Say, Can Focusing On Climate Crisis (scam) Win Elections Or Something

No. It can’t. It damned sure didn’t help Jay Inslee in 2020, who couldn’t even get the hardcore leftists in Washington state to approve his climate apocalypse agenda, and he flamed out of the Democrat primaries early. Nor did it help Mike Bloomberg or Jay Inslee. All three made climate doom their focus

Can Focusing On Climate Change Help Win Elections?

“Our generation grew up watching as the climate crisis got worse and worse and politicians did nothing.” That might sound like a quote from teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, but it’s actually the opening line for a new series of political ads appearing in multiple states in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms — ads that the advocacy groups Climate Power Action and the League of Conservation Voters are hoping will tip the scales towards climate-focused Democrats.

Historically, however, climate change has not been much of a political kingmaker. Even when candidates trusted that their constituents did care deeply about the environment, it hasn’t been something that reliably changed votes. In the 2020 presidential election, for example, two-thirds of voters told exit pollster Edison Research that climate change was a “serious problem” — but 29 percent of that same group voted for then-President Donald Trump, a candidate whose position on climate change was … inconsistent … at best.

So a $12 million ad campaign aimed specifically at promoting Democratic candidates’ climate change bona fides seems, at first glance, like a fool’s errand. But even though the content of these ads makes it clear they’re meant for a narrow audience — young voters, who see themselves as part of a generation bearing the consequences of inaction on climate change — the ads aren’t even for all of them. Instead, the groups funding these ads are trying to reach a specific sliver of a slice of a subset of young voters. And yet there’s reason to think that, on those slender margins, climate change could be becoming an issue that really sways elections.

The thing is, even for most of those young people, climate is important as a theory, not in practice, especially when they can’t afford food, housing, clothes, energy, cars, and, most importantly, traveling places to take selfies. And, all those who will buy into the ads were already hardcore Warmists and were going to vote Democrat anyhow. The ads won’t get Independents and barely Republicans to switch over, nor will it convince the moderate Democrats who will either vote GOP or just sit it out to go vote Democrat.

But the relationship between voters and climate policy has long fallen under the label of “it’s complicated.” There is an established gap between what voters say they want — action on climate change — and what they’re willing to do to achieve that. In 2019, for example, polling by Reuters and Ipsos found that while 69 percent of Americans wanted the government to take “aggressive” action on climate change, only 42 percent were likely to install solar panels on their own home; 38 percent were likely to begin carpooling to reduce emissions; and just 34 percent were likely to pay an extra $100 a year in taxes to support climate policies. And in 13 years of YouGov polls tracking which issues registered voters see as the most important, climate change has consistently taken a back seat to economic issues like jobs and inflation. As of Oct. 10, 12 percent of voters listed climate change and the environment as their No. 1 concern, while 22 percent cited inflation and high prices. It’s not that emphasizing climate change is a turn-off for voters — President Biden got a solid B+ on Greenpeace’s 2020 election Climate Scorecard. But neither is climate an issue that seems to attract voters on its own. Having the highest score on the Greenpeace scorecard during his candidacy was not enough to catapult Washington’s Democratic governor, Jay Inslee, to the White House.

How many of that 38% actually start carpooling? How about the 42% who say they are willing to install solar panels? Did they? In real terms, no one really cares enough to act on it in their own lives.

But the main goal of the LCV’s ad campaign appears to be persuading people to vote for a candidate because that person has gotten climate policy done — something that’s presented in the ads as a bit of a surprise, a “can you believe they actually did it?” moment. Years of research have shown that the persuasion effects created by advertising — whether political or otherwise — do not last very long, and they are very small, capable of maybe creating a percentage-point difference in swing, said Lynn Vavreck, a professor of politics and public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “But don’t confuse small in size with not being pivotal,” she said.

They would have voted for that Democrat anyhow. It’s not convincing new votes. And, it could convince some to vote Republican, as they already see how the Inflation Reduction Act, which won’t, will create more big government involved in their lives, raising the cost of energy and food.

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One Response to “Say, Can Focusing On Climate Crisis (scam) Win Elections Or Something”

  1. […] And, yep, the only remedy is MORE CLIMATE CATASTROPHE […]

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