Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Support For Climate Action Inches Up Despite Pandemic

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Image credit: Carolina Pimenta / Unsplash

During a pandemic and economic turbulence, support for action to curb climate change have shown steady growth.

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With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to imagine issues like climate change being put on the back burner.

Americans haven’t shown and evidence of decline in faith in scientists at all.” — Jon Krosnik, professor

However, a new survey suggests Americans are more concerned with the environment than ever before and that climate issues are still top of mind for many leading up to November’s presidential election.  

Listen: Support for climate action remains steady despite polarized election.


Guests

Jon A. Krosnick is a professor of communication, political science and psychology at Stanford University and the leader of the project. He says his survey findings show a substantial majority of Americans agree that the earth has been warming over the last 100 years and a quarter of Americans feel passionately about the issue of climate change.

Despite political campaigns aimed at discrediting science, Krosnick says the amount of folks that trust climate science is a very stable number. “Americans haven’t shown and evidence of decline in faith in scientists at all,” says Krosnick. 

Kimberly Hill-Knott is an environmental policy advocate and the President and CEO of Future Insight Consulting.

She says she was mostly pleased with how the Democratic party addressed climate change at last week’s convention.

It was just so diverse on so many levels. It was exciting to see how many people talked about climate change,” says Hill-Knott of the DNC.

On the other side, she says there is no indication that Trump will give attention to addressing climate change. “I think what will have to happen is that market demand will have to trump Trumpism,” says Hill-Knot on what would need to happen to address climate change if Trump is re-elected.

Nick Schroeck is an Associate Dean of Experiential Education and Associate Professor at Detroit Mercy School of Law. He says there was a lot of good mention of climate change at the Democratic National Convention. “The plans that the Biden campaign has put together…are robust,” says Schroeck on Biden’s recently released environmental policy platform. Conversely, Schroeck says, “It’s a fascinating development that the Republicans did not publish a party platform.” He says Americans will have to go off what Trump has done previously on climate policy in an attempt to understand what his plans would be should he be re-elected. 

Justin Onwenu is a Community Organizer at Sierra Club and was a part of a promotional video that aired as a part of last week’s DNC. He says it’s important to directly address the needs of the community when thinking about climate change and environmental policy. In order to get people engaged, Onwenu says it’s important to show how a toxic environment impacts issues like education.

We can’t just address climate change by lowering emissions, we have to make sure we’re impacting peoples’ everyday lives,” says Onwenu.  

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