Young Republicans Breaking from Party on Climate

September 29, 2019

We’re energy optimists and climate realists.

Members of republicEn are conservatives, libertarians, and pragmatists of diverse political opinion. We stand together because climate change is real, and we believe it’s our duty and opportunity to reduce the risks. We believe in the power of American free enterprise to deliver the innovation to solve climate change.

republicEn is founded on four major pillars:

  • Limited government
  • Accountability
  • Free enterprise
  • Environmental stewardship

Conservatives need to stop disputing obvious climate change and enter the competition of ideas about solutions. Climate change is a serious threat, and it requires action.

The Hill:

Prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz is warning Republican lawmakers that the public’s views on climate change are shifting and that ignoring the issue could cost them important votes at the ballot box.

In a memo circulated to Republican congressional offices on Wednesday, Luntz Global Partners warned that 58 percent of Americans, as well as 58 percent of GOP voters under the age of 40, are more concerned about climate change than they were just one year ago.

The polling group also noted that 69 percent of GOP voters are concerned that the party’s stance on climate change is “hurting itself with younger votes.”

Of the GOP voters under the age of 40, more than half, or 55 percent, said they are “very or extremely” concerned about their party’s position on climate change.

“Climate Change is a GOP VULNERABILITY and a GOP OPPORTUNITY,” read a copy of the memo obtained by The Hill. “Yes, Republican voters want a solution. It is on measures of salience to vote that we have detected the greatest change.”

“The appetite for seeing real action is palpable to voters of both sides,” the memo states.

Referring to a listening session with likely voters, the memo said many are angered that GOP leadership “ceded the issue to the Dems.”

“Typically, the most effective campaign approach is to build-out from the base. … Not here; there’s simply too much recognition that the politicking has blocked Progress,” the group said in the memo.


19 Responses to “Young Republicans Breaking from Party on Climate”

  1. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    Of the GOP voters under the age of 40, more than half, or 55 percent, said they are “very or extremely” concerned about their party’s position on climate change.

  2. jimbills Says:

    Maybe this is viewed as a positive (at least they’re not deniers!), but I see it as just another Republican firewall at preventing us from doing what needs to be done (and therefore another form of denial).

    ‘Limited government’ means ‘acknowledge the issue so we don’t lose votes, enact a couple of weak sauce measures to make it look like we care about it, keep things essentially the same’.

    That won’t be enough, and it’ll just keep us from doing what we need to do in time.

    Here’s an example of our caring, corporate culture (just saw this on a football game today):

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Carbon capture technology is much much more expensive than never releasing it in the first place.

      • jimbills Says:

        If wind and solar are equal (or close or less) in price to coal and gas right now, why would adding CCS to coal and gas magically make that better for them? What are they thinking (except, finding a way to keep producing FF)?

        Plus, this is the thing that kind of drives me nuts about ‘free enterprise’ people. They think corporations, if they’re just allowed to do their thing, act in a socially responsible manner, when they almost never do. There is such a thing as public pressure limiting the most egregious violations, but they will do whatever they can get away with if it boosts the bottom line. Profits always take the driver’s seat.

        Speaking of autos, the car industry fought adding seat belts to cars for years. Seat belts added a tiny fraction to the cost of the car, but that was too much for most manufacturers to do it on their own. It took regulations to force them. The same happened with air bags:

        Exxon Mobil has had DECADES to work on CCS. It was in their long term interest to work on it. But short term, business as usual was more profitable. And now, they advertise it to make it look like they care about the environment. It’s completely outrageous, but the ‘climate friendly’ Republicans would point to it as an example of free enterprise ‘solving’ climate change. You know, just let businesses ‘do their thing’.

        • jfon Says:

          ‘Speaking of autos, the car industry fought adding seat belts to cars for years.’
          I read recently that in fact, the industry introduced belts long before they became mandatory, because people wanted them. On the other hand, so many Americans don’t bother wearing them that airbags there have to have much stronger inflation charges in them, than they would if they were just a backup to a belt. This makes them more dangerous when they go off by accident, especially to children.

