And why I am very cautiously optimistic about the 2018 midterm elections. By way of Naked Capitalism, we come across these two figures from a survey of public attitudes towards global warming and the role of human activity in global warming:
You might notice the large dips in the springs of 2010 and 2014. Those were also periods where Democrats had historic mid-term election losses*. I doubt that twelve to fifteen point changes over a period of a year to eighteen months revolved around a careful deliberation by the voting public over the validity and accuracy of climate science (and those dips occurred regardless of party affiliation–Democrats also declined by nearly the same amount). Instead, it seems climate change is tracking an overall trend in terms of political temperament: when the zeitgeist (as the kids used to say) becomes more conservative, people are less likely to accept the reality of climate change; when it becomes more liberal, acceptance of global warming rises.
If I’m right, then Republicans could be in for a world of hurt (the last column is spring 2018), since it looks like things are turning very liberal. That doesn’t mean we can take anything for granted, but this is encouraging–and nearly the opposite of 2010 and 2014.
*2014 doesn’t look so bad in terms of Democratic losses only because the bottom had essentially fallen out already in 2010.