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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Climate change in 2016 election

Pope Francis is expected to release his encyclical about climate change on June 16, or thereabouts, while the Internet is a buzz with articles about the world's weather changing, as a result of the increase in ocean temperatures. 

Nevertheless, those Creationist thinkers, who are largely of the American Republican persuasion, simply don't believe in the science of climate change. 


On the other hand, young people overwhelmingly believe in the science of climate change. Moreover, they appear ready to vote their opinions. If there's any issue where the young will be motivated to vote, the subject to bring them to the polls is likely to be "climate change". Indeed, Republicans may want to rethink their obstinate, regressive and plainly stupid opinions about climate change science before the voting temperatures consume their atrophied brains. It's entirely possible the 2016, presidential election, will be a referendum about climate change.  

Of course, this doesn't make the 2016 election any kind of a "slam dunk" for Democrats. In fact, if youth are motivated by science to finally vote in large numbers, the equal and opposition reaction might be for the "stupid party" (as Governor Jindal named them) to be motivated, just as easily, to counter the enlightened voters. 

We saw this phenomenon happen in Maine in 2012, when the bear hunt referendum was on the ballot. People who lived in the woods and believed in baiting bears, for the purpose of killing them, came out and voted in large numbers. These woods people voted because they opposed activists who demonstrated how luring bears to tons of donuts in the woods was inhumane. Well, the bear baiting also had the collateral impact of defeating two excellent Democratic candidates on the Maine ballot. Democrats were defeated by people who seldom, if ever, vote, just because the bear baiting motivated largely male voters to come out of the woods and cast their ballots. These one issue voters associated Democrats with bear activists who didn't believe in baiting. Now, Maine has an extremely unpopular Republican governor, as a result. Even his own GOP party frequently overrides his vetoes of many bills he rejects, kicking them back, just because Democrats have been the lead sponsors on the initiatives.

Therefore, as Maine goes, this phenomenon of voting stupid is at risk for being repeated, if climate change causes too much of a polarization in the 2016 presidential campaign.

It's distressing, disappointing and frankly makes me crazy to ponder why it is that Republican refuse to believe in science. They must really like being the stupid party.

Worse, like minded Republicans seem prepared to vote in favor of others who share their stupidity.

So, what can be done about changing the minds of the stupid voters? Well, maybe the Pope's anticipated encyclical will help. Certainly it can't hurt to have the Pope, who is an educated chemist, proclaim the science of climate change to be worthy of belief.

On the other hand, perhaps the young can lead all of us. As it appears today, the young voter is more motivated about climate change than any other issue. Perhaps, with the Blessing of Pope Francis and his expected encyclical, the young voter can bring the belief in science back into being politically popular.  

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