Latinos and Climate Change: More Bad news for GOP Deniers

February 22, 2013

Fox News Latino:

Following President Obama’s comments about climate change in his state of the union address, a national poll was conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) to gauge how Latinos responded.

“In light of state of the union, we wanted to see where Latinos stood on Obama’s comments about climate change,” Adrianna Quintero, director of Voces Verdes, a group that worked with the NRDC on the poll, told Fox News Latino.

The poll showed 74 percent of Latinos — 1,218 were polled — believe climate change is a very serious problem.

This number is almost 10 percent higher than the national average among all American adults.

Sacramento Bee:

The survey findings are a clear rejection of the dismissive tone taken by Senator Marco Rubio in his response to Obama’s State of the Union address. Rubio shrugged off the need for action on climate change, saying “our government can’t control the weather.”

Latinos clearly disagree with Rubio, with a strong majority convinced that action is needed soon to reduce a real threat of climate disruption.

Released on the heels of the hottest year ever in the U.S. and one marked by extreme weather, the poll of Latinos conducted by Public Policy Polling for NRDC found:

  • 74 percent of Latinos believe climate change is a serious or very serious problem, a higher level than the 65 percent among all American adults.
  • 68 percent of Latinos support the president using his authority to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, including 60 percent of all American adults.
  • 69 percent of Latinos agree with the president’s statement that “for the sake of our children” and our future, we must do more to combat climate change, compared to 62 percent of all American adults.

Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said: “This survey certainly debunks any notion that Sen. Rubio is the voice of Latinos on climate change. What is perhaps most striking in the findings is that Latinos back President Obama’s climate changeand clean energy agenda even more strongly than it is embraced by the broad cross-section of American adults. Right across the line, Latinos see climate change as a serious problem happening right now that requires an engaged President who takes the initiative to crackdown on industrial carbon pollution.”

The Nation:

In one sense, this should come as no surprise. Minorities are more likely to live in areas burdened by extreme pollution, and young people are the ones fated to spend the rest of their lives coping with worsening climate change. Of the 6 million people living within three miles of America’s coal-fired power plants, 39 percent are minorities, according to a report by the NAACP, “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People.”

Nevertheless, the notion that Latinos, blacks and Asian-Americans are the nation’s most fervent greens contradicts the stereotype of environmentalists as white, upper-middle-class Prius drivers. And that stereotype contains enough truth that the emergence of a super-green constituency of minorities and youth—a constituency likely to grow as America’s demographic transition unfolds—presents enormous but challenging opportunities for mainstream environmental groups. In most cases, those groups rhetorically affirm the value of diversity even as their operations remain dominated by white, middle-aged staffers and funders and the strategies and tactics they pursue.

“It’s a little like how the Republican Party ran away from demographic realities for years, and then realized after the 2012 election that they had made a gigantic mistake,” says Manuel Pastor, director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California. “The mainstream environmental groups have to realize that working with Latinos and African-Americans and Asian-Americans and youth is not just the morally right thing to do—it’s the politically effective thing to do. And it will only become more so over time.”

11 Responses to “Latinos and Climate Change: More Bad news for GOP Deniers”

  1. […] Fox News Latino: Following President Obama’s comments about climate change in his state of the union address, a national poll was conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) to gauge h…  […]

  2. Peter Mizla Says:

    The GOP is going to have to stop pandering to any one group for votes, and this includes Latino’s. If they truly want to broaden their increasingly limited appeal- to those living mostly in the former Confederacy and sparsely populated Great Plains and Mountains states they need to get away from the ‘Reverse Robin Hood’ tactics of funneling money and power to the top. We have seen the disastrous effects of this policy over the last 33 years.

    As for climate change- here again the GOP seeks to protect a small group of very wealthy oil & coal barons. Denying science- and putting our culture and civilization at risk makes no difference to the GOP. In the end the GOP lacks a moral compass- and the only guiding principal they have is mindless and endless greed.

  3. MorinMoss Says:

    Now that China is moving ahead with plans to impose a carbon tax, will the GOP change their tune?

    The Chinese plan intends to cut CO2 40% by 2020 – very ambitious although it should be higher for all developed countries and I hope they also intend to reduce the amount of particulate pollution from coal as well.

  4. […] 2013/02/22: PSinclair: Latinos and Climate Change: More Bad news for GOP Deniers […]

  5. […] that at least one Republican Senator can read polls.  And, Ok, he still gets a lot of it […]

  6. […] or so Catholics, many of them in the US, many of them members of the increasingly powerful and already very climate-conscious Hispanic community.Therefore, worth being aware of, believer or […]

  7. […] addition, as I’ve reported before, the important and rapidly growing Latino demographic is very concerned about the environment, and […]

  8. […] big impact in developing nations, and on US hispanics – who are already strong on environmental, green, and climate issues. (maybe some clues on that […]

  9. […] among them many millions of politically critical hispanics in the US and elsewhere, who are already much more concerned about climate change than other sectors of the electorate.   The Pope is also extremely influential among many in the US midwest, and his words carry weight […]

  10. […] I’ve noted before that demographically important Hispanics are much more concerned about climate change than white voters. […]

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