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Why This Matters: The number of Americans who believe in climate change is increasing so there is less reason for partisan division about combatting it. But, the study shows that Trump voters are less likely to heed warnings and believe weather forecasts is also a warning that politicizing climate-driven weather emergencies is literally playing with fire. In Oregon, according to Axios, some people in Oregon are resisting evacuations from the state’s wildfires in part because of baseless rumors about left-wing activists looting vacant homes.
Claims of Climate Hype
Axios reported that the researchers from UCLA “examined evacuation patterns” for Hurricane Irma “using GPS phone location data from each affected voting precinct, which allowed them to compare the behaviors of likely Clinton and Trump voters living as closely as 500 ft. apart.” So the data was quite detailed. Apparently, according to the researchers, a few days before the storm’s arrival conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh blamed government officials and the media for “overhyping the hurricane” to “advance this climate change agenda.” When they compared the same people’s behavior during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, there was not the same partisan gap in evacuation behavior. The researchers believe the partisan gap that was seen in Irma “was due at least in part to conservative media pushing hurricane skepticism before the storm hit, casting doubt on official predictions of its severity and the need to evacuate,” according to Axios. Axios further explained that the researchers found that while such “‘hurricane trutherism’ existed in pockets before Irma, the researchers noted an unprecedented spike in Google searches for skeptic content in the days leading up to Irma.” In case you wondered, Irma was one of the most expensive storm’s in Florida’s history, and it caused 123 deaths.
Interesting Yale Climate Data
65% believe we should require utilities to produce 20% of their energy from renewable sources
82% believe that the government should provide tax rebates for people using solar panels or driving fuel-efficient vehicles
78% believe that schools should teach about global warming
56% say that a candidate’s views on global warming are an important factor in their vote
To Go Deeper:Check out the Yale maps that break the data down by counties, metro areas, and Congressional districts.
H/T to Yale Forward candidate Maggie Thomas ENV ’15 who last week achieved the 4400 signatures she needed to appear on the ballot of the 2021 Yale Corporation election. Go Maggie — and all you Yale Friends of the Planet, be sure to vote for her!
Hannah is an Equal Justice Works Selbin Family Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice where she works on protecting everyone’s right to vote and vote safely this year. She also happens to be my (Monica’s) daughter! She has some practical tips for everyone on how to make sure your vote gets counted, and how […]
In the runup to the election next week, we talked with Jean-Luc Duvall, who is a climate organizer with the League of Conservation Voters in North Carolina. In his spare time, Jean-Luc is running for a local office in his home of Wake County. Here are a few of the highlights.
Catherine Flowers is an environmental justice advocate in Lowndes County, Ala., where she began her advocacy work after watching raw sewage leak into the yards of poor residents who lacked access to a municipal sewer system. Lowdnes County is one of the ten poorest counties in Alabama’s Black Belt–a part of the United States where […]
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