          • jimbills Says:

            Seat belts were introduced by car manufacturers. Some people did want them. It’s just that for years (decades, really) it was an add-on item – not standard equipment. They cost extra. It took legislation in the U.S. and internationally (instead of limited government and free enterprise) for manufacturers to make it a standard feature:

            The same happened with air bags.

            If a corporation can save a penny, and they can get away with it without a public outcry, they’ll do it. The fact that spending that penny could save lives is irrelevant to too many of them.

            People being dumb-dumbs and not wearing seat belts is another matter.

            And, of course, I’m being too general and hyperbolic in my comments on this post. There are always exceptions. But how many examples of corruption and tragedy does it take for it to sink in that free enterprise is meant to do one thing and one thing only?

            I watched the RepublicEn video after making the comments here. The guy there is calling for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Which is actually okay – not enough, but okay. However, the use of ‘limited government’ as a pillar of his organization more than conflicts with a revenue-neutral carbon tax. A nationwide system that would send paychecks regularly to every American, that would tax multiple sources of emissions, and that would require some sort of enforcement isn’t limited government.

        • @jimbills,

          To your 2nd comment (below – couldn’t comment on it, probably too many replies to replies to comments):

          The point about limited government is that a revenue neutral tax doesn’t grow government. You can raise one tax (on carbon) and lower another, or rebate the revenue as in carbon fee & dividend, and the government doesn’t have additional money to spend. So I don’t see any conflict between that and limiting government.

          That’s important for conservatives, including the growing group who favor taking action to address climate change.

          • jimbills Says:

            Okay, except that the government would be taxing major segments of the economy that it hasn’t in the past, all the people needed to administer and enforce this system would be paid governmental employees (from those taxes), and every American would be receiving money from the government that they hadn’t received before (or else the IRS would have another whole level of bureaucracy to account for the tax breaks).

            Quite limited. No growth at all.

            I realize this is semantics – how does one define limited? But, a majority of Republicans would look at this as anything but limited government. It dwarves Obamacare in terms of what is required from the government to implement it.

            I say, get to it. But labeling it as ‘limited government’ strikes me as a farce. If the semantics make it palatable for Republicans, though, fine.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Corporate bullshit designed to delay and distract. Speaking of ads, I saw one this weekend promoting Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    republicEn is founded on four major pillars:

     · Limited government
     · Accountability
     · Free enterprise
     · Environmental stewardship

    “Accountability”? And they didn’t leave the party of Trump before this?

    Also, of course, limited government too often means limited enforcement. Not realistic.

  4. al mar Says:

    Let’s not forget that “Prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz” is the one who gave Republican lawmakers the talking points that helped them change the public’s views on climate change to denialism in the first place so let’s NOT brand him as any kind of good guy now.

  5. dumboldguy Says:

    More yada-yada-yada. Young or old, a Republican is a Republican and operates out of the amygdala in their reptilian brain (See The Republican Brain by Mooney). Even the most progressive of them still hold to those basic principles that have been destroying the country for the past 40 years. Our only hope is to vote them out—NOW!

    I am looking forward to the vote here in VA next month—-every last seat in both houses of the legislature is up for grabs. With luck, it will be the first of the Blue Waves.

  6. indy222 Says:

    There is no way ham-strung government and “Free Enterprise” can or will solve climate change. It is THE most government-required issue ever. In no other issue is the “tragedy of the commons” more in force due to the simple physics of well-mixed GHG’s. These young Republicans are living in a Randian dreamworld that will morph before their eyes into a nightmare of biblical proportions.
    We’ll never “techno” our way out of this. Eternal growth on a finite planet guarantees accelerating depletion, destruction, and grab for the last of any resources by the most ruthless players. Always has, and human nature has not changed.

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