Smart Candidates Highlight Climate Issue to Stand Out
October 9, 2012
Want to paint yourself as rational, moderate, middle of the road, and looking to the future? Let voters know you care about climate and renewable energy. More and more, climate denial is becoming, like sexism, racism, and homophobia – the mark of the tea party troglodyte.
See Maine Independent Senate candidate Angus King’s ad above.
KING HITS GOP OPPONENT OVER CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE: In a new TV spot, Angus King, the independent running for Maine’s Senate seat, slams Republican opponent Charlie Summers on climate change science. “Charlie … doubts climate change science, favors taxpayer subsidies for big oil, and thinks Washington isn’t broken,” King says into the camera. “I want to bring common sense to the budget, get us off foreign oil with cleaner energy made in this country.”
SUMMERS’S POSITION: He has said he does not believe climate change is happening but that “we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.” Bangor Daily News:http://bit.ly/KzPYOM
CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE ALSO MADE AN APPEARANCE at last night’s debate between Democrat Bob Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer for Nebraska’s open Senate seat, when Kerrey hit Fischer for saying at a previous debate that “I do not believe that we have a huge influence on our climate.” Full video (climate remarks come around 44:23):http://cs.pn/QSTswC
Fischer: “In regards to climate change, what matters there is the policies the United States is going to implement to address the climate change. What we have seen from the government in the past is cap and trade. And I don’t support cap and trade. … The climate changes. But again, it’s our reaction to that with policy. That’s what a United States senator addresses. Cap and trade is not the policy that this country should be implementing.”
Kerrey: “If we don’t do something about this problem — and I don’t disagree about cap and trade, I think there’s better ways to do it — if we don’t identify it as a problem, and then bring our ingenuity and our innovation to try to solve the problem, don’t count 40 years from now our grandchildren looking back and thanking us. Because they’re not going to. They’re going to ask the question, ‘What were you guys thinking? Why didn’t you acknowledge that the scientists are telling you, that this is a problem, and why didn’t you use your considerable talent to solve it?’”
Democrats and independent voters overwhelmingly accept the scientific evidence that human activity is warming the earth’s temperature, while almost two out of three Republicans don’t.
Among likely voters, 78 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents believe humans are warming the earth, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. That finding is consistent with other polls that show undecided voters, and majorities in contested states such as Ohio andVirginia are in line with President Barack Obama and most Democratic candidates in wanting to address the issue.
“Taking a pro-climate stance is a political winner, especially for Democrats,” Edward Maibach, director for the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, said in an interview. “It’s not the most important issue” for most undecided voters, but “it’s somewhere in their lexicon of issues.”
Pollsters had already recorded a spurt in acceptance of global warming following the hot, dry weather in the U.S. this year, and the Bloomberg Poll found views fairly consistent across income levels, geography, education attainment and sex. There is one key division: political party. And that is reflected in the positions of each presidential candidate this year.