Why are national climate politics frozen? The conventional understanding is that Americans are deeply divided on the issue along party lines.
Until recently, Democrats have been scared of talking too often about climate in national campaigns because they think the electorate is split; the Republican Party has been outright hostile to climate policy, believing that’s what the majority of conservative voters think.
And then, in stepped the Green New Deal. It revealed something extraordinary. According to a Yale survey, 81 percent of registered voters say they would support the Green New Deal. And 64 percent of Republicans say they would support it. Other polls have shown similar levels of support.
So what does this reveal about how climate plays among the electorate? And is there a disconnect between what people want and what policymakers think they want?
This week, we’re joined by Dr. Leah Stokes, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is an expert on political behavior — which includes public opinion, voting behavior and how policy is influenced.
Leah describes why the Green New Deal plays well with voters. She also talks about how climate is shaping the presidential campaign, why Trump is now talking about the environment, and how fossil fuel incumbents shape public opinion.
Support for this podcast comes from PG&E. Did you know that 20 percent of EV drivers in the U.S. are in PG&E’s service area in Northern California? PG&E is helping to electrify corporate fleet vehicles. Get in touch with PG&E’s EV specialists to find out how you can take your transportation fleet electric.
The Interchange is also brought to you by Uplight, the company you once knew as Tendril and Simple Energy. The goal is still the same: to offer utility leaders a suite of engagement solutions that deliver customer experiences like Amazon and Netflix. Learn more about how Uplight is building an end-to-end product for utility customer engagement.
You can listen to Uplight’s five-part podcast series, called Illuminators, about what utilities can learn from case studies of business disruption. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or anywhere else you get your podcasts.