Red States With Blues States and Ahead of Congress on Weather
|July 21, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental, Social Change|
This 2014 excerpt of EcoWatch, Jly 15, is by Elliott Negin of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
A majority or plurality of residents in red congressional districts and states disagreed with their blue district and state counterparts on gun control, abortion, and gay rights.
But approximately 80 percent of both blue and red district respondents agree that the U.S. has “a responsibility to take steps to deal with climate change.”
Americans are prepared to make modest sacrifices to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. And slim majorities —- 54.7 in blue districts and 51.5 percent in red districts —- say “climate change should be given priority even if it causes slower economic growth and loss of jobs.”
Yet Congress is more concerned about protecting special interests than the public interest. Since 2004, utilities and fossil fuel industries have spent more than $2.6 billion to lobby Capitol Hill. Over that time, Congress has beaten back attempts to put an end to the nearly $5 billion in annual tax breaks and subsidies afforded the oil and gas industry.
South Florida, a red state, is already dealing with routine flooding from high tides and heavy rainfalls. Sea levels off the coast have jumped 5 to 8 inches over the last 50 years. Elsewhere, Americans have been grappling with prolonged droughts, extreme precipitation, and heat waves.
Ed. Notes: People in general are often ahead of politicians on many issues, such as socialized medical insurance (which might be better than the present US system but not as good as, say, a more open, competent, and competitive system). Because people can be enlightened while politicians are not, that makes it a mistake to view the pronouncements of government officials as the only reality while ignoring the values and openness of one’s neighbors. If do-gooders want to really change the world, they will have to focus less of their energy on their opponents and more on you and me. Instead of us being ignored by the powers-that-be, we must ignore them and pay attention to ourselves, creating a reality that anyone who wants to be in power can not ignore. According to thinkers like Gandhi and Margaret Mead, that’s the only way fundamental policies — like major pocketbook issues — can ever change.