On Young People and Climate Change Skepticism
The New York Times has a front-page story this morning on climate change skepticism and denial within the Tea Party movement.
According to the story:
Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement, here in Indiana and across the country. For some, it is a matter of religious conviction; for others, it is driven by distrust of those they call the elites. And for others still, efforts to address climate change are seen as a conspiracy to impose world government and a sweeping redistribution of wealth. But all are wary of the Obama administration’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous gas, which will require the expansion of government authority into nearly every corner of the economy.
As I’ve noted here before, climate denial is pervasive in today’s Republican Party. Case in point: All but one of the 20 Republican Senate candidates in tight races have raised questions about the science behind climate change.
But how sustainable is this kind of position? The majority of Tea Partiers are over 45, with just 7 percent between the ages of 18 and 29, according to an April New York Times poll. At the same time, polling data show that the majority of young people favor putting limits on the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. I’ve scoured the Internet for organizations of young climate skeptics and I haven’t found any. That’s not to say that young climate skeptics don’t exist, but it appears that there’s no organized structure for them.
In 10, 20 or 30 years, as young people take on leadership roles, will the Republican Party’s positions on climate change … change? I’d be interested in hearing some thoughts in the comments section. Let me know if there’s anything I should be reading on the subject or if there are any young climate change skeptics I should talk to.