Climate Change and Energy Development
by Tom Donelson on December 26, 2016 at 9:39 AM
Based on a report produced by Americas Majority Foundation to be ready by January 2017:
An issue that will benefit Republicans is talking about job creation and energy development. The fear of climate change has paralyzed national debate on energy, but the good news is that many voters, despite years of being told the climate change is the fault of man, are not sold on the idea.
In 2011, Americas Majority Foundation did two surveys that included questions on climate change. The vast majority of voters either believed that climate change is naturally induced or caused by human activity combined with natural events.
In a study on comparing the investor class with the non-investor class, the minority investor class believed that 50% of climate change was caused by natural events combined with human activity with another 32% saying it was natural events. Even among the minority non-investor class, 40% believed in a combination of natural events and humans and another 31% believed it was natural events. That being told, 82% of the minority investor class along with 86% of the white investor class believed it is either natural events or a combinations of both causing climate change while 71% of non-investor class and 81% of white non-investors agree with the investor class that climate change is either a natural event or combined with human events. This showed that the vast majority of voters including minorities accept the position of much of the climate realist or skeptics. 52% to 66% of voters also agreed that climate change has happened in the past and we don’t need to alter our lifestyle.
In our national poll conducted in August of 2014, 75% of Hispanic still believe that it is either a combination of natural event and human involvement or simply nature. 68% of New Mexico Hispanics along with nearly 68% of Wisconsin Hispanics and 62% of Illinois Hispanics still accept the climate realists' position that natural events either alone or in combination with humans are responsible for climate change.
In our post national polls, voters continue to reject climate alarmist views that human activity is the primary reason for climate change. In our Voice Broadcasting poll, 24% stated human activity was the primary reason for climate change but 43% stated it was natural causes combined with human activity and another 25% said it was natural cause as the primary focus, showing that voters accepted the scientific arguments of climate skeptics since skeptics have argued that climate change was caused by natural events but many skeptics also view that human activity could play a role combined with natural events. 10% of Republicans, 25% of Independents and 35% of Democrats accept the alarmist arguments whereas 55% of Democrats, 79% of Republicans and 67% of Independents accept the skeptic argument that climate change is caused either by a combination of human activity and natural events or natural events. 24% white voters, 21% blacks, 18% Hispanics and 35% of Asians favored climate alarmist arguments whereas 78% of white, 62% blacks, 66% Hispanics and 56% of Asians favored the skeptic arguments.
In a Cygnal poll, 29% of voters said they believed in the alarmist arguments of human activity as the driving force behind climate change whereas 21% of voters bought into the argument of natural events as the driving force behind climate change and another 46% believed that it's a combination of human activities and natural events; and again the second poll showed that voters have rejected the alarmist arguments. 43% of Democrats accept the alarmist argument of human activities driving climate change but 54% accepted the skeptics' arguments. Republicans were more accepting of the skeptics' arguments by a margin of 81% to 14%, and 67% of Independents rejected alarmist arguments of human activity and only 25% accepted it. So we can conclude that when voters are given all of the scientific arguments from both the skeptics and alarmists, they reject the alarmists overwhelmingly. These are numbers we have seen since 2011, so this is not an isolated poll but a response from thousands of voters over a five year period.
When asked in past polls, should we deal with climate change or emphasize job creation, 73% of white, 77% of black, and 74% of Hispanic voters stated they wanted job creation emphasized over dealing with “the problem of climate change.” 75% to 78% of white voters, Hispanic voters and black voters in our national poll stated it was job creation first before dealing with the issue of climate change.
In our 2016 post-election polls, we found a division. We asked voters should energy policy emphasize expansive energy development and economic growth or consider climate change as part of any energy policy. In the Voice Broadcasting poll, 48% stated economic growth takes precedence whereas 36% says climate change must be taken in consideration with the rest unsure. In our second poll, 37% stated economic growth should be the primary goal and 44% viewed that climate change should take precedence. In both polls, Republicans favored economic growth whereas Democrats favored energy policies taking climate change into consideration. The difference was in Independents where in one poll they favored energy expansion, the other poll showed Independents believing that climate change must be considered in future climate change. In the one National poll, whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians all favored economic growth but in the second poll, whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians favored consideration of climate change.
The good news is that these numbers are done in spite of the media coverage of only one side, humanity is responsible for climate change. When asked in 2011, have you heard of climategate, 67% to 75% of black, white and Hispanic voters said no. Climategate was the scandal in which many climate alarmist admitted that much of their data was methodology flawed and this question told us that many Americans are not aware of the major debate within the scientific community and much of the media ignored the story while continuously parodying the climate alarmist position. It is even a miracle that many voters have rejected the alarmists’ theories and simply react to a common sense approach that natural events are part of climate change. Americans may tell pollsters, “Yeah this is an important issue,” but many Americans, including minorities, believe job creation should take priority over dealing with climate change. (When you view both polls, you will find that while there are divisions about how to craft an energy policy, there is no doubt that a high number of Americans want more energy developed. Donald Trump's skeptical view on climate change did not hurt him in this election and in states like West Virginia or Pennsylvania, being pro-energy is being pro-job.) Republicans and conservatives can simply make the skeptics' argument, knowing that many voters will accept those arguments. There are thousands of reference studies that support the skeptics’ position, and there are many polls including many of our own where economic growth is the primary focus of economic policies.
Voters have responded to growth oriented arguments in general economic argument so the best case that Republicans and conservatives can make is that expansive energy development means cheaper energy and cheaper energy gives American companies a reason to stay in the United States combined with a business-friendly administration tax policy.