A major hurdle as the United States tries to do its part to counter climate change is resistance from Republican politicians. So far, most of them have been able to sit on the sidelines because GOP voters are less troubled by climate change than Democratic voters. Asked late last year if “the federal government should do more to protect people from global warming’s impacts,” 88 percent of Democrats said yes, compared to only 33 percent of Republicans.
But that gap may narrow significantly before too much longer. There is increasing evidence that young Republicans view climate change as a threat to our health and economy and that they believe our leaders must act. A recent survey by the Alliance for Market Solutions found that nearly 60 percent of young Republicans acknowledge that human-induced climate change is real, as do 88 percent of young Democrats. A majority of young people of both parties said they believe steps should be taken to slow or stop climate change.
“Young voters don’t necessarily have strong views on what should be done about climate change, but doing nothing is not a path that most young people, including Republicans, tend to support,” said Kristen Soltis Anderson, the Republican strategist who conducted the survey.