Joe Manchin’s rejection of a compromise climate bill tells a familiar story: Voters and politicians put a higher premium on immediate issues, such as inflation and the economy, giving politicians a pass on global warming.
Summers in Maricopa County, Ariz., have become at times unbearable, Kyle Hawkinson said on Friday. Smog and haze hung heavily over Phoenix, and residents were bracing for fire season, soi cầu xsmb when the heat and air pollution would only grow worse. Climate change, he said, is at least partly to blame.
How climate change becomes political issues
But when Mr. Hawkinson, a 24-year-old cashier, voted for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in 2020, climate wasn’t really a factor in his choice, he said. As for voting in November, when the Arizona governor’s mansion and one of the state’s Senate seats are on the line, “that’s going to be a big maybe,” he said, adding, “Climate change is always going to be a problem. That’s just a given. Honestly, there’s only so much our leaders of the country can do.”
News on Thursday that even a stripped-down compromise to address a warming planet appeared to be dead was greeted in Washington by brutal condemnations from environmentalists and Democrats, some accusing Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, of dooming human life on Earth. Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, called Mr. Manchin’s decision “nothing short of catastrophic.”
But an electorate already struggling with inflation, exhausted by Covid and adjusting to tectonic changes like the end to constitutionally protected abortions may give the latest Democratic defeat a resigned shrug. And that may be why climate change remains an issue with little political power, quay thử xsmb either for those pressing for dramatic action or for those standing in the way.
“People are exhausted by the pandemic, they’re terribly disillusioned by the government,” said Anusha Narayanan, climate campaign director for Greenpeace USA, the environmental group known for its guerrilla tactics but now struggling to mobilize supporters. She added: “People see climate as a tomorrow problem. We have to make them see it’s not a tomorrow problem.”
The evidence that a climate crisis is well underway appears to be everywhere: the Great Salt Lake in Utah drying up, severe weather regularly imperiling the electric grid in Texas, wildfires scorching the drought-plagued West, “climate refugees” seeking higher land in Louisiana and tidal floods swamping the streets of Miami.
Still, just 1 percent of voters in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll named climate change as the most important issue facing the country, far behind worries about inflation and the economy. Even among voters under 30, the group thought to be most energized by the issue, that figure was 3 percent.
“This challenge is not as invisible as it used to be, but for most people, even those who live in greater Miami, this isn’t something they encounter every day, whereas their encounters with a gas pump are extremely depressing,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican House member from South Florida who pressed his party to act on climate change. He added: “In healthier economic times, it’s easier to focus on issues like this. Once people get desperate, all that goes out the window.”