It’s no secret that I am a Conservative Republican. Most of my friends are Conservatives too. While it may come as a surprise to some, climate protection is a top priority for my friends. (Tweet this)
Like many, I used to think Conservative voters for climate protection was an oxymoron. But then Pope Francis stepped into the proverbial climate ring with his encyclical, Laudato Si’: The Care of Our Common Home, calling for planetary stewardship. In solidarity with Pope Francis, churches, synagogues and mosques around the world listened to climate-themed sermons that echoed the views presented in the Pope’s Encyclical. Pope Francis’ support leading up the to the COP21 in Paris was instrumental in turning the tide of some Conservative’s opinions. But, as this Politico article outlines, on the Republican political landscape, there is still plenty of work to be done before the election:
“Republicans, meanwhile, don’t believe that their candidates — the majority of whom don’t believe human activity is altering the climate — are jeopardizing their electability in the general by opposing changing public policy to address the perceived threats of climate change.
More than 90 % of Republicans — surveyed last month prior to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary — said they don’t believe a candidate who doesn’t believe in man-made climate change is unelectable.”
A Republican from South Carolina who completed an anonymous survey replied,
“Climate change is simply not a front-burner issue to most people,”
Yet, multiple scientific studies show that at least 97% of climate scientists agree:
“Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”
With our health and livelihoods continually impacted by climate change, Conservative parents have a responsibility to urge candidates on both sides of the aisle to protect our “family values” by protecting families from climate change.
As a Conservative climate voter, I agree with the majority of Republican voters who view the religious affiliation of the 2016 presidential candidates as important. But I strongly believe we need to acknowledge the disruption of climate change on our families now and in the future…and so should the candidates.
Constructive engagement is the key to climate action, and as this Nature article states,
“Conservative voices and belief systems can begin to enter constructively into the climate debate after an absence of two decades. Yet, if science and religion are beginning to walk together, the devil remains in the politics. And this is where, logically enough, science can learn a thing or two from religion.”
Moms may not always agree on parenting methods, brands of diapers or religious practices, but what we do agree on is the strongest protections for the health of our babies. So let’s put aside political stereotypes and come together for what is most important to parents — the health and welfare of our children.