Young Republicans Not buying GOP Zombie Climate Denial

April 14, 2017



Davidson College in North Carolina has fewer than 2,000 students – small enough that the presidents of the College Republican and College Democrats clubs count each other as friends.

They disagree on some political issues, but an unusual one unites them: they both believe climate change is a serious problem.

“Climate change is really real and really alarming to me personally,” said Grace Woodward, the College Republicans’ president. University students – and Republicans in particular – “need to do a better job of talking about climate change”, she said.

Woodward is well aware that her views differ from those of many older Republican leaders. But “we shouldn’t just be blindly loyal to a party”, she said. “In 20 years maybe we’ll hold those positions and we can make changes to the party.”

In the U.S. Congress and in U.S. party politics, beliefs about climate change often match party membership: Democrats believe it is a largely man-made problem and something that needs urgent action, while a share of Republicans – including President Donald Trump – have dismissed it as anything from a natural phenomenon to a hoax

But a younger generation of Republicans – those on college campuses today – increasingly say they believe climate change is a human-caused problem, and that Americans have a responsibility to act on it and protect the environment, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation review of college Republican clubs across the United States.

That shift appears to be the result of a range of differences, not least that most of the university students will be alive for many decades after current Republican leaders are gone.

That period is expected to be a time of worsening climate change impacts, from stronger droughts to sea level rise, unless there is urgent action to address the problem.

The climate generation gap may herald the start of a party-wide shift among Republicans, with scepticism about the problem dissolving as global warming morphs into a generation-wide concern, experts, politicians and campus leaders said.

“I think that there will be a big change in the (Republican) Party,” said Kent Haeffner, president of the Harvard University Republican Club, whose members are firm believers in man-made climate change.

“Demographically, the ‘Trump coalition’ will not last. I think that the folks that are our age are going to have to reshape the party and take it in a different direction,” he said.

Of 21 college Republican clubs surveyed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, about half said their members believe climate change is predominantly human-caused. Another quarter said their members held a mix of opinions on the issue, while three said climate change simply doesn’t come up often as an issue.

The University of Pennsylvania’s College Republicans called it “ludicrous” to suggest the climate is not changing or that humans are not driving that change, according to a statement from the group’s director of communications.

A poll carried out by the Cornell University College Republicans club found that 74 percent of its members see climate change as an important issue for the United States to address.

On the Ohio State University campus, similarly, “you’d be hard pressed to find someone who thought that climate change is not occurring at all”, said Nick Frankowski, chairman of the university’s College Republicans.

“The evidence is fairly overwhelming that climate change is a thing,” he said. “The biggest debate is, of course, what to do about it.”




16 Responses to “Young Republicans Not buying GOP Zombie Climate Denial”

  1. Tom Bates Says:

    i suppose if one lies enough you can convince anybody of anything. Climate denial is one such lie which is repeated thousands of times by those who are basically wacko. The climate is changing and is warming slightly from the little ice age low. it is still colder than in 1000 AD when the CO2 was much lower and the temperature was higher. One can throw all the 97% and PHd’s at that data but that does not make the claim man is significantly warming the planet true.

    • philip6464 Says:

      No collection of proxy records has global average temperatures higher in 1000AD than they are now. Your data is bunk, Vladimir.
      That humans are causing more heat to accumulate in the climate system would be true, according to basic thermodynamics, if humans were responsible for releasing greenhouse gases into the lower atmosphere. Which they are. For warming not to occur there would have to be something else in the equation counteracting the inevitable warming. Sadly there isn’t, hence the unambiguous trend towards higher temperatures at sea and in the lower atmosphere.

    • Mike Male Says:

      “i suppose if one lies enough you can convince anybody of anything.”

      Obviously not, dickhead. You’ve been trying it for years and the only people you can convince of your bullshit are morons who are slightly more stupid than you.

    • redskylite Says:

      Though both the “Little Ice Age” and the “Medieval Warming Period” were very interesting climatic periods, if you look at temperature reconstructions from paleoclimatic evidence, they were in no way of the magnitude that today’s temperature climb shows. The Little Ice Age is overrated (and over-used) as an explanation of today’s events. The just released NASA Goddard GISS and the Japanese Meteorological Agency March 2017 global land sea surface temperature anomaly show that this March was the second hottest since their records began (note we are well away from the EL Nino ENSO event.)

