accept the scientific consensus on climate change. See a map here. Goldenberg reports on how these deniers are seen by young voters.
The implications were even more harsh for those Republicans who block Obama on climate action and dispute the entire body of science behind climate change. "For voters under 35, denying climate change signals a much broader failure of values and leadership," the polling memo said. Many young voters would write such candidates off completely, with 37% describing climate change deniers as "ignorant", 29% as "out of touch" and 7% simply as "crazy".
Young voters aren't the only people calling for climate action. Recently evangelical scientists, military experts and former Republican EPA administrators have called on Congress to take significant action to address climate change.
Will these findings help persuade these deniers in Congress to "evolve" on the issue? Or will their loyalty to fossil fuel companies keep them in the denier camp? It is great to see the tide shifting among voters, but in order for climate change to not reach an irreversible tipping point, we need Congress to evolve quickly, before it is too late.