Conservative Republicans Alone on Global Warming's Timing
While notable majorities of all other political party/ideology groups say the effects of global warming will happen within their lifetime, fewer than four in 10 conservative Republicans (37%) agree, a sign of that political identity's strident skepticism on this issue.
Conservative Republicans not only decisively reject the notion that the effects of global warming will happen in this lifetime -- a position in sharp contrast to all other political identities -- but another 40% say global warming will never happen. This is significantly higher than the percentages of moderate/liberal Republicans (16%), non-leaning independents (14%), conservative/moderate Democrats (5%) and liberal Democrats (3%) who say the same.But you know the bad news: Congress and most of our state governments are controlled by the party in which climate-change denialism is rampant, and in which it's the position candidates are required to hold in order to obtain large amounts of campaign cash. And we're one presidential election away from possible total control of the federal government by the denialist party, despite the limited appeal of the denialist message, as seen in the poll results above.
But that's the nature of our politics.
Conservative Republicanism is a cult. Its adherents, like the adherents of all cults, have a belief system that's full of delusions. On the subject of global warming, this is obvious: Go to any right-wing media outlet and you'll be told that climate change is a massive hoax perpetrated for monetary profit (or in the pursuit of totalitarian control) by a sinister cabal of liberals and left-leaning scientists. On the right, this belief isn't even up for debate -- it's settled fact. As I said: the group delusion of a cult.
But the cult votes. The cultists are so fervent in this and other delusional beliefs that they turn out in elections when the rest of us don't. They have a mortal lock on many states and they seize control in contested states when we let our guard down, as they've done, for instance, in Wisconsin.
Will they vote in November 2016? Oh, hell yes. Will the rest of us? That's not clear. We may decide there's no difference between the cult's candidate and the major-party opposition, just as we did in 2000.
If that happens, the cult wins.