We have often discussed the disconnect of the two major parties with their bases. For Democrats, it is the disgraceful record on civil liberties left by Democratic leadership, including President Obama. For Republicans, it is often the environment. Polls show a high number of Republican voters are in favor of environmental laws that are routinely undermined by GOP leaders. Now a new Pew poll shows that roughly half of Republicans say there is “solid evidence” of global warming — a remarkable jump of 37 percent jump from 2009.
The numbers are still higher in the population at large: 67 percent of all Americans and 48 percent of Republicans. However, the high numbers of Republicans accepting the science is not reflected in their party leadership or platform. The party appears captured by the most extreme elements of its members, including highly antagonistic business and lobby interest in the environmental field.
While many GOP leaders continue to deny the very notion of global warming like Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) , others are moving to a new position: it may be real but we may not be the cause or have any real power to change it. That was the view articulated recently by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) in debate with his congressional challenger Ami Bera (D):
LUNGREN: There is no doubt that there is global change, climate change. The question is who causes it and is it caused predominantly by human activity. It seems to me we ought to take reasonable steps but not steps that so put us in a disadvantageous situation economically that we will have less jobs. There’s those that cry about their concern for jobs and then support the very things that would absolutely destroy jobs. We have an example of that in the current administration that I believe is supported by my opponent to try and basically ruin the coal industry in the United States, losing us tens of thousands of jobs instead of pursuing the cleanest technology in the area of coal. [...]
MODERATOR: So you’re suggesting the global warming change may not be caused by manmade sources?
LUNGREN: No, my suggestion is we don’t know to what extent it is and to what extent moves we would take on our own in the United States would have an effect. At the same time I believe it makes good common sense to try and reduce carbon emissions where possible, as I’ve done in the U.S. capitol.
That approach is more nuanced and perhaps more dangerous. It shields the politicians from any responsibility to act while allowing global warming to get worse with the potential for catastrophic impacts around the world.
Notably, this study means that more Republicans believe in global warming than evolution. Some 58% of polled Republicans believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.
Source: US News