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Hullabaloo


Friday, March 18, 2016

 
Not a dime's worth of difference?

by digby
























There are many differences between the parties but this one may be the most important:
[B]illionaire Tom Steyer told me in an interview that he plans to spend more money pushing the issue in this year’s elections than he did in 2014, when he spent at least $70 million.

But Steyer also acknowledged that he faces a problem: A lot of voters don’t appear to be aware that one party favors action on climate, particularly transitioning to clean energy, and the other mostly doesn’t.

Steyer’s group, NextGen Climate Action, recently commissioned a poll of likely 2016 voters in Ohio — a crucial swing state in the industrial Midwest, where climate policy is often said to be a tough sell — to gauge attitudes towards climate change and clean energy in advance of the 2016 elections. Steyer has been calling on the presidential candidates to pledge to support his goal of generating half of the country’s electricity from clean-energy or non-carbon sources by 2030, and 100 percent of it by 2050.

The poll tested this proposal in the following way:

Which of the two political parties do you think would support this proposal to power America with 50 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050?

Democrats 47

Republicans 10

Both 20

Neither 9

Don’t know 14

More than half of respondents either think Republicans would be inclined to support this general goal or don’t know either way. More than half don’t know — and only 47 percent do know — that Democrats are substantially more committed to this goal than Republicans are. (As for Steyer’s specific pledge, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have signed it; no GOP candidates have).

“They don’t recognize that Republicans are opposed to a transition to clean energy,” Steyer tells me, speaking of voters. “That is an amazing fact.”

This hints at a broader problem that Steyer and others may face: A lot of voters may not know that there is a dramatic asymmetry between the two parties on climate and energy issues. Democratic lawmakers and candidates overwhelmingly acknowledge the science and favor specific action to do something about it. Republican lawmakers and candidates overwhelmingly either deny the science, act noncommittal about it (what I’ve called “Climate Non-Committalism“), or acknowledge the science but are evasive as to what specific actions they could support to address the problem.

Steyer’s new poll also found that in Ohio, very large majorities support transitioning to 50 percent clean energy by 2030. (The poll’s wording is generous to the proposal, but it mirrors other polls that have found national majorities support prioritizing the development of alternative energy sources.) However, Democrats and climate activists have struggled to make the issue into one that actually influences votes.
I realize the Democratic Party is second only to Satan in its commitment to the destruction of everything we hold dear. But it is still better than Satan, at least on this. Even the allegedly mainstream Republicans like Marco Rubio refuse to believe that humans contribute to climate change and even if they do there's no point in doing anything because people in other countries won't do anything. (The call this "leadership.")

And here's what the new leader of the Republican establishment, Ted Cruz, has to say about it:
“Climate change is not science. It’s religion."

"If you're a big-government politician, if you want more power, climate change is the perfect pseudo-scientific theory ... because it can never, ever, ever be disproven."

"the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of flat-Earthers."
Here's Trump:
"And actually, we’ve had times where the weather wasn’t working out, so they changed it to extreme weather, and they have all different names, you know, so that it fits the bill. But the problem we have, and if you look at our energy costs, and all of the things that we’re doing to solve a problem that I don’t think in any major fashion exists. I mean, Obama thinks it’s the number one problem of the world today. And I think it’s very low on the list. So I am not a believer, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems.”
He's not alone.

For a while Americans had bizarrely stopped worrying about it, but are now reaching their earlier levels of concerns. It seems to shift for inexplicable reasons.


But Republicans are still cretins:
In March, 40 percent of Republicans said they worry a great deal or fair amount about global warming, up from 31 percent last year. Independents expressing concern increased nine points, from 55 percent to 64 percent. Democrats’ concern is up slightly less — four points — and is now at 84 percent.
The vast majority of Democrats consistently believe the science.  Others do not. This is a problem. And it's worth taking into consideration when you condemn both parties equally. The Democrats aren't that great but right now they are our only hope if we want to save the planet.

.