By: Jack Kelly
On Earth Day, April 22nd, the Pew Research Center published the results of a recent global survey on climate change. Pew surveyed a total of 26 countries. Thirteen of the 26 countries believe that climate change is a major threat to their nation.
The United States, is in the group of thirteen with 59% of the people surveyed, also believes that climate change is a major threat to our nation. However, there is a wide partisan gap in belief about climate change in the U.S. among Democrats and Democratic- leaning Independents, 83% believe that climate change is a major threat to our country. This is an increase of 25 percentage points in the last five years from 58% to the current 83%.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, only 27% believe that climate change is a major threat to our nation. This is an increase of just two percentage points over the past five years. This low concern about climate change among Republicans is fully embraced by President Trump, who is not only a climate change denier but also a strong proponent of taking actions that accelerate the devastating impacts of climate change.
So where do we go from here? In spite of destructive actions by the Trump Administration over the past 28 months, there is strong support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning Independent voters to take aggressive action to address the global climate crisis ASAP. The good news is that this group also represents the majority of American voters. In addition, recent surveys indicate that climate change is the number one issue of Democratic voters as we move toward the 2020 presidential election.
On a national level there are limited actions on climate change we can take until after the 2020 election because the Republican controlled Senate and our Denier and Chief in the White House. But there are some specific areas we will be encouraging our Democratic senators and representatives to take action on in the weeks ahead. In addition, there are a number of nationally organized efforts like the Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR) and the Global Student Strike efforts that we will be supporting.
Our biggest opportunities to make progress in addressing climate change are at the state and local levels. We will be strongly supporting the new Illinois Bill: CEJA the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
We will be sending you specific actions in each of these areas that we will be asking you to support. In the meanwhile, we hope you find the above global and national voter attitudes on climate change promising and motivating as we go forward.