Red States: OK, Climate Change Is A Thing

Well, it's good to know that climate change isn't a partisan issue anymore. A new study reveals that the majority of residents of Red states, which vote overwhelmingly in favor of Republicans, acknowledge that climate change very much exists. The research, released Wednesday by Stanford University psychologist Jon Krosnick, looked at the public opinion in 46 states. Apparently, 75 percent of people believe climate change is real, and about two-thirds of the population believe greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. businesses should be regulated. This was especially true in two particularly conservative states: 84 percent of people in Texas and 87 percent of Oklahomans accept the reality of climate change.

Finally, we can use "reality" and "Republicans" in the same sentence.

“This new report is crystal clear. It shows that the vast majority of Americans – whether from red states or blue – understand that climate change is a growing danger," said Henry Waxman, a U.S. Representative from California and co-chair on a task force on climate change. "Americans recognize that we have a moral obligation to protect the environment and an economic opportunity to develop the clean energy technologies of the future. Americans are way ahead of Congress in listening to the scientists.”

Last week, Bustle reported on more research that revealed the dangerous amount of greenhouse gasses that are being emitted into the atmosphere. (Spoiler: the environment is in pretty bad shape).

Last year, a record number of greenhouse gasses were emitted into the atmosphere and are causing justified concern when it comes to issues of climate change. According to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) annual report, the volume of carbon dioxide grew faster in 2012 than in the decade prior. CO2 happens to be the primary gas released as a result of human activity. So basically, human beings appear to be caring less and less about their environmental surroundings — even though research about global warming is only increasing.

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation told EuroNews, “CO2 is a very stable gas, so it means that there is no sort of chemical reaction which would destroy naturally the CO2 from the atmosphere, so it stays for very long periods, hundreds of years and even more, and that’s why as a consequence the actions we take now, or the actions we don’t take now will have consequences for a very, very long period.

Now that we know the vast majority of Americans have come to terms with the reality of climate change — regardless of their political affiliation — and we know pollution levels and greenhouse gas emissions contine to rise, there should be no question that our leaders need to make a change. We've now got the verdict for public opinion, but national legislation and global policies need to follow suit.

“The most striking finding that is new study was that we could not find a single state in the country where climate skepticism was in the majority,” Krosnick said.

If politicians were smart, they'd take advantage of this moment to realize all the potential support they could have when it comes to the issue of climate change. Republicans all over the country are finally willing to acknowledge the environment is facing some pretty major problems, so don’t you think it’s time for bipartisan government officials to agree upon a course of action?

(Photo: JMT Images via Flickr)