The climate change mitigation is subject to the politicians who either recognize or, in some cases, unfortunately do not recognize the significance of the issue. Sometimes they won’t want to do anything if they believe it will cost them donations.
Teddy Roosevelt was one of the first conservationists. He may have taken a liking to killing and stuffing animals but he also genuinely understood the need to preserve the wild and the beauty of nature. Roosevelt has a legacy in National Parks. Richard Nixon had a positive influence on environmental regulations by enacting the EPA.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire in favor of being green promised to make the November congressional elections geared towards helping climate change. Steyer is a hedge fund manager who converted to be an environmentalist. He launched a state-of-the-art operation to push voters to elect governors and senators that are willing and able to do their best to confront global warming. He created a NextGen Climate Action political committee, which is on track to spend over $55 million in the election. This might be the most ever spent on an environmental group.
However, NextGen and other green groups are not exactly going about the issue as one might think or hope. They are not talking about it very often. They are paying for TV ads that attack Republican candidates on job creation and corruption instead of on carbon emissions. Samplers who go door-to-door have been addressing clean water and reproductive rights instead of the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry crude oil all the way from Canada to U.S. refineries.
What is the reason for this? Unfortunately, climate change is not a top concern for most voters. Only 3% of voters think it should be the country’s top priority. NextGen and other green groups explain that they are going about the issue this way to get the elections from supportive candidates, and then will work on climate change once elected. To get support, they have to work with Democratic allies to ensure a consistent message that resonates with a broad range of voter types.
The goal of door-to-door canvassers is to put the cherry on top for their loyalists to vote. The goal is not to persuade skeptics. They must make their ads and content relevant to voters and then once elected they can go about making positive changes to help protect our environment.
When climate change is a partisan issue, in America that means we have 50% of the voting public against actions to prevent climate change and 50% in support. Unfortunately the Democratic Party does not see climate change as a marginally important issue.