      “New research by the Royal Astronomical Society shows that the period between the 16th and 19th centuries may have had cold winters but it also suffered scorching summers, so it was not an ice age at all”.

      “At most the average temperature during this period was half a degree centigrade lower across the Northern Hemisphere, whereas during actual ice ages it was down 8C. Close examination of the data also reveals that not all the winters were cold, so the natural variability of the climate continued throughout the period.”

    • schwadevivre Says:

      All this has been explained to you before meaning you are either deliberately lying or you are so ignorant you cannot understand English

      You have no understanding of the difference between:
      W/m^2 and total gain;
      sea level rise due to thermal expansion and total sea level rise rise;
      troposphere and stratosphere;
      the difference between local effects (mediaeval warm period) and global ones.

      The MWP topped out at an anomaly of 0.1, the warming we are experiencing is 5 times as great starting from lower initial temperatures (a href=””>IPCC Fourth Assessment Fif. 6.10

      All this has been explained to you before meaning you are either deliberately lying or you are so ignorant you cannot understand English

      You have NO expertise or evidence to support your claims, we have both.

      Now go and soak your head

  2. Lionel Smith Says:


    Did somebody pass wind?

  3. Indebted to Peter once again for the info, in this case being about names I can contact to set them on the correct path of the whole truth as opposed to the uninformed “alternative facts” coming out of the Climate Solutions Caucus. You guys make compelling assertions, I’ll grant you that, but when young impressionable Republicans start digging around in the political side of the global warming issue and discover that it’s based entirely on unquestioning faith in particular assertions rather than open debate and critical thinking, then it’s Katy-bar-the-door on then digging into what else has been actively hidden from them. You guys will figure it out eventually, too, how you can’t base your whole deal on the “don’t listen to our critics” tactic.

    • Thanks Russell for bringing up the Climate Solutions Caucus, a group which tends to get far too little press, but which is an important development, certainly relevant to this discussion.

      CSC is a bipartisan caucus, started in Feb. 2016 by Carlos Curbelo (R FL) and Ted Deutch (D FL). It’s purpose is clear from its name. Members of Congress can only join in pairs, one from each party, and the membership is held to equal members of R’s and D’s.

      Current membership is 36 (18 from each party). These Representatives should be commended for their success at bridging the partisan divide on the vital issue of climate change.

      As to the rest of your post: Why do you call ‘unquestioning faith’ the overwhelming signs of a warming planet (documented loss of ice at the poles, and in 90% of temperate-zone glaciers; well documented land and sea-based temperature rise; sea level rise; overall agreement with basic predictions about the impacts of increasing atmospheric CO2)?

      Please don’t use terms like ‘unquestioning faith’ to insult and smear those who provide valuable information and a well-founded concern for our climate. Are there things we are still not 100% sure of with regard to Earth’s climate? Of course. But there are existential risks to blithely assuming that everything will be ok if we continue on our path to doubling (and beyond doubling) atmospheric CO2. If we want to behave responsibly with respect to this risk, we must do what we can to move away from fossil fuels as an energy source.

      By the way, I always wonder what the long-range plan is of those who advocate that we gobble up Earth’s limited supply of fossil fuels as fast as possible (and damn anyone who tries to put the brakes on it). What is their plan for when the recoverable oil/gas/coal eventually are gone? Answer: there is no plan. Why is it so unacceptable to them to argue for a bit of caution?

      Russell: Nobody’s ‘actively hiding’ anything here. We’ve only got this one planet. Let’s not wreck it.

    • Mike Male Says:

      Oh look! The paid trolls are traveling in pairs today. Go and climb back under the same rock your mate Tommie Poo crawled out from.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Haven’t been commenting much on Crock this week—-been busy cleaning up after the latest “more extreme than it used to be because of climate change” storm blew over a 2-foot diameter 45+ foot tall white pine in my backyard—-scary 65-70 mph straight line winds like we never used to see much of here are becoming the norm.

