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The Wisdom of Youth


July 25, 2013 – If polls are to be believed, the Republicans are in trouble at the ballot box.  It seems the darling old curmudgeons look at life somewhat differently than young voters do.  Put simply, people under 35 would like to have a future to look forward to, and, in keeping with that age-old ambition, think Republicans will cost them that future.  They believe this because Republicans don’t want to take action against climate change.
The poll to which I’m referring was conducted for the League of Conservation Voters by the Democratic firm Benenson Strategy Group and the Republican firm G8 Strategy Group.  The results of the bipartisan poll indicate firm 80% support among under-35 voters for President Obama’s climate change plan.  There is, in fact, majority support even among youthful voters who dislike the president.  Seventy-three percent of the under-35 group would not vote for members of Congress who attempt to block enactment of President Obama’s plan.

According to an analysis performed by the Center for American Progress, 55% of Republicans in the House of Representatives, and 65% of those in the Senate either reject the science underpinning climate change and/or oppose action on climate change.  House Speaker John Boehner has characterized President Obama’s proposed plan as “absolutely crazy.”  With so few young voters sharing his opinion, it appears Boehner is leading his party in the direction of the Climate Change Cliff, over which they might very well follow him.  As many as 52% of young Republicans are disinclined to support candidates who oppose Obama’s plan.
“For voters under 35, denying climate change signals a much broader failure of values and leadership,” a polling memo states.  Indeed.  What exactly are the values of individuals who don’t care about their own children?  It staggers the imagination.  If only they could simply be ignored!  But that has been found to be impossible.  Without ideas of their own, the victims of their own icy determination to keep the President’s intentions at a standstill, Republicans essentially are holding the country hostage.  To the extent that, in the House of Representatives, Republicans propose to reduce both the budget and mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency, upon whom any president would depend to carry out his or her climate change proposals.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, the Environmental and Public Works Committee conducted hearings this week having to do with climate change.  Republicans on the committee took the opportunity to make known their skepticism regarding the accepted science to such climate experts as Dr. Heidi Cullen, whom many Americans know from the Weather Channel.  Unsatisfied with the degree to which they had already managed to hurt their own careers and reputations, they went further and abused the President for his failure to tolerate their point of view.

Who wants to point out to them that science isn’t a point of view?  It is the work of many, many years, and is based on carefully collected evidence, the work of highly-educated people, whose education is itself the work of many, many years.  Just how deep ARE their heads buried in the sand?

 

With thanks to The Guardian (UK).

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