Half of voters say climate change matters midterm, poll finds

Hello and welcome to The Climate 202! So Indigenous Peoples Daywe read this piece about what indigenous peoples can teach us about fighting climate change.

ICYMI, President Biden will be traveling to Colorado this week to designate its first national monument. Maxine broke the news of the expected designation last month. But first :

Half of voters say climate change matters in next month’s midterm elections, poll finds

With Election Day less than a month away, about half of registered voters say climate change is either ‘very important’ or ‘one of the most important issues’ in their vote for Congress, according to a recent report. Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

As Republicans scramble to wrest control of the House and Senate from Democrats, the results are split along party lines. Among adults, about 8 in 10 Democrats (79%) say climate change is at least very important to their vote, compared to 46% of independents and 27% of Republicans.

Similar shares of voters of all ages say global warming is a priority at the ballot box. That’s a change from previous polls that showed young Americans worry more about the Earth’s rapid warming, which is more likely to affect them in the form of raging wildfires, rising stronger seas and storms.

Other key results include:

  • Consistent with previous polls, Black Americans (69%) and Hispanic Americans (58%) are more likely to say climate change matters to their vote than White Americans (46%). These findings come as research shows communities of color are disproportionately exposed to dirty air, contaminated water and other environmental hazards.
  • Overall, climate change ranked below the other six issues tested in the poll, including the economy, abortion, crime and immigration. While 51% of registered voters say climate change is important to their vote, that compares to 85% who say the economy is important.
  • The gap is less when it comes to the highest importance category. About 14% of registered voters say climate change is “one of the most important issues” in their vote, below the economy (27%) and abortion (22%), but similar to the immigration (14%) and crime (13%).

The poll also asked Americans which party they trust most to handle the pressing issues facing the nation.

  • Democrats had a 21-point advantage in confidence to handle climate change, their biggest lead on any issue tested.
  • Still, that’s less than in 2018, when voters trusted Democrats by a 32-point margin to handle the issue in a strong Democratic year.

“The most important problem”

Richard Walker, 38, a software engineer and registered freelancer in Annapolis, Maryland, was one of many poll respondents who said they have more confidence in Democrats to fight climate change. In an interview, he noted that many GOP candidates deny both the scientific consensus on global warming and the outcome of the last presidential election.

“It’s the biggest problem facing all life on the planet,” Walker said. “And the Republicans are standing there saying climate change isn’t real and the election was stolen.”

Alex Montiel, 43, another freelancer who works on a cattle ranch southeast of Dallas, said he has more faith in Democrats to deal with the climate-change-fueled drought that has parched Texas for more than a decade. a year, putting pressure on his herds. “There are periods of drought where our lakes and ponds dry up quite dramatically, sometimes to the point of buying water from the municipalities here to water our livestock,” he said.

Dylan Winters21, a registered Democrat and student in the nation’s capital, said he trusted Democrats more on environmental issues even before the bill passed. Inflation Reduction Actthe landmark climate law that no Republican supported.

“The fact that they got a bill through Congress with Manchin’s support was a good thing, even if it wasn’t good enough,” he said, referring to Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.).

‘Rock solid ground’ for Republicans

Yet Republican lawmakers who have joined the Conservative Climate Caucus have not suffered politically from this election cycle – at least so far.

Members of the House Conservative Climate Caucus racked up a 62-5 winning and losing record in their 2022 primary elections, and those who won prevailed by an average margin of 59.3%, according to a recent analysis by the Climate Leadership Council and Americans for Carbon Dividendstwo conservative climate groups.

“There is a diminishing misperception that the climate is somehow dangerous ground for Republicans,” said the CEO of the Climate Leadership Council. Greg Bertelsen said in an interview. “These results are pretty compelling that Republicans in Congress can work on climate change and be on solid ground with their base.”

The Washington Post-ABC News Poll was conducted September 18-21 among a random national sample of 1,006 US adults, 75% of whom were reached on cell phones and 25% on landlines. The aggregate results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; the margin of error is four points among the sample of 908 registered voters.

The survey was conducted during Hurricane Fionawhich made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 18, but before the arrival of Hurricane Ianwhich slammed into southwest Florida on September 28. (Experiencing a weather disaster can influence a person’s beliefs about climate change, studies have shown.)

Climate bill allows big oil companies to cash in on carbon capture subsidies

The climate law President Biden signed into law this summer contains billions of dollars in carbon capture subsidies — a boost in money that many experts see as a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry despite decades of failed experimentation with the technology, according to the Washington Post. Evan Halper reports.

Carbon capture is the process of trapping carbon dioxide before it enters the atmosphere and burying it deep underground. The climate law, nicknamed the Inflation Reduction Actdramatically increases tax credit for carbon capture projects after lobbying by all major oil companies.

However, carbon capture operations have a dubious track record. Under the Obama administration, the Department of Energy spent $1.1 billion to help launch 11 demonstration projects. Only two of them are operational today.

Ironically, carbon capture has proven to be the most effective in extracting more oil from the ground. In Texas, western oil would be able to use tens – and possibly hundreds – of millions of dollars in subsidies for its plan to pump sequestered carbon into wells to extract more oil. The company bragged the end product as “net zero oil” – a brand image that critics say is brazenly misleading.

White House, Democrats weigh legislation to punish OPEC

President Biden and Congressional Democrats are considering various options to lower gas prices after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day, Ben Lefebvre and Josh Siegel reporting for Politico.

In particular, the White House last week pledged to “consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices,” an apparent reference to legislation that would empower the justice department bring antitrust suits against OPEC or its members.

Lawmakers from both parties pushed the Prohibition of Petroleum Production and Export Cartels Act (NOPEC) for more than two decades. But the measure never crossed the finish line amid opposition from oil industry groups and OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia.

Now, however, the Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) said he “looks” at the bill, which easily erased the Judicial Committee in May. But he did not commit to introducing the measure amid a packed agenda when the Senate returns after midterms.

Biden to attend COP27 in Egypt

President Biden will travel to Egypt next month to attend the The United Nations climate summit, known as the COP27according to two people familiar with his plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a trip that is not yet public, The Post’s Tyler Pager and Michael Birnbaum report.

Biden’s expected presence could provide a much-needed boost to negotiations, which are likely to deliver little concrete action amid disputes over ambition and funding. Some US officials did not expect Biden to attend the summit because it begins just before the midterm elections and because he must return to Washington by November 19 to attend his granddaughter’s wedding. to White House.

Biden, who traveled to last year’s climate summit in Scotland, will likely boast Inflation Reduction Act proof that the United States is keeping its promises under the Paris Agreement.

Julia hits Nicaragua as a hurricane with ‘deadly’ flooding

Julia made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near Laguna de Perlas, Nicaragua on Sunday morning before weakening into a tropical storm that could cause “life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides” across the Central America, according to National Hurricane Center, Matthew Capucci and Samantha Schmidt report for La Poste.

The storm could dump more than 15 inches of rain on higher ground in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Before crashing ashore in Nicaragua, Julia swept through the Colombian islands of Providencia and San Andrés, damaging more than 100 homes.

Julia is the 10th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Warmer waters fueled by climate change can help hurricanes intensify quickly, scientists say.

Don’t forget to vote for one of these chonky contestants for Fat Bear Week! 🐻

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