      As usual, Russell the Paid Whore for Fossil Fuels and Heartland Stooge has trotted out one of his stock clippings here so that he can earn his whore’s dollar. No need to repeat the rational thinking and FACT displayed in Wharton’s comment, other than to say that Russell’s bald-faced bullshit assertion about “unquestioning faith in particular assertions rather than open debate and critical thinking” is one of the most deluded things he has ever said here.

      I DO like his brave attempt to paint the deniers as the “critics” of the 97+% of all scientists that understand and believe in the facts of AGW—–nice try, but we all know that Russell and the so-called “critics” are just whores fighting a losing rear guard battle.

      And it’s time to remind all of the fact that Russell is NOT a scientist, knows no science, and is just a guy who walked in off the street because he saw an opportunity to make a buck as a denier and thereby move out of his mother’s basement. Watch the first 30 seconds of this clip to learn all you need to know about Russell’s illegitimacy as a commenter on Crock.

      • Lionel Smith Says:

        If Russell the Cook (cooks facts into sludge) had bothered to look across the Atlantic then he would have noticed many occasions when such as the BBC News had a spot related to climate change we would hear from the likes of Benny Peiser or Andrew Montford (neither of them could remotely be described as scientists working in fields informing on climate change), there was one slot where a certain John Christy was in the act.

        • Oh, dear, Lionel broke commenter “dumboldguy”‘s cardinal rule over watching my presentation beyond the 30 second point. Unexpected repercussions to follow sometime down the road, no doubt. But to his credit on Crocks’ people’s overall predictable tendency, Lionel did not dispute what I specifically said, which was that ZERO climate scientists have appeared on the NewsHour over the last 20 years. Meaning, of course, to offer the skeptic science of the issue in equal manner to the (so far now) 39 times which IPCC/NASA/NOAA-affiliated scientists have had to speak on the science. Instead, Lionel chose to spin the situation. An otherwise disinterested bystander might ask him, “Why did you do that? If this guy cooked the facts about the NewsHour, then why not clearly disprove what he said?”

          But by choosing to spin what I said, Lionel paints himself into an indefensible corner, doesn’t he? Can we expect him to quantify exactly what the ratio of ‘Peiser / Montford’ skeptic science BBC appearances were against pro-AGW people in an upcoming guest post here at Crocks or anywhere else on the internet? Don’t place wagers on it. And whatever you do, don’t place any wagers on commenter “dumboldguy” ever coming up with a shred of evidence proving I’m 1) paid illicit money to lie, 2) paid piecemeal or otherwise to comment here, 3) ignorant about climate science, 4) Vierotchka in disguise, 5) someone who wears ballcaps.

          • funslinger62 Says:

            It isn’t the media’s job to provide equal time to positions. Well founded and supported positions deserve coverage. Unfounded ones do not. The climate change “skeptics” have only to present data supporting their position in the peer-reviewed published research. And they do. There just isn’t much of it and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

  4. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    A younger generation of Republicans – those on college campuses today – increasingly say they believe climate change is a human-caused problem, and that Americans have a responsibility to act on it and protect the environment.

  5. J4Zonian Says:

    “In 20 years maybe we’ll hold those positions and we can make changes to the party.”

    If she thinks it will take 20 years for the party to either disappear, fracture or reverse its position on climate, or thinks society itself won’t have begun to fracture in 20 years on our present course, she really is a climate denying delayalist. Not in outright denial of its existence, apparently, but certainly in denial of its seriousness.

    It’s that seriosity that means any “solution” acceptable to the rightward 3/4 of the corporate duopoly will be far too slow and weak to be adequate. That includes the Climate Solutions Caucus, who will no doubt only go for things acceptable to the far right–so-called market solutions like cap and trade, etc.

    We’ve been delayed so long by the lunatic right that no market solution will be enough. If they don’t collapse on their own in the next 4 years, fossil fuel corporations will have to be nationalized to be shut down in an orderly way; a US World War II-level mobilization is needed to control and coordinate the program to replace fossil fuels with efficiency, better and more ecological lives and clean safe renewable energy.

    In the end, it’s the ones who aren’t in college who tip the scales close enough to electing right wingers that they can cheat their way in. Are they feeling the same way?

  6. Gingerbaker Says:

    Tom Bates:

    ” Climate denial is one such lie which is repeated thousands of times by those who are basically wacko.”

    Thus completing Step One of a many-stepped process. Way to go, Tom!

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